Do it Yourself Sept 24, 2014 1:09:43 GMT
Authored by wayneborean on Sept 24, 2014 1:09:43 GMT
Do It Yourself (the annotated version)
words & music copyright 1985 by Bill Sutton
annotations copyright 1993, 2005 by Bill Sutton
music based on "Macnamara's Band"
I went to buy computers and they said, "A million bucks
For a brand-new mainframe IBM" -- now, that price really sucks!
So I looked at all the pictures and I chose to build my own,
For you can build a mainframe from the things you find at home!
CH: IBM, DEC, and Honeywell, HP, DG, and Wang, 5
Amdahl, NEC, and NCR, they don't know anything.
They make big bucks for systems so they never want it known
That you can build a mainframe from the things you find at home!
Take the CPU, you see it's only just a box
With blinking lights and whirring fans and lots of cable slots. 10
So I spent an evening working with some wires and bulbs and pins,
Then I hauled them to the basement and I plugged the freezer in.
Next I needed tape drives, my tape drives were a steal.
I climbed into the attic for my dad's old reel-to-reel.
Some cable and some binder twine and soon it was complete -- 15
My CPU and tape drive at a price no one could beat!
Then I looked for disc drives, but it didn't take me long.
"Function follows form," they say -- or have I got that wrong?
I found a drive with 5 new modes that blows the rest away ...
Cottons, linens, wash-n-wear, rinse, and lingerie! 20
I had to have a console just to make my system run.
Without a fancy console, then my system wasn't done.
I tied a ten-buck typer to a broken TV tube,
And now I've got a console that can write the evening news.
I've had my system running, I'll admit its not the best. 25
The data isn't right, and the response time is a mess.
It crashes every hour and it isn't worth a damn,
But I'm satisfied because it runs just like an IBM!
0: The music is very similar to "Macnamara's Band" and can almost be
sung to it. However, if Paul Simon can claim arrangement changes as
an original work, who am I to argue ...
1: This version typed in from non-error-correcting memory. Your lyrics
5: It's depressing to note that of the 8 computer companies listed,
3 are defunct or have been bought out and two more are struggling.
I'm glad I work for HP!
6: In Standard Southern American English, 'thing' rhymes with 'Wang' ...
10: Remember status registers?? Ahh, those were the good old days ...
12: Plugged the freezer into the wires and bulbs and pins so now there's a
box with a fan and lots of lights ... ahh, forget it.
13/14: Audio recording tapes used to be 1/4" wide and come in big spools.
Computer data tape used to be 1/2" wide and come in big spools.
C'mon, I'm not _that_ old, am I? I could have used player piano
rolls and an old fork for a paper tape reader, you know ... oops.
I guess I AM that old.
17: Yes, DISC is spelled with a "C". With a "K", it is short for
"diskette" ... it's my etymology and I'll lie if I want to ...
20: Remember when you could put a MAYTAG label on a 10 Mb disc drive
and fool your mother into thinking the computer room was really a
laundromat? Now a 10 Gb disc drive would be smaller than the MAYTAG
26: Is "data" plural or singular? It's a collective noun, and in American
English a collective noun tends to be singular. However, "data" is
often an exception ...
It really doesn't matter, since "the data aren't right" also scans (for
sufficiently drawn-out pronounciations of "aren't".)
26: Now that I think about it, this line begs for an ST:TNG version --
"You can build a starship from the things you find at home". In that
version, "My Data isn't right" would be correct grammar. Hmm ...
28: Obviously, this is the best line in the song.