gus, The CS Cat

(* from G.P. Burdell's Book of Practical Profs *)
(* set to music by Donald, Lord WEBer *)


gus is the cat at the 1410 door.
His name, as I ought to have told you before,
Is really Augustus, but that's such a fuss to pronounce
We usually call him just gus.

His coat is quite snappy, his hat is quite neat.
His tales of "big iron" keep you glued to your seat.
He was in his youth quite the smartest of cats,
And now he's a terror to Tech freshmen (the "rats").

But he isn't the hacker he was hacking PR1MEs,
Though his code was quite infamous - he says - in his time.
And whenever he joins his friends at their club,
Which takes place in the depths of the neighboring pub,
He loves to regale them (while someone else pays)
With anecdotes drawn from his balmier days.

Polynomials large, of the highest degree,
He's derived, solved, added, stored in rebalanced trees.
He likes to relate his GOTO-less calls
In state machines studded with tricky pitfalls.
But his greatest debugging, as he loves to tell,
Was binary FORTRAN subroutines gone to hell.

"I've debugged, in my time, every possible PROC,
I've cross-compiled seventy languages ad hoc.
I'd extemporize hashes, raw disks I'd de-frag,
And I'd flawlessly 'cat>>' to implement bags.
Circular queue handling, from head to tail,
With tail-end recursal, I never would fail.
My data compression could triple tape carts."

Undisputed master of programming arts!

If someone should give him a toothful of gin,
He'll tell how he hand-built /usr/bin.
For profiling performance he disdains prfstat,
But when the code runs, hold on to your hat.

"And I say, now, these freshmen, they do not get trained,
As we did in the days when Assembler reigned.
They never get drilled in big project groups,
And they think they are smart just to iterate loops. (Hah!)"

And he says, unifying another Horn clause,
"Programming is certainly not what it was.
Yacc grammar productions are all very well,
But there's nothing to equal (from what I hear tell)
The command-line history when I cracked the mystery
Of binary FORTRAN subroutines gone to hell."

END. (* Gus, The CS Cat *)

-Lawrence Drew Davis

Last Modified: June 6, 1995 by Annie Antón (