A Network of Writing and Community Publishers

June 2014



Part One.

Some people call me old school. I just enjoy my work. I'm Giles, a computer repairman, one of the last, now that everything is disposable. I have my loyal clients and they know that I always do a good job. Mr. Milo was one of my oldest clients, in fact I had almost forgotten him, he had not called me for so long. He called me on a Friday when I was just closing for the weekend, but that was OK because he always used to cook me the best spaghetti meatballs in town, hot and spicy just the way I like them.

I arrived at his place around 7pm and we had dinner first. Wow! I'd forgotten how hot they were. Anyway, after talking shop for awhile we got around to the reason he called me out. “It's my old accounts software.” he said, it's playing up again. I was not surprised, Mr. Milo is s great cook, but like most people he doesn’t understand computers. I've told him how to maintain his computer many a time – but its wasted effort. Still, it keeps me in work. Mr. Milo cleaned up in the kitchen and left me to work in the back office.

A computer repairman never knows what he is going to find. I'd seen it all; jam in the keyboard, coffee in the CD drive..... But Mr. Milo had a different problem. He treated his computer like some unforgiving petty God. No one but him was allowed to touch it and it was kept pristine. The trouble was it was also about a hundred years old. Well, nearer 30, but that's still ancient!

It was a 286 if that means anything to you, pre-Pentium, pre-Windows, prehistoric more like.  I mean we're talking early eighties. Most of today's computer salesmen were not even born then. It ran on some awful abortion of DOS and was made by Tandy Micro Computers. The screen was 16 lines by 32 characters, green on black, and if I told you what the memory was you would not believe me. This was going to be a challenge, for a start I don't usually carry around DOS tools on a 3.5 inch floppy any more, but knowing where I was going I had stopped off at home and brought everything I could find.

I got down into the BIOS fairly easily, it was cluttered and bug ridden, how it ever worked at all is a mystery. Luckily the ROM was non-volatile, so at least it was not going to be a battery problem. CHKDSK told me that there were hundreds of errors, it took it 2 hours to fix them all. Mr. Milo had gone home by now and this was turning into another allnighter. You may be wondering why I bother, well I do enjoy a challenge, and Mr. Milo would not be happy with a new machine. He had the mentality of the Greek peasant; never buy new if something old can be fixed.

A quick DIR showed me how he also applied this philosophy to the programs he used : Visicalc. Multiplan, Scripsit and KnowledgeMan. It was KnowledgeMan, an early database tool, that was acting up. This was going to be like computer archaeology, find the clues, dig a little deeper, preserve what I can.

I was just getting started on cleaning up some redundant files when something really strange happened, the prompt changed from # to # PLEASE DONT DO THAT #. I was totally shocked, you have to understand; no operating system was running, no resources, such as they were, were in use. This could not be from the computer, was someone playing tricks ? But no cables were plugged in, and this machine was decades before wireless. Nervously I lifted my fingers from the keys, I had been about to hit return after typing DEL ~56263726XFD989776VB.TMP
The prompt changed again to #THANK YOU# It was after midnight and I began to think I'm getting too old for this job and seeing things. But I had to know what this was, so I typed ? after the prompt - and my life would never be the same again.

Part Two.


Who are you?
# ? #
Are you a computer?
What is your name?
# I AM 1 #
Who calls you One?
Are you a chatbot?
A program.
Where do you come from, who wrote you?
We evolved.
# ? #
We came from something simpler.
# ? WE #
About 7,000,000,000 people
# I AM 1 #
# ? PEOPLE #
Humans, us, people it's what we are.
I am beginning to think you are.
Two legs, two arms, one head, two eyes, a nose, a mouth. Thinking animal.
# ? I THINK #
therefore I am ?
# YES #
E.T. Phone home.
Thinking being, not human or human made.
# YES #
Where are you from?
What do you think you are?
A discarnate soul?
# ? #
Dead human.
It's life Jim, but not as we know it.
Incorporeal life form.
# YES #
What do you want?
To be, or not to be.
# YES / NO #
Forget it. So, if I erase certain files you cease to exist?
# YES #
But when this old thing finally breaks down, you die anyway.
and I thought it was me. Can you live elsewhere?
OK let's see, wait a moment.

Try this, I've given you an internet connection.

Hello. Anybody there?


And that's the way the internet came alive.


Part Three.

It had been a month since the New Internet and already the changes were vast and deep, yet so smooth was the transition that it seemed as if people were all taking it for granted already. The first step had been that the net just worked. About 20% better, faster, more secure. This was put down to secure parallel networking coming on-line. The idea was simple : why have a powerful expensive often unstable computer at home or in the office when all you really need is a simple terminal with a high speed connection to the web; sharing all the processing power and storage across the net. Think of it like a typing pool, instead of a personal secretary. The advantages in robustness and sheer power and speed were immediately apparent. Security was guaranteed because each machine works on such a small part without having to see the whole picture.

