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Haiku Error Messages

Editor's Note: The other day, I found a Usenet post that declared "Imagine if instead of cryptic, geeky text strings, your computer produced error messages in Haiku..." and it included a neat list of japanese-style three-line Poems (See Alexey Andreyev's Definition of Haiku if you want to know more about this style of poetry).

After some investigation I found out that most of these Haiku were submissions to the Haiku Error Messages Contest run by Salon Magazine. When they published the Results of the Haiku Error Messages Challenge, the Haiku were quickly distributed all over the 'net, as recounted in the Salon article The case of the hijacked haiku. Other people invented more Haiku - for instance I have also included those found at John Hamer's page Some entries for an error message haiku contest. This page collects all haiku that I've found. I've included proper attribution where it was available, so I hope everybody's happy.


I ate your Web page.
Forgive me. It was juicy
And tart on my tongue.

- unknown


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

- David J. Liszewski


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

- Joy Rothke


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

- Suzie Wagner


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

- Mike Hagler


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

- Simon Firth


With searching comes loss
and the presence of absence:
"My Novel" not found.

- Howard Korder


The Tao that is seen
is not the true Tao, until
you bring fresh toner.

- Bill Torcaso


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

- Peter Rothman


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

- David Ansel


A crash reduces
your expensive computer
to a simple stone.

- James Lopez


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

- Margaret Segall


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

- David Dixon


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

- Cass Whittington


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

- Francis Heaney


Having been erased,
the document you're seeking
must now be retyped.

- Judy Birmingham


Rather than a beep
or a rude error message,
these words: "File not found."

- Len Dvorkin


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

- Ian Hughes


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

- Charlie Gibbs


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

- David Carlson


Seeing my great fault
Through darkening blue windows
I begin again

- Chris Walsh


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

- Barry L. Brumitt


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

- Pat Davis


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

- Nick Sweeney


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

- Rahul Sonnad


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

- Brian M. Porter


No keyboard present
Hit F1 to continue
Zen engineering?

- Jim Griffith


I'm sorry, there's -- um --
insufficient -- what's-it-called?
The term eludes me ...

- Owen Mathews


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

- Rik Jespersen


Login incorrect.
Only perfect spellers may
enter this system.

- Jason Axley


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

- Charles Matthews


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

- Jennifer Jo Lane


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

- Jason Willoughby


New hardware was found.
Please insert new driver disk.
Could have bought a MAC.

- unknown


control, alt, delete
digital hari-kiri
three-fingered salute

- Chuck Powell


many fingers clicking
screens are full of letters
what is their meaning?

- Hope Maxwell-Snydery


Mailer Daemon speaks:
Returned mail: User unknown
Unknown are we all

- unknown


Expression police!
An illegal expression
Has been committed.

- unknown


Infinity is
Attainable when users
Divide by zero

- unknown


Water spills downwards.
Electric stream cascades sparks.
Data flow ceases.

- Cheryl Walker


Spring will come again,
But it will not bring with it
Any of your files.

- Cheryl Walker


The action you took
Severed hope of connection
With the Internet.

- Cheryl Walker


Memory shaken,
The San Andreas of all
Invalid page faults.

- Cheryl Walker


Sorrow in my heart,
Bad sectors on your hard drive,
Dead leaves on the ground.

- Cheryl Walker


Path does not exist.
He who travels without bounds
Can't locate data.

- Cheryl Walker


The blue screen of death,
Fatal to OS; take the time
to gaze at blue sky.

- Cheryl Walker


The blue screen of death,
Fatal exception to your
Desire to surf.

- Cheryl Walker


Something has gone wrong.
Format your disk, because this
Error won't help you.

- Cheryl Walker


Technical support
Would be a flowing source of
Sweet commiseration.

- Cheryl Walker


Far-off, placid moon.
Seek such quiet and distance.
There you'll find your files.

- Cheryl Walker


Your work has vanished.
Please Abort, Retry, Ignore.
Weep not bitter tears.

- Loren DeLaOsa


Fatal exception.
Code has looped upon itself
like the coiled serpent.

- Loren DeLaOsa


This pretty blue screen
warns of dark inner turmoil.
Apply service pack.

- Loren DeLaOsa


An old CPU
A new program is loaded
The sound of crashing

- unknown


Blackbirds, cockroaches, computers,
all are the same,
but older now

- John S. Benjamin


Computer won’t boot?
Observe this most ancient rule:
Plug the machine in.

- Miriam Solon


Not a pretty sight
When the web dies screaming loud
The site is not found.

- NetPositive



Auswege: Impressum, Haftungsausschluß, Datenschutz, Humor im Internet, meine Homepage.
Links: Imprint, Humor on the Internet, my homepage.

Thomas Bätzler,
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