by Eddie Currents*
One night when his charge was pretty high, Mirco-Farad decided to seek
out a cute little coil to help his discharge.
He picked up Milli-Amp and took her for a ride in his Megacycle. They
rode across the Wheatstone Bridge and stopped by a Magnetic field with
flowing currents and frolicked in the sine waves.
Micro-Farad, attracted by Milli-Amp’s characteristic curves, soon had
her fully charged and proceeded to excite her resistance to a minumum.
He gently laid her at ground potential, raised her frequency, and
lowered her reluctance.
With a quick arc, he pulled out his high voltage probe and inserted it
in her socket, connecting them in parallel. He slowly began short
circuiting her resisitance shut while quickly raising her thermal
conductance level to mill-spec. Fully excited, Milli-Amp mumbled
With his tube operating well into class C, and her field vibrating
with his currently flow, a corona formed which instantly caused her
shunt to overheat just at the point when Micro-Farad rapidly
discharged and drained off every electron into her grid.
They fluxed all night trying various connectors and sockets until his
magnet had a soft core and lost all of its field strength.
After wards, Milli-Amp tried self-induction and damaged her solenoids,
and, with his battery fully discharged, Micro-Farad was unable to
excite his field. Not ready to be quiescent, they spent the rest of
the evening reversing polarity and blowing each other’s fuses.
BUT WAIT!!! THERE’S MORE!
Micro was a real-time operator and dedicated multi-user. His
broad-band protocol made it easy for him to interface with numberous
input/output devices, even if it meant time-sharing.
One evening he arrived home just as the sun was crashing, and had
parked his Motorola 68000 in the main drive (he had missed the 5100
bus that morning), when he noticed an elegant piece of liveware
admiring the daisy wheels in his garden. He thought to himself, “She
looks user-friendly. I’ll see if she’d like an update tonight.”
Mini was her name. She was delightfully engineered with eyes like
COBOL and a Prime mainframe architecture that set Micro’s peripherals
networking all over the place.
He browsed over to her casually, admiring the power of her twin,
32-bit floating point processors and inquired, “How are you,
Honeywell?” “Yes, I am well,” she responded, batting her optical
fibers engagingly and smoothing her console over her curvilinear functions.
Micro settled for a straight line approximation. “I’m stand-alone
tonight,” he said. “How about computing a vector to my base address?
I’ll output a byte to eat, and maybe we could get offset later on.”
Mini ran a priority process for 2.6 milliseconds, then transmitted 8K.
“I’ve been dumped myself recently, and a new page is just what I need
to refresh my disks. I’ll park my machine cycle in your background
and meet you inside.” She walked off, leaving Micro admiring her
solenoids and thinking, “Wow, what a global variable. I wonder if
she’d like my firmware?”
They sat down at the process table to a top of form feed of fiche and
chips and a bucket of Baudot. Mini was in conversational mode and
expanded on ambiguous arguments while Micro gave occasional
acknowledgements, although in reality he was analyzing the shortest
and least critical path to her entry point. He finally settled on the
old, Would-you-like-to-see-my-benchmark routine. But Mini was again
one step ahead.
Suddenly she was up and stripping off her parity bits to reveal the
full functionality of her operating system software. “Let’s get
BASIC, you RAM,” she said. Micro was loaded by this stage, but his
hardware policing module had a processor of its own and was in danger
of overflowing its output buffer, a hangup that Micro had consulted
his analyst about. “Core,” was all he could say, as she prepared to
log him off.
Micro soon recovered, however, when Mini went down on the DEC and
opened her divide filed to reveal her data set ready. He accessed his
fully packed root device and was just about to start pushing into her
CPU stack, when she attempted an escape sequence.
“No, no!” she cried, “You’re not shielded!”
“Reset, baby,” he replied, “I’ve been debugged.”
“But I haven’t got my current loop enabled, and I can’t support child
processes,” she protested.
“Don’t run away,” he said, “I’ll generate an interrupt.”
“No, that’s too error prone, and I can’t abort because of my design
Micro was locked in by this stage, though, and could not be turned
off. But Mini soon stopped his thrashing by introducing a voltage
spike into his main supply, whereupon he fell over with a head crash
and went to sleep. “Computers!” she thought, as she compiled herself,
“All they think about is hex!
* The real name of the author is Richard Hart
[Comment by Richard Hart: Believe it or not, I am the author of that cute little story. I wrote it back in 79 or 80 when I was going to Ferris State College (now a university) in Mich. And had gotten through my second year of electronics there (two more to go) when I was sitting around the dorm in the summer and took typing for an elective class. I got up to about 60 wpm and started thinking of all the stuff and formula’s and acronyms and names for all the different units (like mho’s for example) and started writing this story. I think a rewrote it a couple of time to get in as many words relating to electronics (flux lines and tickler coils etc) to where it would make sense only to someone with a background in electronics.
I met a guy from Motorola on a project back in the late 80’s and he handed me this story. I told him that I had written the darn thing back in college but of course no one believed me. Well, I’m sure you’re withholding judgment also, but I found it on your site and noticed it’s all over the internet.
Sure wish I had put my name to it back then. Oh well, at least it’s gotten a few smiles out there now and then I’m sure. Well, take care, and on my honor, I’m the true author of this cute little story that I find funny even to this day. Bye!