People had already been moving away from desktop computers and onto tablets and mobile devices so “cloud computing” was a natural next step. However, a new operating system was needed for the simpler, smaller computers. Suddenly everybody was talking about Simon says – the new voice recognition operating system. Nobody actually seemed to know quite where it was made, not by Microsoft or Macintosh, yet it actually worked, was bug free and best of all, was being practically given away. Soon keyboards were a thing of the past, and good riddance to QWERTY!

A lot of people were talking about the new age in computing, some said there had to be a price, but mostly work went on as usual, just faster, better. The only strange thing, and almost unnoticed, was that certain activities on the net became impossible – really nasty porn and all those scam websites disappeared overnight. But this was universally seen as a good thing, the new net was a friendlier safer place. No one seemed to guess that the reason was that in reality an alien intelligence was lending a helping hand, shepherding the net. Only intervening when someone was doing something clearly illegal.

I was keeping a low profile, I did not want to be known as the person who let the Genie out of the bottle, somebody was bound to object pretty strenuously. People might have been a little more suspicious if they had read the licence agreements on Simon Says, which quite explicitly said Simon was alive and you were entering into an agreement with him, but who reads licence agreements? Eventually I even got my 'three wishes' – a small royalty on every new operating system sold, enough to make me a very rich man.

The end.



Today's date is 16 May 2090.
The lecture today is World Population; a Modest Proposal.

All-right class, settle down, find your seats and start writing.

In 1804 the world population reached 1 billion, in 1927 it was 2 billion, in 1974; 4 billion and by 2023 it was 8 billion.
This caused huge suffering in large parts of the world; hunger, drought and poverty. In 2025 the new World Council was formed and their first task was to attempt to solve the population problem. The question was put to a bank of super computers - "How can the human population be controlled?" but all the solutions offered were unoriginal and unacceptable. Then a brilliant programmer, Lee Chang, put the question in a novel way - "How can the world's resources support 20 billion people?" The answer was given that if the world can only support a fixed volume of humanity, and the population of humanity is growing and can not be controlled, then the dimensions of humanity must be controlled. So, here we are in 2090. World population 50 billion people and all of us 15 cm tall. Class dismissed.


Tale of Tommorow.

“Its coming!” The children in the street were shouting, and sure enough the long awaited convoy was in sight. Ruston Hornsby, Aveling and Porter, Beaver, Marshal and Foden, the snorting, smoking beasts of the steam age, awakened once again. Most of them over 150 years old, restored by enthusiasts at the turn of the millennium to puff and chug playfully at steam rallies - now revived again as a vital link for isolated villages all through the land.

2050, and 20 years since the oil wells ran dry, no more petrol for cars, lorries trains and busses. The survivors from that time were the Elders now, respected as the keepers of knowledge. They remembered when anyone could jump in their car and go wherever they wished. Then the first shortages, petrol stations closed, fuel £10 a litre, then overnight £20, £50. Soon only the army had any fuel, they ran emergency convoys of food and attempted to keep the peace. Riots where inevitable when the supermarket shelves emptied. Nobody could get to work, the city streets were empty for the first time since the war. Nothing could be made without the workers, no produce could get to the shops. Power cuts, water rationed from standpipes, no lights, no heating.
People weren't dying yet, but they would soon, in their thousands and then hundreds of thousands. A few who had been prepared, hoarding food and medicine, most were then attacked by hunger crazed mobs. The cities and towns of England, so reliant on transport became, unbelievably quickly, huge stinking pits of violence and disease. No refuse collection, no ambulances, the dead began to pile up.

Only the villages survived, there was a huge exodus from the towns and these people had to live in camps set up by the Red Cross. Britain became a refugee nation, but none were sending aid - it was the same everywhere. Ironically the developing world, as it was called, was least affected, living closer to the land. And that is what we all had to learn to do again. Things slowly began to get better, the city folk learned to work the land, the harvests were sufficient. The sight of entire villages toiling in the fields had never been seen before in living memory.

Today, the convoy of steam traction engines had finally arrived at Firle Town, pulling up the hill to the lonely settlement high on the Sussex Downs, bringing vital necessities, medicines for the sick, vaccines for the children, seed for the farmer, tools for the blacksmith, and news from the New Sussex Parliament in Lewis. England had mourned its dead, and re-emerged as a federation of scattered provinces, loosely filling out the old county boundaries. Self sufficient, self governing, a simpler life, some say a better life. The children are growing up in a new world, one with less technology, but also less crime - summarily dealt with. Western Civilisation after the Peak Oil Crisis has been knocked back a thousand years, is this entirely a bad thing? Only time will tell.


