"BATCH UP YOUR SHELLSCRIPTS"


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(A gender- and preference-free UNIX courting song)

by Daniel P. Dern ddern@world.std.com

Copyright (c) 1994, 1997 Daniel P. Dern

"I care not who writes the Internet's RFCs, so
long as I can keep writing these song parodies."

To the tune of "Brush Up Your Shakespeare" from Cole Porter's KISS ME, KATE, with the usual necessary liberties on scansion and rhyme (and with apologies to BELLCORE and Stratford-on-Avon :-) Thanks also to the many patient Unix gurus who have answered my newbie questions over the years, notably Tony Bono, Ed Frankenberry and Jon Morrison.

--- * ---

Copyright (c) 1994, 1997 Daniel P. Dern. May be freely reposted to mailing lists, Usenet Newsgroups, Web sites, and other free-for-access online sites/forums, providing this notice is intact; all other interested parties please contact author.

--- * ---

[Intro]

The nerds in today's virtual society
Prefer computers and networks to poetry,
So to win their hearts, one must converse with ease
In Visual Basic and Object Oriented C.

But the aphrodisiacest of them yet
For techno-senoritas and techno-senores
Is the language we'd like to forget:
That furshlugginer product of Bell Lab'ratories :-(

So... {dramatic pause}

Batch up your shellscripts,
Starting coding 'em now.
Brush up on your UNIX,
And the hackers you will wow.

WHEN they find you use Bourne shell and C-shell
Your social life suddenly will be swell.
When they find you know Ritchie & Kernigan
Your dates they will want to return again,

When you redirect standard I/O
They will sigh, swoon and say, me o my oh.
Batch up your shellscripts,
And they'll all goto (with you!) [See Note 1]
And they'll all goto.

Chorus:
Batch up your shellscripts
Starting chmoding them now.
Brush up your shellscripts
And they'll all gnu too (man(2)) --
And they'll all gnu too.

JUST use if, test, do while and case statements
And they'll forsake those comp. centers and basements;
Demonstate your sed, awk, or yacc mastery
And being dateless will be in the pastery.

If you pipe, find, grep or pass numbered parameters
It's enough to make most nerds feel amorous.
Brush up your shellscripts,
And they'll all want (so nu?)
And they'll all goto.

IF they say call me sometime next week-o
Show 'em emacs or vi (but not TECO).
If you find their resistance immutable,
Show them shellscripts are like executables.

If you find you're still hopin' and wishin',
Just use chmod to reset their permissions. [See Note 2]
Batch up your shellscripts,
And they'll all goto (with you!)
And they'll all goto.

Chorus:
Batch up your shellscripts
Starting writing 'em now.
Batch up your UNIX,
And the hackers you will wow.

IF they feel it's not worth the venture
Crank up DOOM, nethack, MUD, or Adventure,
Or quote jokes found in rec.humor.funny
(... tell how you flame back each post of Make.Money).

But if they get off by doing a spamlet,
Tell them "Frankly, I don't give a damnlet."
Brush up your shellscripts,
And they'll all goto (So gnu?) --
And they'll all goto.

THERE'S good odds they will say they will be thine
If you sing "I heard it through the grepvine" [See Note 3]
Plan B's try Shakespeare or Cole Porter,
And if these fail, pick a new dear you oughter.
Batch up your shellscripts,
And they'll all goto (wouldn't you?)
And they'll all goto (well, mostly) [See Note 4]
And they'll all goto (od -s -b od ci -ns) [See Note 5]
And they'll all goto.

(written September 1994)

Notes: (obscure UNIX information courtesy of UNIX In a Nutshell for SVR4 and Solaris 2.0, by Daniel Gilly, O'Reilly & Assoc, 1992)

  1. Yes, there is a goto, in csh
  2. This is not to be considered an endorsement of nonconsensual activities; it's only with regard to agreeing to go out with you. Your best bet is to suggest going out for dim sum or sushi.
  3. This couplet DOES scan. There's several ways to do the second line. Enjoy.
  4. "Ah, but you don't go." (Gilbert & Sullivan, "Pirates of Penzance")
  5. The original lyrics have "Ods bodkins" here. od = Octal Debugger; ci is an RCS command. The switch combinations are probably fatal, illegal or both; in this case I don't care and neither should you. Thanks again, UNIX in a Nutshell for this last-minute closing gag.

For more insight into the personality of the computer nerd [hacker, in the original sense], you are advised to read Cliff Stoll's book, THE CUCKOO'S EGG, and to browse through THE NEW HACKER'S DICTIONARY, ed. Eric Raymond.


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Last modified: Tuesday, 16-Oct-2001 11:08:14 EDT