The Sex Life of an Electron

One night when his charge was pretty high, Micro Farad decided to seek a

cute little coil to let him discharge.

He picked up Millie Amp, and took her for a ride on his megacycle. They rode

accross the Wheatstone Bridge, passed by sine the waves and stopped in a

magnetic field by a flowing current.

Micro Farad, attracted by Millies characteristic curves soon had her so

fully charged and excited that her resistance was at a minimum. He laid her

on the ground potential, raised her frequency, and lowered her reluctance.

He pulled out his high voltage probe and inserted it into her socket;

connecting them in parallel. He began short-circuiting her resistance shunt

and the fully excited Millie moaned "ohm, ohm, ohm!"

With his tube operating at a maximum, and her field vibrating with his

current flow, he caused her shunt to overheat and Micro Farad was rapidly

discharged and drained of every free electron.

They fluxed all night, trying various connections, sockets and even tried

some circuit diagrams from a magazine. Their E-M field fluctuated in the

darkness, until Micro's magnet had a soft core, and lost all of its field


Afterwards, Millie tried self- induction and damaged her solenoids. With his

battery fully discharged, Micro was unable to excite her field, so they

reversed polarity, and blew each other's fuses until morning.

The Sex Life of an Electron II

Micro was a real-time operator and a dedicated multi-user. His broadband

protocol made it easy for him to interface with numerous input/output

devices, even if it meant time-sharing.

One evening he arrived home just as the Sun was crashing, and had parked his

Motorola 68000 in the main drive (he had missed the 5100 bus that morning),

when he noticed an elegant piece of liveware admiring the daisy wheels in

his garden. He though to himself, "She looks user-friendly. I'll see if

she'd like an update tonight."

He browsed over to her casually, admiring the power of her twin 32 bit

floating point processors, and inquired, "How are you, Honeywell?" "Yes, I

am well", she responded, batting her optical fibers engagingly and smoothing

her console over her curvilinear functions.

Micro settled for a straight line approximation. "I'm stand-alone tonight",

he said. "How about computing a vector to my base address? I'll output a

byte to eat and maybe we could get offset later on."

Mini ran a priority process for 2.6 milliseconds, then transmitted 8K, "I've

been recently dumped myself and a new page is just what I need to refresh my

disk packs. I'll park my machine cycle in your background and meet you

inside." She walked off, leaving Micro admiring her solenoids and thinking,

"Wow, what a global variable! I wonder if she'd like my firmware?"

They sat down at the process table to a top of form feed of fiche and chips

and a bottle of Baudot. Mini was in conversational mode and expanded on

ambiguous arguments while Micro gave occasional acknowledgements although,

in reality, he was analyzing the shortest and least critical path to her

entry point. He finally settled on the old line, "Would you like to see my

benchmark subroutine?", but Mini was again one clock tick ahead.

Suddenly, she was up and stripping off her parity bits to reveal the full

functionality of her operating system. "Let's get BASIC, you RAM" she said.

Micro was loaded by this stage, but his hardware policing module had a

processor of its own and was in danger of overflowing its output buffer, a

hang-up that Micro had consulted his analyst about. "Core", was all he could

say, as she prepared to log him off.

Micro soon recovered, however, when she went down on the DEC and opened her

device files to reveal her data set ready. He accessed his fully packed root

device and was about to start pushing into her CPU stack, when she attempted 

an escape sequence.

"No, no!" she cried. "You're not shielded!"

"Reset, baby", he replied. "I've been debugged."

"But I haven't got my current loop enabled, and I can't support child processes", she protested.

"Don't run away", he said. "I'll generate an interrupt."

"No!" she squealed. "That's too error prone and I can't abort because of my design philosophy."

But Micro was locked in by this stage and could not be turned off. Mini

stopped his thrashing by introducing a voltage spike into his main supply,

whereupon he fell over with a head crash and went to sleep.

"Computers!" she thought as she compiled herself. "All they ever think of is hex!"