A Year Ago Today

It’s all over the news. Today’s the one-year anniversary of the death of Michael Jackson.

I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was in Wildwood, NJ, enjoying some downtime with the family. Wildwood has a seriously long boardwalk, a couple of miles, and we like to walk it when we’re in town.

We were walking the boardwalk when the news hit. Before we reached the end you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting someone hawking t-shirts featuring the news.

Marketing. It’s an amazing beast.

And all you heard about for an unbelievably long time was Michael Jackson. Could have been a nuclear war and you wouldn’t have heard about that, the way everyone went on and on about the dead pop star. Shit, I think they’re still arguing about whatever’s left of his assets.

I take you back to January 1985. Volume 1, Number 1, Issue 1 of NutWorks, “The Inter-Net Virtual Magazine for Those Who Teeter on the Precipice of Insanity”.

Boot It

You’re processing some words when your keyboard goes dead,
Ten pages in the buffer, should have gone to bed,
The system just crashed, but don’t lose your head,
Just BOOT IT, just BOOT IT.

Better think fast, better do what you can,
Read the manual or call your system man,
Don’t want to fall behind in the race with Japan,
So BOOT IT,

Get the system manager to
BOOT IT, BOOT IT,
Even though you’d rather shoot it.
Don’t be upset, it’s only some glitch.
All that you do is flip a little switch.
BOOT IT, BOOT IT,
Get right down and restitute it.
Don’t get excited, all is not lost.
CP/M, UNIX or MS/DOS
Just BOOT IT, boot it, boot it, boot it…

You gotta have your printout for the meeting at two,
The system says your jobs at the head of the queue,
Right then the thing dies but you know what to do,
BOOT IT.

You always get so worried when the system runs slow,
And when it finally crashes, man you feel so low,
But computers make mistakes (they’re only human you know)
So BOOT IT,

Call the local guru to
BOOT IT, BOOT IT,
Go ahead re-institute it.
If you’re not lucky, get the book off the shelf,
But if you are, it’ll do it itself.
BOOT IT, BOOT IT,
Then go find the guy who screwed it!
Operating systems are built to bounce back,
Whether it’s a Cray or a Radio Shack.

BOOT IT! BOOT IT!

So, okay, maybe it ain’t the best song parody you’ve ever seen. But NutWorks – and other virtual publications of the day – are certainly the early Internet ancestors that gave rise to the countless time-sucks you find on the Web today.

Like this blog. Now get back to work.

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