Poem, Counterpoem

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We got this email the other day:

—–Original Message—–
From: john robathan [mailto:john.robathan1@ntlworld.com]
Sent: Sunday, January 16, 2005 1:58 PM
To: joecitarella@sprintmail.com
Subject: p c percy

Hi Joe Thought it was about time we had a little culture, while giving the ultimate advice to all those that have been bitten by a pc,
and have the bytes to prove it.

P C Percy

When things were difficult and try as I might
Nothing I did seemed to go right
I would clasp my hands and ask the Lord for mercy
Then low and behold, up pops Percy

Percy would soon calm me down
And from my brow take the worried frown
Tea and biscuits, no more temper spasm
Back on the job, with enthusiasm

When I built my pc, with lots of trepidation
Percy whispered, “Don’t worry lad, you have done your preparation
Knuckle down lad, It’s a challenge you must win
So open up the case and get stuck in”

When life grinds you down
And you don’t know where to turn
Just think about old Percy
And all from him you’ve learned

When the problem seems insurmountable
And impossible to man
Then make a little room for him
For I know that Percy can

You may well ask “who is this man
Can I make him appear”?
He’s standing right beside you now
His name is PERSEVERE

Ed. note: I was a bit concerned that some might misinterpret this as meaning, “Just keep trying, no matter what.” Some already inclined to think that way might think that this justifies just doing rather than also reading/researching will ensure success, which it doesn’t.

In my experience, most hardware disasters occur when someone keeps on going in a session long after he should have stopped. My rule is, “If you don’t know what to do next, no more nexts.” I walk away from it for a while, the next day, or until I either come up with or read about a new approach.

and that , so I made up this cautionary ditty:

Quitting Time

There are bad times to persevere
Like after having thirteen beers
Nor is it time to do and do
Whenever you don’t have a clue

To persevere is quite insane
Without some usage of your brain
For mindless efforts often sink
When you can’t spare the time to think

A would-be hero isn’t real
When he just reinvents the wheel
Percy’s most heroic deed
Is often when he stops to read

Nor is the hero only you
You have a sidekick: CPU
The speed you want, the goals you seek
Won’t matter if the chip is weak.

You set it to the speed you like
But then the chip decides to strike
This doesn’t put you at a loss
“Turn up the juice, he’ll see who’s boss!”

But if you set the juice too high

Your CPU complains, then dies
It’s hard to force your iron will
On something lying dead and still

If overclocks were just desire
Our speeds would all be ten times higher
It’s not, so it takes sense and skill
To push it hard, but do not kill

The overclocker’s goal, you see
Is be the best that CHIP can be
And since all chips have different hearts
That makes our pushing task an ART.

Perseverance should be praised
Until it becomes merely crazed.
When that happens, take a break
Try later fresh, for your chip’s sake

Email John

Ed

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