Me/geek filk exchange

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One morning at the lab in Providence, I came in to find this note from Hilary (longtime friend I met while working there) regarding a program I had written that she needed to use:


As I the hours away was whiling
I took a stab at some compiling
Of a long-forgotten Pascal program left from days of yore.
Through the night the word came creeping
Errors were insidiously seeping
And all in vain for help from the compiler I implored.

'Twas the dreaded LEVCT function
Which sadly needed extreme unction
Though I thought it would work smoothly in good old Turbo 4.
How I longed for print compression!
You can fancy my expression
When the compiler gave that horrifying message, "Nevermore."

Was it an incorrect excursion
To a long-extinguished version
Of the EXPT unit that made the compiler sore,
And will my data be compressed?
I beg you, do your very best
To help me lest the final message shall be "NEVERMORE..."


Never one to turn down a challenge, and being an absolute sucker for this kind of humor, I replied thusly:


'Twas turbo, and the subroutines
Did loop and exit on the stack
International were the business machines
And the programmers did hack.

"Beware the FileSpecType, my son!
The bytes that store the hardware clock!
Beware of EXPT.PAS and shun
Procedure ReadRawBlock!"

With IBM keyboard in hand
LongInt the MaxWord foe he sought
Then rested he by the RDump tree
Compiling -- but for naught.

For as he did compile away,
The FileSpecType, with Error 3,
Came printing on the EGA
And exited with glee.

FileSpecStr! FileSpecStr!
The keyboard keys typed clicky-click.
He exited the editor;
Compiling was quite quick.

"And hast thou fixed the FileSpecType?
Come work for me as program chief --
Command whole mobs, like Steven Jobs!"
He chortled with relief.

'Twas turbo, and the subroutines
Did loop and exit on the stack
International were the business machines
And the programmers did hack.

(This was, of course, long before The Great Regenderation of 2000, so I was unknowingly misgendering myself.)