|Confusing at Catastrophy manor (Parody of Pournelle's Chaos Manor)|
Message #12 Posted by Vassilis Prevelakis on 27 Aug 2003, 7:46 a.m.,
in response to message #11 by Gene
Since this is a forum for collectors, I thought I'd post this message posted to the net.micro newsgroup in 1985. (notice the .UUCP address and the references to 6502 vs 68000 -- ah, those were the days :-)
It parodies Gerry's column in Byte Magazine (then called User's Column).
From: garey@ut-ngp.UUCP (riggs, austen)
Subject: Confusing at Catastrophy manor
Date: 31 Mar 85 06:03:52 GMT
Posted: Sun Mar 31 00:03:52 1985
Date-Received: 5 Apr 85 02:40:37 GMT
Organization: U.Texas Computation Center, Austin, Texas
I ran across this in the April issue of Microcornucopeia:
Confusing at Catastrophy Manor
Alas, it has been yet another sleepless month here at Catastrophy
Manor. My faithful Z80, Beulah, began spitting out 'not ready' errors
two weeks ago and my in-house technician didn't discover until yesterday
that I had not put a disk in the drive.
During that time I was forced to use Zimblefield J. Rothschild, the
Cray 1 that normally monitors the odor level from the kitty box. What a
frustrating machine! I certainly wish someone would enlighten the Cray
people on how to design a proper keyboard. The left shift key is positioned
at least a sixteenth of an inch from the standard position on the Selectric!
I call their customer service department to complain but it doesn't do any
good. This is the fit}ih Cray they've given me, and they still haven't
gotten the left shift right.
Now that my latest novel, 'Stumblefeet' is completed, I have
refocused my attention on eating, and insulting anyone who markets a product
I have not already recommended in my column, along with those who program
in anything other than Pascal or Modula-2.
This month I received a program for the IBM-PC that guarentees to
find enough tax loopholes to reduce your income tax to nothing. Every
year. How ludricous. I have never seen that in my column. I even went
back and looked (plus, I paid taxes last year, so I must not have reviewed
it). To make things even more ridiculous, it is written in C. And they
expect me to open the box? Come now fellows, how much effort do you expect
me to make?
I have been saying for years that the only way for a computer
company to be successful is to design a Timex-Sinclair compatible S-100
board. I must have said that to at least 50 people. Nobody listened.
But finally, Say Co. Computers came out with exactly what I have been
waiting for, and it is truly a tribute to high technology. It can add
200 numbers (some of them large) in under a second, it has a real time
display, and it is water resistant.
I am considering using one here at Catastrophy Manor to replace
the Crays if something isn't done about that appalling keyboard.
FREE POURSMELLE SOFTWARE
A while back I was thunbing through the truckloads of mail, free
copies of Burpo Pascal and free Honkubro hardware that all of us famous
overweight computer columnists get, when I found a request for another
incredible Modula-2 Star Trek game. Since I don't want to write another
Star Trek game, and I don't reallu pay any attention to my mail anyway,
I decided to write a Pascal to Lisp translator.
I have been laboring over it for several months and it is finally
done. I was planning on selling it for $99.95 through The Software
Foolworks, but due to a momentary affliction of divine benevolence, I
have decided to publish it here in the hallowed pages of OVERBYTE.
This translator avoids all the usual problems of converting
infix to prefix notation and of moving from the domain of a sequential
language to that of a procedural language. In fact, my translator is very
unusual because its output precisly mimics the original Pascal (The
process is known as LISP Sync).
My son Smartalex doesn't think that anyone WANTS to convert
Pascal to Lisp (but then he thinks that the 68000 is more powerful
than the 6502).
By VERRY POURSMELLE
(As compiled by Laine Stump)