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June 25, 2008

The Coder's Tale, part 1

Scene 1

Approach the page.

A story lies within.

Friend Allen, your face is agasp
as one who has seen
the Colossus once again astride the harbor.
What inspired sight
lays claim upon your mind?

Behold this magazine.
Upon the cover set
an image whose proofs
affect my lop-eyed gaze.
Here is the moss that will nurture
the seed our youthful endeavors cast to earth.

So powerful a tonic
I must imbibe posthaste.

It is yours to marvel at.
“Popular Mechanics” is the name.

Before me I witness a machine,
“Altair 8800” upon its brow inscribed.
An ill-favored assemblage
of lights and switches.
To those whose vision fails it must
a poor device appear.
And yet there lurks within
a larger hope:
This simple mechanism mayhap will be
the engine of our ascent.

No less than the truth escapes your lips.
This connivance will be the stone,
cast upon the water of our lives,
from which many ripples shall flow.

I am spurred to action.
Once I sought my namesake's ambition,
yet now I must turn away.
Indeed there may be others whose thoughts
are fuelled by the same fire.

It appears that our time in this brick-lined sanctuary
may fall short of yesterday’s plans.

Ay, time is of the essence.
We must depart anon.
My fervid brain
could scarce be else appeased.

Scene 2

The fates smiled.
It was done,
and done quickly.

Five years hence,
A visitor’s descent was remark’d.

We bid you well, Gates.
We have, to gratify your ears,
a most urgent application.
We have fashioned
a new apparatus,
a witch’s brew of parts and pieces,
abruptly juxtaposed.
To unite these feuding signs,
we must provide a structure
such as has not been seen before.

Cert your tale has caused my ears to prick.
Yet a man named Kildall,
who labors South of here,
will be best equipped
to dorm your need.
Our unvoiced pact was made,
we in our row, and he in his.

We have of his time,
already requested our share.
Yet he was not of a mind to answer.
Can you provide what we desire?

I must consider a moment.
[to Ballmer]
It seems fate has winked her age-worn eye
in this regard.

Ballmer [to Gates]:
You dream of arrows to pierce the sky,
but our quiver is bare.
How may we achieve,
the lore of which they speak?

Gates [to Ballmer]:
This cavil will be dismayed in short.
Close at hand is the place
where such can be obtained.

Ballmer [to Gates]:
Very well. But then I must inquire,
What profit will this undertaking bring?
This is but one contrivance among dozens.
If we mere equal our corresponding efforts,
the loss will be a trifle.

Gates [to Ballmer]:
This is a tree that will support
many branches.
Indeed, all else will be built
upon its sturdy boughs.
We approach the first step
on a lengthy journey.
We will illume the way,
but not carry the burden.
Our work must be to guide
others who will slake the need.
Their ox-work will grow this orrery
by ten, and ten, and ten again.
Hear now the wisdom of the world,
“Developer, developers, developers.”
I say it three times, all the better
to lodge in your addled pate.

Ballmer [to Gates]:
Understood. I shall adopt this newfound reason.
Its light will guide my footsteps.
Speak, then, that the die be cast.

Very well, ye who journeyed from afar,
it seems our paths will be for the moment intertwined.
We will supply what you demand.

to be continued...

Posted by AdamBa at June 25, 2008 11:03 PM