doom'd net

still mucking around with the ol'computer

A Grandchild's guide to using Grandpa's computer, an Ode to Dr. Seuss

There is this old by internet standards, originally written in 1994 poem inspired by Dr. Seuss . Originally written by Gene Ziegler, a professor at Cornell University at the time, has been edited, shortened, and distributed millions of times. I first encountered the shortened version of this poem in the mid ‘90’s. Probably either on Usenet someplace, or in the many TEXT files I use to trade with friends on BBS systems around that time.

The original was shortened and distributed under the name “What if Dr. Seuss wrote computer documentation” And was pretty funny as it was. But it is not complete, shortened to 1/2 it’s original size for some reason.The Original was apparently written after Gene’s grand kids re-arranged everything on his Mac creating a big mess for him to clean up.

Here, I present, the entire poem, as a tribute to the amazing writing of Professor Ziegler, but as originally intended Ode to Dr. Seuss.

A Grandchild’s guide to using Grandpa’s computer

(Ode to Dr. Seuss)

by Gene Ziegler

Bits. Bytes. Chips. Clocks.
Bits in bytes on chips in box.
Bytes with bits and chips with clocks.
Chips in box on ether-docks.

Chips with bits come. Chips with bytes come.
Chips with bits and bytes and clocks come.

Look, sir. Look, sir. Read the book, sir.
Let's do tricks with bits and bytes, sir.
Let's do tricks with chips and clocks, sir.

First, I'll make a quick trick bit stack.
Then I'll make a quick trick byte stack.
You can make a quick trick chip stack.
You can make a quick trick clock stack.

And here's a new trick on the scene.
Bits in bytes for your machine.
Bytes in words to fill your screen.

Now we come to ticks and tocks, sir.
Try to say this by the clock, sir.

Clocks on chips tick.
Clocks on chips tock.
Eight byte bits tick.
Eight bit bytes tock.
Clocks on chips with eight bit bytes tick
Chips with clocks and eight byte bits tock.

Here's an easy game to play.
Here's an easy thing to say.

If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,
And the bus is interrupted as a very last resort,
And the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,
Then the socket packet pocket has an error to report!

If your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash,
And the double-clicking icon puts your window in the trash,
And your data is corrupted `cause the index doesn't hash,
Then your situation's hopeless and your system's gonna crash.

You can't say this? What a shame, sir!
We'll find you another game, sir.

If the label on the cable on the table at your house
Says the network is connected to the button on your mouse,
But your packets want to tunnel on another protocol,
That's repeatedly rejected by the printer down the hall,
And your screen is all distorted by the side effects of gauss
So your icons in the window are as wavy as a souse,
Then you may as well reboot and go out with a bang,
Cause as sure as I'm a poet, the sucker's gonna hang!

When the copy of your floppy's getting sloppy on the disk,
And the microcode instructions cause unnecessary risk,
Then you have to flash your memory and you'll want to ram your ROM.
Quickly turn off your computer and be sure to tell your mom!