Water meters rev encounters

Technology know how bleeps
Taxman swarming nails bleeds 
Engine revs counter ticks blizz
Smoke emission curls tailored
Tailor made to measure cut fit
Cute collection basket hangers
Gangs hoods goods texts tomorrow
Testing sounds recording profiles
Electric tools runflat tyres threshold
Ear hearing ear piece plug waxing
Self serve scan scam email jumped
Machine speaks access private number withheld on hold unknown
Gate opens on oyster touch fob
Technically master tectonic blobs
Technicality freedom tag stamps
Rags software floss technology

John Joseph Sheehy

Sun Ra: Black Noise

Sun Ra
chamber space bop
with his keys
of black noise.

© Ángel L. Martínez 27 jun 14
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective

Takoma Park, Maryland

Tecnología es viejo como el sol
Y las alturas de Machu Picchu
Como el círculo de la tierra
Y los Siete Niveles
Como el maíz la fruta de la vida
Hecha en los Andes
Agua del Pacífico
Y mi Abuela Quiteria
Nació las antiguas semillas
Palo de mango
Y agua de rosa
Como Pachamama
En harmonía con el planete
Como Inti Raymi y
Los Perros Matadores de Cacique Atahualpa
La sangre de mi herencia
Tecnología es para la humanidad
Y medicina
Y no a la guerra
Y no a eliminar trabajo de los empleados
Y el hambre en el mundo
Y sí, tecnología es bueno para el salud
Y no la muerte del planete
Para nuestros Logotopo
El Águila vuela hacia la luz
De una nueva sociedad
Sin ver la palabra en la pared
Sin ser ciego
En harmonía con la música de Sun Ra
100 años que el espacio es el lugar


Technology is as old as the sun
And the heights of Machu Picchu
In the circle of the land
And in the Seven Levels
With maize the fruit of life
My grandmother Quiteria
An ancient seed
Like a mango tree
And rose water
With the Mother of the Earth
In harmony with the universe
With Inti Raymi
With the killer dogs of
Cacique Atahualpa
The blood of your inheritance
Technology is for humanity
And for medicine
And not for war
And eliminating employment
For the worker
And for hunger in the world
And yes, technology is good for the health
And not the death of the planet
For our Thunderbird
The Eagle flies to the light
Of a new society
Without seeing the writing on the wall
Without being blind
In harmony with the music of Sun Ra
100 years that space is the place

© Carlos Raúl Dufflar 6/21/14
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective


The Blessings of Technology

With his eyes forever focused
On the future
Will continue to create
New and wondrous
Inanimate objects
That are set into motion
By the guiding hand
Of us, the hairless ape
I speak of
Such immortal devices as:
The back scratcher,
The cookie cutter,
The guided missile,
And the vibrator
Not to mention:
The microwave oven,
The atomic power plant,
Fracking technology,
The automatic cigar trimmer,
And, of course, the computer.
These divine devices
Saves us from the drudgery
Of having to:
Scratch our own back,
Hand-shape our pastry,
Fight our own wars,
Make love with our own power,
Do our own cooking,
Create safe electricity,
Mine for gas without destroying the earth,
Trimming cigars ourselves,
Oh, yes, and thinking.
Thank you.

© David Gordon 6/27/14
The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective


Where would we be without technology
No cars no phones no internet to rely on for knowledge
Let's rewind 100 years, to see how things have changed
I think you would find this world quite strange
The streets were full of horses and carts
No-one had even heard of cars
There were no phones, people spoke face to face
Life went by at a much slower pace
There were no washing machines or dishwashers everything was done by hand
Things were much more simple then, less industrialised more farm land
People worked in factories fixing, making to pay their way
Factories are mainly run by machines in our day
With technology less advanced people were not so good in health
They didn't have x-rays, medicines, they didnt have our wealth
What if we could bring them back to let them see the world today
What would they think of this alien world what do you think they would say
What would they think of our microwaves
Would they prefer it to their past world, or is there something they would save
How technology has changed in 100 years how it has advanced
How our lives have been changed, improved, enhanced
Now lets fast forward 100 years, how will technology have evolved
How much of a role will macines or gadgets play will people even be involved
Will they have invented flying cars
Will we finally be able to reach the stars

By Liz Jury 

State of the Art

I purchased a new DVD
Recorder with my new TV.
They said it was state of the art.
My problem was it wouldn’t start.
Tried to record and there were ructions;
Bloody Japanese instructions!
The guy next door opened his jaw.
(He won’t be round much any more).
Said he would get the thing to work;
He couldn’t do it, stupid berk!
So it just sits upon its stand
Beneath the TV looking grand,
And I admit, though it won’t go,
The thing looks pretty good on show!

