Old Poetry

I really must lose things more often. You find the most interesting stuff when you go looking. Today I found the text of a lecture I gave way back in 1996 to the Business Archives Council Conference. It was based on one of my famous lectures in rhyme. I thought I'd share a bit of it with you. So here, complete with footnoes, is the introduction in all its glory.

Remember this was written a long time ago....

What is the Internet?

It began with the people at DARPA
Who liked to ring doorbells and scarper[1] ,
And worry �bout things,
A Nuclear War brings,
Like if all the �phones would work after...

So they gathered a bunch of young hippies,
The folks who made UNIX so trippy,
And asked for a net,
Which would not get upset,
When the heat made the wires go all drippy.

The network they built up was smashing,
High performance and not prone to crashing,
And quite soon they found,
Lots of traffic around,
On it more and more data went flashing.

So the net was then split into two,
To manage the data going through,
MILNET for the forces,
Their network resources,
And the Internet for me and you.

The name of the game�s co-operation,
With the folks on the next network station,
When data comes in,
You pass it on with a grin,
And no thought of remuneration.

And soon people they started to see,
You could move about data for free,
Just get on to the wire,
And datagrams fire,
Save enough paper to make a tree

It became a hit with academics
They could publish their great big polemics,
And if pigeon post fails,
They could just send emails,
About �Elementary Callisthenics�

Another use that they could choose,
Was to plug themselves into the news,
Not the stuff in the paper,
But a different caper,
With much more individual views.

World Wide Web is the latest new trick,
Sounds and pictures and screens oh so slick.
It�s so easy to put on,
Just press on the button,
Even if you are thick as a brick[2]

So now using networks is hip,
And cool folks all like data to ship,
They go out on dates,
To compare their baud rates,
And the size of their latest equip - ment.

But I don't think that it�s very funny,
That the suits who�ve got all the money,
Look at the net in surprise,
Dollar signs in their eyes,
And make profit predictions all sunny..

And everyone's starting to ponder,
�bout the spell we are presently under,
Will the net just keep growing,
More and more data flowing,
Or is this just a marketing wonder?

[1] If there are any people from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency reading these notes I aplogise for this slur but the rhyme was too good to miss!
[2] ....or even an artist!