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“‘Tis the night before Christmas,” I thought with a frown.
I was stuck at the office. The network was down.
The routers were hung in the closet. All crashed.
Their tables had holes in their dat
A. All trashed.

Remote distribution, it seems, just for fun,
Had erased DLLs Windows needed to run
On 84 desktops way down in accounting.
I sat stunned at my desk, my blood pressure mounting.

When all of a sudden there arose such a clatter,
I saw that a server had something the matter.
There was smoke coming out of the main hard disk drive.
“No problem,” I thought. “I’m set up with RAID 5.”

But I found out the system I thought was unstoppable
Had disk drives that turned out completely unswappable!
“No problem,” I thought. “I’ve tape backup to thank.”
And then I discovered my backups were blank.

The UPS burped, and its lights all went out.
I started to scream! I started to shout!
But nobody heard as I vented my rage.
My gurus were all on vacation those days.

And nobody’s tech support answered the phone.
I was nose deep in trouble, completely alone.
When out at reception, I heard a soft knock.
As the hands just touched midnight on my desktop clock.

“What’s your problem?” he asked. “Never mind, friend, I know.
I checked out your network five hours ago.
I did some proactive analysis, so…
I knew that this time bomb was going to blow.”

Who was this guy? Who did he think he was?
He was dressed in red coveralls, white beard, black gloves.
His eyes had the twinkle of technical genius.
His smile cut down personal distance between us.

He spread out his tools, and went straight to his work.
“Whoever configured this network’s a jerk,”
He said with a :-) as he quickly rebooted.
Uploaded some software, and smoothly rerouted…

The LAN to a WAN that he quickly supplied
With bandwidth at least 20 gigabits wide
That went via wireless, I think, LEO,
To tech support elves waiting at the North Pole.

“Now bridging, now routing, now Ethernet hubs!”
He chanted as each piece of hardware he rubbed.
“Cheer up, my good friend! Lose that mindset so tragic!
Technology often looks just like some magic,

To people who don’t understand what we do.
Now a switch, emulation, now middleware glue!
Look at the protocols, check one or two,
Debug a bit, test a bit, presto! We’re through!”

My data was back! Every system checked out!
Tears of joy wet my face as I wandered about.
“How can I thank you? You must be Saint Nick!”
He said, “Really, my friend, it’s not such a great trick.”

“If you don’t give up hope, focus on what you’re doing,
And read all your issues of NETWORK COMPUTING.”
And I heard him exclaim, as his reindeer were coursing,
“Merry Christmas to all! And consider outsourcing!”

Q: What bird can write under the Arctic Ocean?

A: A ball-point pen-guin!

Ten holiday differences explained

1. Christmas is one day. It’s the same day every year, December 25. Jews love Christmas as it’s another paid day off work. We go to the cinema, eat at a Chinese restaurant and go Israeli dancing. Chanukah is 8 days. It starts the evening of the 24th of Kislev, whenever that falls. No one is ever sure – until that is, a Christian friend asks when Chanukah starts, forcing us to consult a calendar. We all have the same calendar, provided free with the Jewish Chronicle newspaper.
2. Christmas is a major holiday. Chanukah is a minor holiday with the same theme as most of the other Jewish holidays – ‘They attempted to kill us, we survived, so let’s eat already’.
3. There is only one way to spell Christmas. No one can decide how to spell Chanukah, Chanukah, Chanukka, Channukah, Hanukah, Hannukah.
4. Christmas is a time of pressure for husbands and boyfriends because their partners expect special gifts. Jewish men are relieved of that burden because, surprisingly, no one expects a diamond ring on Chanukah.
5. Christians get wonderful presents such as jewellery, perfume and digital cameras. Jews get practical presents such as scarves, underwear, socks and pyjamas.
6. Christmas end up in high electricity bills. But because candles are used for Chanukah, Jews are spared such high bills. We even feel good because we aren’t adding to the energy crisis.
7. Christmas carols are beautiful (Silent Night, Come O Ye Faithful). Chanukah songs are about clay dreidels and similar. Nevertheless, we are proud that many carols were written and sung by Barbara Streisand and Neil Diamond.
8. Homes getting ready for Christmas smell great with the sweet aromas of cookies and cakes. Everyone is in a festive mood. Homes getting ready for Chanukah smell of frying oil and potatoes and onions. Everyone as usual is talking loudly and at the same time.
9. Women have great fun baking Christmas cookies, but Jewish women burn their eyes and cut their hands grating potatoes and onions making latkes on Chanukah – a reminder of our suffering through the ages.
10. Many Christians believe in the virgin birth. Jews think, “Come on Joseph, bubela, snap out of it. Your woman is pregnant, you didn’t sleep with her and now you want to blame God. Here, take the number of my psychoanalyst. He might be able to help you.”

Q: How long does it take to burn a candle down?
A: About a wick!

Q: If athletes get athlete’s foot, then what do astronauts get?
A: Missile toe.

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