Your Hard Disk drive's inner workings as poetry

Here is a poem I wrote, when a disk drive electronics design engineer at Shugart, about the inner workings of a disk drive; written using the experimental INSCRIBE cognitive engine I created (see Inscribe Cup ).

by J E D CLINE 6/13/84

Shining like a mechanical jewel

The tortured metal and plastic shapes

Were bound unwillingly together

By man and machine. And now, the

Conscripted shapes silently await,

Like a statue frozen, the

Awakening pulse of electric life

To throb in it's copper veins,

Energizing mechanical muscles....

Then, TURN-ON!

A twirling whirl goes to a filmy disk

Of micromagnets, sending them hurtling

Past a special place: a read/write head

With magnetic maw that sometimes

Shouts and sometimes listens

To the concensus of the

Scurrying horde of magnetic domains.

The gaping maw jumps back and forth,

Then lies in wait for the call of

The one it seeks.

Here they come! The earthquake rattle

Of ten thousand dancing domains in a

Chorus line, all spread their energy

To the hungry ferrite eye, then take it

Back again, escaping.

Their rock-and-roll dance is

Patiently watched over,

Then finally the familiar notes

Of the sought sector comes on scene.

The throbbing beat is announced,

And its repeating rhythm forms a

Trellis of time supporting the

Melodious string of data notes.

Stronger now and square, the

Marching line of ones and zeros

Triumphantly emerge as information,

Reborn to live in the halls of

Mankind's busyness.

But there comes a time in the life of bits,

When the world tires of them, and

Prepares to send their progenitive essence

To ferrite crypts. The chosen ones, the

Lucky bits, herd into groups, then file

Courageously singley into the iron maiden.

The ferrite's searching eye,

Having found the assigned shelf

In the filmy store, grabs each

Brave bit in turn, transforming

It in an instant into a torrent

Of current, rushing first one way

Then the other. This river of

Excitement pours through copper swirls,

And their waves of motion stir concerted

Flux in flying ferrite glider.

The flux strikes a barrier!

A gap to be crossed in an

Exhuberant flurry and shout,

And leaves magnetic footprints by

Overturnings in the domains below,

In the filmy land of time's sleep.

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