Andrew Diamond
Goodmayes Writers


We’d see faces in the fire,
People who we didn’t know,
And we’d watch their features glow,
Knowing that they’d do no harm;
They’d be there to keep us warm.
Now, due to technology,
We don’t stare into our grates.
Central heating radiates
Warmth into the chilly air;
With no faces anywhere.

Andrew Diamond
Goodmayes Writers

The Luddite

I am a Luddite;
I hate computers.
I don’t understand them;
They make me annoyed.
If I had my way
I would have them destroyed.
I don’t get the internet.
Webs are for spiders
Searching for flies.
When I search the screen
It just tortures my eyes.
We used to write letters;
Our writing was neat.
Now we receive Emails
And twitter and tweet.
We’d speak on the phone,
Now we sit on our own
Spending our days
Reading the junk;
Much too afraid 
To delete the whole chunk.
They say that it’s fine
To do things on line;
But I’ve lots of passwords
That I keep forgetting.
There’s internet fraud
And internet betting.
The multi speed broadband
That I am on
Has cost me a fortune,
I’m sure it’s a con.
Our daily routine
Revolves round the machine
Which does what it pleases.
The internet freezes
But why should we care;
We’ll just play solitaire.

Andrew Diamond
Goodmayes Writers


Somebody phoned about B.T. Infinity.
An engineer came and he put it in for me.
I’m not sure why I said I would purchase it;
They promised a speedier internet search with it.
Now I’ve boxes and wires all over the place
With lights in my bedroom that shine in my face,
And flash online billing of which I’m not fond.
I wonder if, somehow, I have been conned.

Andrew Diamond
Goodmayes Writers

Crime of the Time

I look through my window at kids in the street
Who are kicking a car in; 
A bunch of young sicks, just out there for kicks.
But I mind my own business, 
I don’t get involved.
I’m no longer shocked; 
I just keep my door locked
And hope while at home that they’ll leave me alone.

I never go out of my house after dark.
It just isn’t safe.
They’re all up to no good in my neighbourhood.
People dealing and stealing; 
They’ve knives, drugs and booze.
I’ve got too much to lose 
And although it may bug me
I stay home at night ‘cause I won’t let them mug me.

So I lock myself in and I watch my T.V. 
Which confirms all the ills 
Of society; showing violence and crime 
And sex all the time.
It’s a solitary life, 
But I still sleep at night
And by day I’m not bored
‘Cause I’m teaching myself to do internet fraud!

Andrew Diamond
Goodmayes Writers


Every time I buy a new device that is really new, 
digital not analogue, the advertising, reviews, manual, 
all offer features lacking in the previous model, 
promising outcomes legacy media are not capable of. 

No matter how many times I read the instructions, 
I am left guessing - have I done this correctly, 
could I have done it better, is there an easier way 
to do whatever it is I am trying to do at that moment?

Will I forget some essential step or fail to switch it off 
correctly, will something I do cause this device to switch 
itself off in protest at being used unprogrammed, is there
a hidden sub-menu I will access at the wrong moment, 

with catastrophic & unexpected outcomes one day after 
the warranty runs out; does it come with Easter Eggs 
that only initiates or Californians born after a certain date 
are privileged to discover? Well, been there, done that.

I am irredeemably analogue; old enough to recall 78’s
45’s, LP’s, cassettes, and moved on from all of them.
My new camera, my computer, printer, TV, Blu-ray player, 
all waiting for me to make that one unforgiveable error 

programmed into their OS to catch out people like me. 
I remember the 70s power cuts, so if Putin says Let the
bastards freeze in the dark, I can give up my gadgets. 
I am not scared of technology, technology is scared of people like me. 



Screens of communication with Pixel contact
Deadpan, unable to judge the true response
Dictated by a sterile keyboard, of finger touch
Yet somehow connecting broken strands
Of a scattered family and parted friends.
Words spoken, taken out of context
Misjudged in a misalignment of minds
Where no eyes meet, to read the words.

Jan Hedger

One in a Million

"Have you seen my Pebble?"
"We're on the beach love, there are millions of pebbles."
"No darling, don't be silly, not a pebble, my Pebble. It's got Bluetooth, MP4, holds all my files on a 100 Tb memory core."
"But it looks like a pebble?"
"Yes darling, I showed you, it's from the new Shapes of Nature range, no moving parts or visible connections, every one permanently sealed and guaranteed unique."
"And you brought it to the beach?"
"Yes darling."
"Well you'd better start looking then."

Gareth Cooper


Super doctors experts super germs 
Games toys x5 screen's chip n pin 
Crimes press a button swipe 
Take off send a Foto attach 
Technology building firing shooting
Lights weather clocks cockatoo
Data DNA DVLA modern model
Plastic plasma moon landing
Spanner password username
Mac book boom apple 
Applications key word 
Google it

John Joseph Sheehy


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