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Suppose Edgar Allen Poe Had Used a Computer...

Once upon a midnight dreary,
Fingers cramped and vision bleary,
Systems manuals piled high and
Wasted paper on the floor.

Longing for the warmth of bed sheets,
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 creature!
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?
These were choices undesired,
One's 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.



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