The Song of Hiawatha's Spectrum
Alexander "Sasha" Volokh

(in the style of The Song of Hiawatha
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

In the town of Cupertino,
In the green and fruitful valley,
By the pleasant watercourses,
By the great Pacific Ocean,
Lay the lab of Hewlett-Packard.

In the halls of Hewlett-Packard,
All the people daily running;
In the rooms of Hewlett-Packard,
All the employees conversing;
On sophisticated keyboards,
All the programmers are typing,
Faster than the cows stampeding,
Faster than a speeding bullet,
Working on their project, Spectrum.

In this planet's scattered corners,
In the wild and swampy grasslands,
In the snowy, gloomy forests;
Under skies of California,
And in countries European,
And the 48 departments,
The contiguous partitions
Of our Hewlett-Packard's homeland
(And Alaska and Hawaii):
All awaited the 950,
Patiently awaited Spectrum,
Eagerly besought the system.

Still the programmers were typing
On the keyboards of computers,
Eagerly composing Spectrum
And all manners of great software.
But the people bureaucratic
Promising to ship computers
Spent their time with fingers twiddling,
Musing on their coming paychecks;
And imagined appelations,
Different kinds of appelations
For "whatever they were making":
Some would say "RISC Architecture
(Reduced Instruction Set Computer),"
Or "Precision Architecture" --
Some would name it the 950,
Others the HP 930.

Even VESOFT, Purveyors
Of Fine Software in the '80s,
Made their version two point zero
Of their MPE Extended
(Three thousand five hundred dollars)
So it worked upon the Spectrum.
Were frustrated in their efforts
For they all were promised Spectrum,
Speedy, long-awaited Spectrum,
Fast and often-promised Spectrum
Which their HP contacts told them
That "they sent it out last Tuesday"
But they hadn't yet received it.

So the daring Hiawatha,
An indignant Hiawatha,
Came at last to Cupertino,
Entered into HP's office --
Elegant but lazy office.
And he came to David Packard
And he threatened him at gunpoint
With the bullets of his Magnum
(.357 Magnum).

In the town of Cupertino,
In the halls of Hewlett-Packard,
When the elegant computers
Bore the brilliant label "Spectrum,"
People hurried with the labels
And the packaging material
To deliver the computers.
Now the planet was elated
And MPEX was selling
(Three thousand five hundred dollars,
VESOFT is selling proudly
To the Hewlett-Packard users) --
And courageous Hiawatha
Finally received his Spectrum.

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