Rosemary Kramer

Like Steve Kauder and Denise Praizler, Rosemary Kramer took VSI when HP offered it in late 1992. Rosemary had come to the Learning Products group from Marcom (Marketing Communications) when that department was dissolved, so while Rosemary had experience with promotional writing, she was not at all experienced with technical writing or technical things in general (hence, much of the poem below is to be read with a tone of irony). As you can imagine, it was quite a shock for shy, meek, unassuming Rosemary to come into our department: she had to write technical things, and to do that, it sure helps to understand it. It was either sink or swim.

In order to realize her crash-course of technical learning, Rosemary took classes on UNIX system administration, and became one of our department's System Administrators (SAMs). Most of the writers used the Emacs editor (the only alternative was vi), and Rosemary had a recurring problem of starting multiple Emacs processes, and editing the same file from two or more of them, causing no end of confusion and frequent file collisions. When VSI was offered, it was almost with relief that she took it.

A bit of terminology: "Cache Creek" was the codename for an on-line documentation display engine we were using at the time (this was similar to, and soon eclipsed by, the worldwide web). Also, UNIX geeks will notice many UNIX commands mentioned below. Enjoy.

(back to "Farewell Poems" Table of Contents)

Eulogy for Rosemary
Copyright 1993 David Arns

When you look for a book you desire to read,
One you can hardly put down,
One that is Classic material indeed,
For which "gem" is a suitable noun,
We recommend highly Starbase Device Drivers;
Our very own Rosemary wrote it.
And if she keeps working as much as she's done,
You'll require a forklift to tote it.

See, Rosemary's in her own element here
Doing technical documentation.
Like Jay, she got excessed from Marcom (oh, dear!)
And decided to change her vocation.
Well, we took the advantage of Marcom's demise
And Rosemary's qualification,
We hired her--what a magnificent prize!--
To do. . . system administration.

She tackled the bull by its horns, as they say,
And dove in with hesitant fervor,
Then decided to take a Sys Admin class,
To learn about client and server.
Well, she may have heard more than she wanted to know
In the lectures on administration,
With Korn Shell and grep, and cpio,
And other syllabifications.

She learned about C Shell and uucp,
TTYs and the details of scripting,
She learned about shar and about ftp,
And export laws as to encrypting.
And when they came back from the lunch-hour break,
She could hardly wait to return,
To hear about awk and mailx and compress
And others she wanted to learn.

Well, Rosemary, she became one of our SAMs,
And then, in her spare time, did writing.
She's very prolific when it comes to words
(Except when with Emacs she's fighting).
She also did testing of some of our books,
Most notably, PEX from O'Reilly,
She tested our Cache-Creekized version of same,
Then reported her findings quite shyly.

But here, we have yet one more VSI-taker,
She's thinking she wants to move on.
She's leaving, like Steve and Denise and Rick Mayes
And John Woods and Diana and Shawn.
I certainly hope, for the sake of our group,
That more people don't just up and leave,
Or the lab will be having us jumping through hoops
Day and night, with no hope of reprieve!

(back to "Farewell Poems" Table of Contents)