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Do It Yourself

This song is by Bill Sutton and appears on the album Past Due (1986) and on the compilation Vince Emery Presents the Funniest Computer Songs (1989).

Original video
I went to buy computers, and they said a million bucks
For a brand new mainframe IBM, now that price really sucks
So I looked at all the pictures, and I chose to build my own
For you can build a mainframe from the things you find at home

Oh, IBM, DEC, and Honeywell; HP, DG and Wang
Amdahl, NEC, and NCR, they don't know anything
They make big bucks for systems, so they never want it known
That you can build a mainframe from the things you find at home

Now, take the CPU, you see it's only just a box
With blinking lights and whirring fans and lots of cable slots
So I spent an evening working with some wire and bulbs and pins
Then I hauled it to the basement and I plugged the freezer in

Oh, IBM, DEC, and Honeywell; HP, DG and Wang
Amdahl, NEC, and NCR, they don't know anything
They make big bucks for systems, so they never want it known
That you can build a mainframe from the things you find at home

Well, next I needed tape drives, my tape drives were a steal
I climbed into the attic for my dad's old reel-to-reel
Some cable and some binder twine, and soon it was complete:
My CPU and tape drive at a price no one can beat

Oh, IBM, DEC, and Honeywell; HP, DG and Wang
Amdahl, NEC, and NCR, they don't know anything
They make big bucks for systems, so they never want it known
That you can build a mainframe from the things you find at home

So then I looked for disk drives, but it didn't take me long
Function follows form, they say, or have I got that wrong?
I found a drive with five new modes that blows the rest away:
Cottons, linens, wash and wear, rinse, and lingerie

Oh, IBM, DEC, and Honeywell; HP, DG and Wang
Amdahl, NEC, and NCR, they don't know anything
They make big bucks for systems, so they never want it known
That you can build a mainframe from the things you find at home

Well, I had to have a console just to make my system run
Without a fancy console then my system wasn't done
So, I tied a ten-buck typer to a broken TV tube
And now I've got a console that can write the evening news

Oh, IBM, DEC, and Honeywell; HP, DG and Wang
Amdahl, NEC, and NCR, they don't know anything
They make big bucks for systems, so they never want it known
That you can build a mainframe from the things you find at home

I've had my system running - I'll admit it's not the best
The data isn't right, and the response time is a mess
It crashes every hour, and it isn't worth a damn
But I'm satisfied because it runs just like an IBM

Oh, IBM, DEC, and Honeywell; HP, DG and Wang
Amdahl, NEC, and NCR, they don't know anything
They make big bucks for systems, so they never want it known
That you can build a mainframe from the things you find at home
Yes, you can bulid a mainframe from the things you find at home

Written by:

Bill Sutton

External links