A visit from St. Geek

IT consultant Chip Camden offers a techy take on the classic holiday poem 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.

'Twas the night before Christmas (or "holiday break")

But I was still working — I kicked off a rake.

Secure shells were placed on my desktop with care,

So no one could sniff what I typed away there.

My clients' hot issues were all put to bed,

But what those had preempted still caused me to dread.

So I in my bathrobe ('twas cold in that room)

Had just settled down for a long game of Doom.

When out on the WAN there arose such a mess

I thought that it must be a DDoS!

Away to the firewall I flew like Jet Li

Denied all incoming, even SMTP.

But as I more closely inspected each packet,

I realized with awe what was causing the racket:

A download! What format? I couldn't have known it

But I found it included a textual component:

"Now JavaScript! Perl! Now Python and Ruby!

On Haskell! on Clojure! on Scala and Groovy!

To the Web-facing site, to the edge firewall,

Now bash away, bash away, bash away all!"

The download completed, though I tried to abort,

And a little man popped out a USB port!

His glasses — how thick! His gut — a real softy!

And his beard was all stained with cold pizza and coffee.

He was nerdy and plump, a right jolly old geek,

Though he smelled like he hadn't had a bath in a week.

He spoke not a word, but went right ahead

He wiped off all Windows, installed *nix instead

The software I'd need, he downloaded it all

(Still using less space than a fresh Win install).

In the USB port he inserted his thumb

And vanished right into it the way he had come

But I heard him exclaim, ere I even had missed 'im

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good system!

With sincere apologies to Clement C. Moore, or whomever wrote the original version.

And a hat tip to Jeff Dray for the inspiration.

Note: This post was originally published on December 17, 2008.

By Chip Camden

Chip Camden has been programming since 1978, and he's still not done. An independent consultant since 1991, Chip specializes in software development tools, languages, and migration to new technology. Besides writing for TechRepublic's IT Consultant b...