The Corpus Callosum

Eulogy for a Mainframe


The University of Manitoba finally decomissioned its mainframe,
Betelgeuse, after 47 years of faithful service.
 The IT folks were so
touched, they held a New Orleans-style jazz funeral for the thing.

Here’s the eulogy:

For forty-seven years you’ve
served us well, you cast us in your green spell. You processed
transactions without complaint, we’ve asked the Pope to make you a

The users you were always
able to please, with a little training they could enter with ease, all
the data they needed in 2 or 3 screens instead of the 57 in VIP.

And getting data was easy in
IMS, there were six hundred reports in the RS. And Finance was easy
with FRGLA, in the time when the mainframe held sway.

And the programmers they had
all the tools they need, Easytrieve and COBOL made programming a
breeze. And Mantes were there to manage the files, and to help with
debugging if it wouldn’t compile.

Now gone are the punch cards
and card readers of yore, and mainframe computers that used up the
whole floor. With tape drive controllers and large stacks of tapes,
that kept operators scrambling all over the place.

Farewell IMS, we’ll remember
you well. After forty-seven years, there are many stories to tell. Like
when Tel Reg nearly shut down MTS, and when the Y2K bug put us under

You helped us achieve our
academic objectives, and gave our admin processes a proper perspective.
But now we must lay you under the flora, because we have to go deal
with this bloody Aurora.

So we commit your parts to be
Earth to Earth
Ashes to Ashes
Dust to Dust

To the god of computers,
please bless it and keep it
And give it grace and peace
But please do not resurrect it.



  1. #1 Coturnix
    December 18, 2007

    December 20th?

  2. #2 Joseph j7uy5
    December 20, 2007

    Yeah, thanks for pointing that out.

  3. #3 Dave Briggs
    December 21, 2007

    I can see how they got so emotional! I got in on the PC revolution and was in it for years. I taught hundreds of people how to use their computers from scratch and got to see them become so emotionally attached over the years that you would think the machine was a family member or something! LOL! Of course, I am just as vulnerable as anyone. :~)
    Dave Briggs :~)

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