gefvert.org

The Old Mainframe Computer

2006-06-11

In a dark and gloomy dungeon
Racked by storms and thunder
A valiant server stood on guard
As lightning ripped the night asunder.
It stood there lonesome and forlorn
Working quietly in the freezing cold
But not a tear was seen
On its faithful color screen
This server had a heart of gold.

In its core a dignified processor worked
Although old, still bravely faithful
And though its software wasn't new
Its owners still were very grateful.
It flawlessly performed, both day and night
It ticked so quietly, so gracefully and bright
A thousand users everywhere
Put the server's idle time on hold
But no one knew the server's heart
Yes, this server had a heart of gold.

Deep down in this server's brittle chips
A stable, very stable kernel ran.
And through thick cables proceeding forth
It quietly communicated on the WAN.
Hundreds of transactions were processed
On the company's intra-network site.
But the only evidence of work there was
Was a little light that gently flickered in the night.

And although many years had passed
And newer systems came and went
And elaborate technologies passed by
ODBC, DCOM, Windows and Lucent
Still they just failed and failed and failed
And came nowhere near this server's unique mold
Of faithful trust and tender hope
Buried in this server's gentle heart of gold.
Yes, this server had been working quite a while
And if it could be said it had a mind
Anyone who looked inside would find
That splendid willingness to "walk the extra mile".

Then, one day, a strategic decision was made.
"Windows is the future. Old IBMs are not."
So this server was sadly carried away
And replaced with something that was "hot".
And the damp computer place was changed
Into nice, air-conditioned halls
With carpets, supervising systems
And thin fiber cables lined the walls.
And in the old computer's place now there sat
An NT 5.0, purring like a cat.

But soon enough, something happened
Users called and gleefully complained
Connections lost, memory faults all over
And a general confidence that waned.
Computers crashed, and deals weren't met
And executives and computer guys began to fret.
Previously trusting users collapsed and cried
As their screens shone brightly blue
With exception faults and many, many GPFs…
It was a horrid nightmare now come true.

In the meantime, this old server sat
Now abandoned, so silent and forlorn.
Its kernel didn't work. No lights were on.
It couldn't even mourn.
The letters IBM, once bright and shining
And the cover, once so neat, with silver lining
From all its work so badly torn.
It now simply occupied the tiny space
Between a dead screen and an old computer case.

But then, as its tiny little chips gave up all hope
It finally was remembered.
An angry group of software engineers
Brought the NT system, now dismembered.
They threw the stupid thing against the wall
And took the old computer through the hall.
And accompanied by the staff's wild cheer
On the old screen there appeared a little tear.
And as it was plugged in again,
Its systems flared to life once more
The BIOS booted, and the kernel started up
The old processes spread through its trusty core.

Then everything was back to normal.
Everything ran well again.
And all throughout the place, executives agreed
That new technology is just in vain.
That trusted systems should not be replaced,
Once it worked, it continually kept administrators amazed.
And deep down, in that old dungeon, now so bright
That used to be forgotten and so cold
There worked a valiant server,
And that server had a heart of gold.