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If Poe used a computer... (Author: Unknown)

Once upon a midnight dreary, fingers cramped and vision bleary,
System manuals piled high and wasted paper on the floor,
Longing for the warmth of bedsheets,
Still I sat there, doing spreadsheets;
Having reached the bottom line,
I took a floppy from the drawer.
Typing with a steady hand, I then invoked the save command
And waited for the disk to store, Only this and nothing more.

Deep into the monitor peering, long I sat there wond'ring, fearing,
Doubting, while the disk kept churning, turning yet to churn some more.
"Save!" I said, "You cursed machine!
Save my data from before!"
One thing did the phosphors answer,
only this and nothing more,
Just "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

Was this some occult illusion? Some maniacal intrusion?
There were choices undesired, ones I'd never faced before.
Carefully, I weighed the choices
as the disk made impish noises.
The cursor flashed, insistent, waiting,
baiting me to type some more.
Clearly I must press a key, choosing one and nothing more,
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,
Timidly I pressed 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 "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

I tried to catch the chips off-guard - I pressed again, but twice as hard.
I pleaded with the cursed machine; I begged and cried and then I swore.
Now I swore in desperation,
trying random combinations,
Still there came the incantation,
just as senseless as before.
Cursor blinking, angrily winking, blinking nonsense as before.
Reading, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

There I sat, distraught, exhausted, by my own machine accosted,
Getting up I turned away and paced across my bedroom floor.
And then I saw a dreadful sight:
a lightning bolt cut through the night.
A gasp of horror over took me,
shook me to my very core.
The lightning zapped my previous data, lost and gone forevermore.
Not even, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

To this day I do not know the place to which lost data goes.
What demonic nether world is wrought where data will be stored,
Beyond the reach of mortal souls,
beyond the ether, past black holes...
But sure as there is C, and Pascal,
ADA, LISP, FORTRAN and more,
One day you will be left to wander, lost on some Plutonian shore,
Pleading, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

Author Unknown

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