Registered: Oct 2003
Local time: 11:43 AM
Edgar Allen Poe confronts a flaky floppy drive.
Once upon a midnight dreary, fingers cramped and vision bleary,
System manuals roughly piled, and wasted paper on the floor,
Longing for the warmth of bedsheets, still I sat there, doing spreadsheets.
Having reached the bottom line, I found the diskette that was mine.
Typing with a steady hand, I then invoked the SAVE command,
And waited for the file to store - only this and nothing more.
Deep into the phosphor peering, Long I sat there wond'ring, fearing,
Doubting, while the disk kept turning, churning yet to churn some more.
"Save!" I said, "You cursed mother. Save my data, and no other!"
Just one thing the screen did render, message bold, but never tender,
Only this and nothing more - just "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"
Was this some occult illusion? Some maniacal intrusion?
These were choices undesired, and ones I'd never faced before.
Carefully, I weighed the choices, as the disk made dev'lish noises.
The cursor flashed, insistent, waiting ... baiting me to type some more.
Clearly I must press a key, to make the choice of one from three,
Selecting from, "Abort, Retry, Ignore"?
With my fingers pale and trembling, slowly toward the keyboard bending,
Longing for a happy ending, hoping all would be restored,
Praying for some guarantee, so lightly did I press a key.
But on the screen there still persisted - words appearing as before.
Ghastly grim they blinked and taunted, haunted, as my patience wore,
Saying to me one time more, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"
I tried to catch the chips off guard; I pressed again, but twice as hard.
I pleaded with that cursed demon, begged and cried, and then I swore.
Flailing now in desperation, trying random combinations,
Still there came the incantation, just as senseless as before.
Cursor blinking, without thinking, winking nonsense I abhore,
Words that at my senses tore, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"
There I sat, distraught, exhausted, by mine own machine accosted.
Getting up, I turned away and paced across the office floor.
Whereupon, a dreadful sight: a lightning bolt cut through the night.
A gasp of horror overtook me, and it shook me to the core.
Lightning zapped my precious data, lost and gone forevermore.
Now in darkness I abhor, not even, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"
To this day I do not know the place to which lost data go.
What demonic nether world is wrought where data will be stored,
Beyond the reach of mortal souls, beyond the ether, in black holes?
But sure as there's a C and Lotus, Ashton-Tate and many more,
You'll be someday left to wander, lost upon some dismal shore,
Beseeching fickle Gods of yore, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"
-- Author unknown