Where Does All Lost Data Go?

Once upon a midnight dreary, fingers cramped and vision bleary,
System manuals piled two feet high and wasted paper on the floor,
Longing for the warmth of bedsheets, still I sat there, doing spreadsheets.
Having reached the bottom line, I took a new disk from the drawer.
I then invoked the SAVE command and waited for the disk to store,
Only this and nothing more.

Deep into the monitor peering, long I sat there, wond'ring, fearing,
Doubting, while the disk kept churning, turning yet to churn some more.
"Save!" I said, but louder now, "Save my data from before!"
But the silence was unbroken and the stillness gave no token.
One thing did the phosphors answer, only this and nothing more,
Simply, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

Was this some occult illusion?  Some maniacal intrusion?
These were choices undesired, ones I'd never faced before.
Carefully, I weighed the choices as the disk made impish noises.
The cursor flashed, insistent, waiting, baiting me to type some more.
Clearly I must press a key, choosing one and nothing more,
From, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

With my fingers pale and trembling, slowly toward the keyboard bending,
Longing for a happy ending, hoping all would be restored,
Praying for some guarantee, timidly I pressed a key.
But on the screen there still persisted words appearing as before.
Ghastly grim they blinked and taunted, haunted, as my patience wore,
Saying only, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

I tried to catch the chips off-guard, I pressed again, but twice as hard.
Pleading with the cursed machine, I begged and cried and then I swore.
Now in mighty desperation, trying random combinations,
Still there came the incantation, just as senseless as before.
Cursor blinking, angrily winking, blinking nonsense as before,
Reading simply, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

There I sat, distraught, exhausted, by my own machine accosted,
Getting up, I turned away and paced across the office floor.
And then I saw a dreadful sight: a lightning bolt cut through the night.
A gasp of horror overtook me, shook me to my very core.
The lightning zapped my previous data, lost and gone forevermore.
Not even, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

To this day, who really knows the place to which lost data goes?
What demonic nether world is wrought where data will be stored
Into bottomless black holes, beyond the reach of mortal souls?
But sure as there's Pascal, Lotus, Aston-Tate and many more,
You will one day be left to wander, lost on some Plutonian shore,
Pleading to, "Abort, Retry, Ignore?"

-- Author Unknown

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