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Once upon a midnight dreary, fingers cramped and vision bleary,
System manuals piled high and wasted paper on the floor,
Longing for the warmth of bedsheets,
Still I sat there, doing spreadsheets:
Having reached the bottom line,
I took a floppy from the drawer.
Typing with a steady hand,
I then invoked the SAVE command
But got instead a reprimand: it read “Abort, Retry, Ignore”.

Was this some occult illusion?
Some maniacal intrusion?
These were choices Solomon himself had never faced before.
Carefully, I weighed my options.
These three seemed to be the top ones.
Clearly, I must now adopt one -
Choose : “Abort, Retry, Ignore”.

With my fingers pale and trembling,
Slowly toward the keyboard bending,
Longing for a happy ending, hoping all would be restored,
Praying for some guarantee
Finally I pressed a key –
But on the screen what did I see?
Again: “Abort, Retry, Ignore”.

I tried to catch the chips off-guard –
I pressed again, but twice as hard.
Luck was just not in the cards,
I saw what I had seen before.
Now I typed in desperation,
Trying random combinations.
Still there came the incantation -
Choose: “Abort, Retry, Ignore”.

There I sat, distraught, exhausted,
by my own machine accosted;
Getting up, I turned away and paced across the office floor.
And then I saw an awful sight,
A bold and blinding flash of light,
A lightning bolt that cut the night and shook me to my very core.
The PC screen collapsed and died,
“Oh no — my database”, I cried.
I thought I heard a voice reply,
“You’ll see your data — Nevermore!”

To this day I do not know
The place to which lost data goes
Perhaps it goes to Heaven where the angels have it stored.
But as for productivity – well,
I fear that it goes straight to Hell.
And that’s the tale I have to tell -
Your choice: Abort, Retry, Ignore.

President Clinton plans to reduce the budget deficit by an appeal to sacrifice. The problem, however, is that every time he gets near a virgin…

Q: What do you get when you cross a Jehovah’s Witness and an atheist?
A: Someone who knocks on your door for no reason whatsoever. If God is dead, then what are they giving out at communion?

I’m currently running the latest version of GirlFriend and I’ve been having some problems lately. I’ve been running the same version of DrinkingBuddies 1.0 forever as my primary application, and all the GirlFriend releases I’ve tried have always conflicted with it.

I hear that DrinkingBuddies won’t crash if GirlFriend is run in background mode and the sound is turned off. But I’m embarrassed to say I can’t find the switch to turn the sound off. I just run them separately, and it works okay. Girlfriend also seems to have a problem co-existing with my Golf program, often trying to abort Golf with some sort of timing incompatibility. I probably should have stayed with GirlFriend 1.0, but I thought I might see better performance from GirlFriend 2.0. After months of conflicts and other problems, I consulted a friend who has had experience with GirlFriend 2.0. He said I probably didn’t have enough cache to run GirlFriend 2.0, and eventually it would require a Token Ring to run properly. He was right – as soon as I purged my cache, it uninstalled itself.

Shortly after that, I installed GirlFriend 3.0 beta. All the bugs were supposed to be gone, but the first time I used it, it gave me a virus anyway. I had to clean out my whole system and shut down for while. I very cautiously upgraded to GirlFriend 4.0. This time I used a SCSI probe first and also installed a virus protection program. It worked okay for a while until I discovered that GirlFriend 1.0 was still in my system. I tried running GirlFriend 1.0 again with GirlFriend 4.0 still installed, but GirlFriend 4.0 has a feature I didn’t know about that automatically senses the presence of any other version of GirlFriend and communicates with it in some way, which results in the immediate removal of both versions.

The version I have now works pretty well, but there are still some problems. Like all versions of GirlFriend, it is written in some obscure language I can’t understand, much less reprogram. Frankly I think there is too much attention paid to the look and feel rather than the desired functionality. Also, to get the best connections with your hardware, you usually have to use gold-plated contacts. And I’ve never liked how GirlFriend is totally “object-oriented.”

A year ago, a friend of mine upgraded his version of GirlFriend to GirlFriendPlus 1.0, which is a Terminate and Stay Resident version of GirlFriend. He discovered that GirlFriendPlus 1.0 expires within a year if you don’t upgrade to Fiancee 1.0. So he did, but soon after that, he had to upgrade to Wife 1.0, which he describes as a huge resource hog. It has taken up all his space, so he can’t load anything else. One of the primary reasons he decided to go with Wife 1.0 was because it came bundled with FreeSexPlus.

Well, it turns out the resource allocation module of Wife 1.0 sometimes prohibits access to FreeSexPlus, particularly the new Plug-Ins he wanted to try. On top of that, Wife 1.0 must be running on a well warmed-up system before he can do anything. Although he did not ask for it, Wife1.0 came with MotherInLaw which has an automatic pop-up feature he can’t turnoff.

I told him to try installing Mistress 1.0, but he said he heard if you try to run it without first uninstalling Wife 1.0, Wife 1.0 will delete MSMoney files before doing the uninstall itself. Then Mistress 1.0 won’t install anyway because of insufficient resources.

Q: How can you tell when an economist is lying?

A: His lips are moving.



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