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Geek Haiku


Haiku is a mode of Japanese poetry, the late 19th century revision by Masaoka Shiki of the older hokku,the opening verse of a linked verse form, haikai no renga. The traditional hokku consisted of a pattern of approximately 5, 7, 5 on. The Japanese word on, meaning “sound”, corresponds to a mora, a phonetic unit similar but not identical to the syllable of a language such as English. (The words onji, (“sound symbol”) or moji (character symbol) are also sometimes used.) A haiku contains a special season word (the kigo) representative of the season in which the renga is set, or a reference to the natural world.

Haiku usually combines three different phrases, with a distinct grammatical break, called kireji, usually placed at the end of either the first five or second seven or last five morae. In Japanese, there are actual kireji words. In English, kireji is often repaced with commas, hyphens, elipses, or implied breaks in the haiku. These elements of the older haiku are considered by many to be essential to haiku as well, although they are not always included by modern writers of Japanese “free-form haiku” and of non-Japanese haiku. Japanese haiku are typically written as a single line, while English language haiku are traditionally separated into three lines.

And here they are, your “English version Haiku” Computer error messages.

Three things are certain:
Death, taxes, and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.

A crash reduces
your expensive computer
to a simple stone.

Everything is gone;
Your life’s work has been destroyed.
Squeeze trigger (yes/no)?

I’m sorry, there’s – um –
insufficient – what’s-it-called?
The term eludes me …

Windows NT crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams.

Seeing my great fault
Through darkening blue windows
I begin again

The code was willing,
It considered your request,
But the chips were weak.

Printer not ready.
Could be a fatal error.
Have a pen handy?

A file that big?
It might be very useful.
But now it is gone.

Errors have occurred.
We won’t tell you where or why.
Lazy programmers.

Server’s poor response
Not quick enough for browser.
Timed out, plum blossom.

Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.

Login incorrect.
Only perfect spellers may
enter this system.

This site has been moved.
We’d tell you where, but then we’d
have to delete you.

wind catches lily
scatt’ring petals to the wind:
segmentation fault

A thousand flower petals
writhe in the wind –
disk C: not found.

The Tao that is seen
Is not the true Tao – until
You bring fresh toner.

ABORTED effort:
Close all that you have.
You ask way too much.

First snow, then silence.
This thousand dollar screen dies
so beautifully.

With searching comes loss
and the presence of absence:
“My Novelle” not found.

The Web site you seek
cannot be located but
endless others exist

I will tell you
What doomed your printer
– if you first get a pen.

Stay the patient course
Of little worth is your ire
The network is down

There is a chasm
of carbon and silicon
the software can’t bridge

Yesterday it worked
Today it is not working
Windows is like that

To have no errors
Would be life without meaning
No struggle, no joy

You step in the stream,
but the water has moved on.
This page is not here.

No keyboard present
Hit F1 to continue
Zen engineering?

Hal, open the file
Hal, open the damn file, Hal
open the, please Hal

Out of memory.
We wish to hold the whole sky,
But we never will.

Having been erased,
The document you’re seeking
Must now be retyped.

The ten thousand things
How long do any persist?
Netscape, too, has gone.

Rather than a beep
Or a rude error message,
These words: “File not found.”

And finally, my favorite….

Serious error.
All shortcuts have disappeared.
Screen. Mind. Both are blank.

Fabulously, ThinkGeek is holding monthly geek haiku contests now, where the winning entry wins $50! Click here to learn more. Some prevous winners, shamelessly nicked from ThinkGeek:

— Ed in Logan, Utah

Execute Spybot,
Please click Ni to continue.
Damn Trojan Rabbits
— Julian in Black Mesa, City 17

Droning on and on
Talking about the atom
What an awful Bohr.
— Michael in Johnston, Rhode Island

jIba’ Quo’nos-daq
qeqtaHvIS tIQqu’ lurDech:
tlhIngan Haiku!
I sit here on Quo’nos
Practicing the ancient tradition:
Klingon Haiku.
— Dale in Redding, California

Pi day celebrates
An irrational number.
Pi is not a lie.
— Anne in Elwood, Australia

Net Neutrality
Keep the Man off my bandwidth
Don’t throttle me, bro.
— Eric in Lincoln, Nebraska

The next big idea
Will soon sweep across the net
Oh, it just finished.
— Gilmore in Melbourne, Australia

More important than knowledge
Great example: LOST
— Brandon in Hinesville, Georgia

Hot Anime Girls
Never Gonna Give You Up
No! Not Rick Astley!
— Lauren, White Bear Lake, Minnesota

Developer Zen:
“Ignore this error message.”
What do I do now?
— Stephen in Deerfield, Massachusetts

One Two Seven Dot
Zero Dot Zero Dot One
There’s no place like home.
— Martin in Bedford, United Kingdom

Your razor-sharp wit
Can never stand up to my
— Anna in St. Louis, Missouri

Chekov in the bay
searching hard for some space fuel
Nuclear wessels
— Jay in Murfreesboro, Tennessee

I bit a zombie.
it was ironic but the
taste was terrible.
— Blake in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Learn from the Jedi.
Discipline, control, respect.
Dangerous muppet.
— Patrick in Anaheim, California

Packets of photons
Streaming by our planet’s sky
their address divine
— Michaline in Chicago Illinois

Hum of computer
Torrenting throughout the night
Don’t forget to seed.
— Michael from Houston, Texas

ThinkGeek plastic bag
Promises a monkey’s breath
Much like cake is lie.
— Andy in Core, West Virginia

Steaming hot laptop
On my boyfriend’s lap becomes
Form of birth control.
— Hana in The Shire, Middle Earth

I can’t do haiku
I will always get them wrong
Oh, wait. Never mind.
— Randy in Bradley, Illinois

run ThinkGeekHaiku
Segmentation fault (core dumped)
I hate debugging
— Aaron in Simi Valley, California

About the author


I'm a tech nerd from NY/CA now living in Lisbon, Portugal. I run Grokability, Inc, and run several open source projects, including Snipe-IT Asset Management. Tweet at me @snipeyhead, skeet me at, or read more...

By snipe
Snipe.Net Geeky, sweary things.

About Me

I'm a tech nerd from NY/CA now living in Lisbon, Portugal. I run Grokability, Inc, and run several open source projects, including Snipe-IT Asset Management. Tweet at me @snipeyhead, skeet me at, or read more...

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