The Internet Before Christmas 1990
- Thursday, September 30, 2004
'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the nets
Not a mousie was stirring, not even the pets.
The floppies were stacked by the modem with care
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The files were nestled all snug in a folder
The screen saver turned on, the weather was colder.
And leaving the keyboard along with my mouse
I turned from the screen to the rest of the house.
When up from the drive there arose such a clatter
I turned to the screen to see what was the matter.
Away to the mouse I flew like a flash,
Zoomed open a window in fear of a crash...
The glow from the screen on the keyboard below
Gave an electronic luster to all my macros.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But a little sleigh icon with eight tiny reindeer
And a tiny disk driver so SCSI and quick
I knew in a nano it must be Saint Nick.
More rapid than trackballs his cursors they came,
He whistled and shouted and faxed them by name.
"Now Flasher! Now Dasher! Now Raster and Bixel!
On Phosphor! On Photon! On Baudrate and Pixel!
To the top of the stack. To the top of the heap."
Then each little reindeer made a soft beep.
As data that before the wild electrons fly,
When they meet with a node, mount to the drive,
So up to the screentop the cursors they flew
With a sleigh full of disks and databits, too.
And then in a twinkling I heard the high whine
Of a modem connecting at a baud rate so fine.
As I gazed at the screen with a puzzling frown
St. Nicholas logged on though I thought I was down.
He was dressed all in bytes from header to footer
And the words on the screen said "Don't you reboot 'er."
A bundle of bits he had flung on his back
And he looked like a programmer starting his hack.
His eyes how they glazed, his hair was so scary,
His cola was jolt, not flavoured with cherry.
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a GIF
And the pixels of his beard sure gave me a lift.
The stump of a routine he held tight in his code
And I knew he had made it past the last node.
He spoke not a word but looked right at me
And I saw in a flash his file was .SEA.
He self-decompressed and I watched him unfold,
Into a jolly old elf, a sight to behold.
And the whispering sound of my hard drive's head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He went straight to his work without saying a word
And filled all the folders of this happy nerd.
And 'tis the whole truth, as the story is told,
That giving a nod up the window he scrolled,
He sprang to the serial port as if truly on fire
And away they all flew down the thin copper wire.
But I heard him exclaim as he scrolled out of sight
"Happy Christmas to All, and to all a good night."
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