PACKET RADIO: A Sysop's Poem

Steve Wolf, W8IZ@W8IZ

(This text from the W8IZ packet radio bulletin

board. It's formatted to fit a 80 character screen.)



Once upon a time, this BBS I booted,
I was so happy, I hollered and hooted.
Sysop life was a joy and was fun,
I just loved watching this thing run.

But now, it seems, as the table turns,
As I keep maintaining that hard disk that churns,
That in the dreary of night when I hear that crash beep,
Again and again I loose more sleep.

Private messages come in with "@" nowhere to go,
and a network that crawls even slower than slow.
After months and months of "Blood, Sweat, & Tears",
complaints are received about this system's gears.

Scrambled messages and 3:00 a.m. crashes,
even with a "high-tech" machine that cache's,
Upgrade after upgrade until I'm blue in the face,
Can anyone ever stay ahead in this race?

Then when I think that all is well,
and everyhting seems to be running like a bell,
lightning strikes and nothing is funny,
because the outcome allways means, yes, more money!

So don't think I'm tired, stupid, or lazy,
it's just that this thing is driving me crazy!
There's a few good Sysops and they're hard to find,
and doing it right is what's on their mind.

My wife, bless her heart, has put up with much,
and has sacrificed much time without me as such.
"Would you like to go for a walk?" she will say,
I reply: "No, the BBS needs fixing again, I must stay!"

Then I download the latest software I can find,
hopefully "bug-free" this time, to ease my mind.
A thirty minute transfer from California to do,
only to find out that it has bugs, too!

When people wonder why I'm loosing my hair,
I just tell them that it's the BBS software.
Code so slick, but flaws to discover,
documentation so poor, the programmer
couldn't write a letter to his mother!

End users who marvel at technologies hand,
only if they were a Sysop, would they understand.
So if you're wondering what this moral will be?
I'm getting out 'cause I just want to be free!

So don't get me wrong, and don't take it rough,
for I will still be doing some Packet stuff.
But as for me, and now's the time to say,
I'm setting aside this BBS for another day!

Author unknown

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