Mainframe Halloween 2002

Pumpkin Carving Contest

First, the pumpkins. This year's theme was Movies, again with a random draw. As always, we had an hour from start to finish.

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These poor buggers drew Ronin and tied for third place.

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Speed also tied for third. Personally, this was my favouite. The bus is actually suspended from the ceiling.

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The Iron Giant won second place. It was better when the eyes were lit up.

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And, finally, Software's winning pumpkin, Aliens. Damn, did we get lucky with the draw or what?

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Here's a closeup of our cute little chest burster.

Space Decoration

Well, there was no contest for decorations this year, but I managed to convince everyone to do a little decoration anyway. The suitably geeky theme? Wireframe!

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The sign on the door (Ooo! Spooky date and time!).

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Most of the decorating was done with paint on masking tape or flourescent tape.

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The skeleton makes a reappearance.

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Primitive spheres.

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The sacrificial phone (Mr. Elsdon was not pleased that it was actually painted...).

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I was pretty anal about this desk lamp, wasn't I?

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Our Poem on the white board.

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The Software

Once upon a deadline dreary, while I keyframed, weak and weary,
Motions of some quaint and curious characters of pop culture lore -
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a sad "ping!"
As a warning of a bad thing - bad thing that was soon in store.
"'Tis some minor glitch," I muttered, "only this and nothing more."
Quoth the software, "Dumping core."

Through the night I kept on tweaking, points and weights until repeating
Each and every operation on the envelope I swore
Would take a lifetime, for you see, never had the likes of me,
Toiled away so expertly, with skill I hadn't felt before
And when I tried to save perfection, which I hadn't saved before,
Quoth the software, "Dumping core."

My conceit it was evolving to frustration at not solving
This dilemma my perfection seemed unable to explore.
Surely I would be triumphant o'er this problem running rampant;
I could not envision failure knocking at this artist's door.
Perhaps I was just imag'ning this response my software bore;
Surely mine would not dump core.

As I sat there gently cursing, in my tired mind rehearsing
How to spill this machine's lifeblood out upon the floor,
While I plotted nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping - rapping at my Avid door.
"'Tis the cleaning staff," I muttered, "tapping at my Avid door -
Only this and nothing more."

"Enter," muttered I with sadness, "cleanse the Avid of this madness,
This infernal software crashing is the fate I most abhor,
You, with cleaning products dumping, and that Windex bottle pumping,
Might be able to wash clean the awful mem'ry of this core."
But as I rose from my position, turned and opened wide the door,
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into the hallway peering, long I stood there, ranting, reeling,
Calling for those cleaning products in the Avid to outpour,
But there was noone to assist me, and as darkness did resist me
I gathered strength, spoke to myself: "I must this mystery explore
Surely now my scene will save like so many times before."
Quoth the software, "Dumping core."

As I shouted incantations brought about by my frustrations
At the loss of wonders to some viewers on a distant shore
I implored the software, "Why, ev'ry single time I try
Simple operations I don't get results I got before?
And will I ever get to see the world that waits outside my door?"
Quoth the software, "Nevermore."



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