A Grandchildís Guide to Using Grandpaís Computer
  Author: Gene Ziegler after Dr. Seuss  
  Notes: Gene Zieglerís widely circulated poem has often appeared in e-mails and on websites without credit to him. It sometimes appears under the headline: ďIf Dr. Seuss were a Technical Writer.Ē It is often cut in half, but this version is Geneís original. Dr. Ziegler is a professor at Cornell University and many of his works can be found at  

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.
Letís do tricks with bits and bytes, sir.
Letís do tricks with chips and clocks, sir.

First, Iíll make a quick trick bit stack.
Then Iíll make a quick trick byte stack.
You can make a quick trick chip stack.
You can make a quick trick clock stack.

And hereís 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.

Hereís an easy game to play.
Hereís 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 doesnít hash,
then your situationís hopeless, and your systemís gonna crash.

You canít say this? What a shame, sir!
Weíll 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,
thatís 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 Iím a poet, the suckerís gonna hang!

When the copy of your floppyís getting sloppy on the disk,
and the microcode instructions cause unnecessary risc,
then you have to flash your memory and youíll want to RAM your ROM.
quickly turn off your computer and be sure to tell your mom!

(God bless you Dr. Seuss wherever you are!)


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