This entry (I won’t dignify it with the term “essay”) contains entirely pure unadulterated silliness.

What happened was, I woke up with this idiotic refrain running through my head: “...like you need little teeny hands for milking mice.” I couldn’t figure out where it came from or what it was connected to. Ever resourceful, I typed “milking mice” into Google, and got to http://mammary.nih.gov/tools/mousework/milking-mice/index.html (dig that URL), check it out (really). Anyhow, I dredged up a few more words associated with mouse-milking from the dusty cupboards of memory, and eventually found the poem Little Teeny Eyes, by scifi author Tom Digby, representing a 1966 attempt at computer humor. It is at least fairly unique.

I was thinking of silly phrases that get stuck in the cranium, and remembered “Data Potato.” In about 1988, Google claims that (somewhere on Usenet) I claimed:

Well, this is just a story, picked up from the early days of Usenet...

Story goes that that some little text-edit subsystem of something or other which had very few things that could go wrong had only one error message, used for both user and internal errors:

Data potato doo-wop doo-wop

When pressed for an explanation, the programmer said: "well, I figured it had to print *something* when there was an error."

So I claim not to have invented it, but can’t prove it.


author · Dad · software · colophon · rights
picture of the day
August 03, 2003
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