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Vol. 23, No. 4/Summer 2001

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Of Absent Friends
By Tim Rozgonyi

Editor's note: This ode to the folks at MediaStream originally appeared on NewsLib. Earlier this year NewsBank purchased several lines of business from MediaStream, including the SAVE archiving system.

I wish to speak of absent friends,
of information vending,
of server, network, flesh and blood,
of things that have an ending.

Companies get no funeral,
no grave, no church, no steeple.
And yet we mourn. "For what?," you ask.
We mourn for all the people.

Where will they go? What will they do?
Will we never again meet?
What can we do? How can we help?
Now that they are on the street?

Is it unfair? Of course it is!
That's fate, and we surrender.
But let us pause and take some time
to toast a fallen vendor.

From the second city of this state,
from Philadelphia,
we welcomed them, like heroes home,
cheering "Hallelujah!"

Goodbye to scissors, pots of glue,
goodbye to paper cuts.
They showed us how save the news,
while sitting on our butts.

"No more shelving, no more clips,"
They made it sound romancing,
and more appealing to our ears,
by calling it "enhancing."

And so with keyboards did we race
to meet our daily deadline.
Though years have passed, who could forget
that @5 is a headline?

Oh, many times we hit a snag,
when things would go off kilter.
And many times I had to nag,

And many were the people who
did pitch/woo/cajole/stalk us,
and some departed long ago,
like Bill Apostolocus.

Or Rob, dear Rob, the VAX guru,
an engineering torrent.
And though he knew his stuff, for sure,
his manner was abhorrent.

Remember when the place was bought
by those folks near Mendocino?
Thank goodness for the steady hand
of our man, DiMarino.

He knew the way his clients thought.
He didn't try to con us.
Oh, would that other vendors were
so solid, straight and honest.

Ten years have passed since I, like thee,
paid my news library due.
And first I heard the lovely voice
of dear, sweet Mary Lou.

A helping hand, a calming tone,
seemed nothing could unnerve her.
The voice of wisdom in my ear,
the angel in my server.

For every angel in this world,
a devil makes malarkey.
And in my case that devil was
that imp, Brian DeMarchi.

"You're good to go," he'd often say,
"I'll get back to you," I'd hear.
He made me laugh, a rogue like me.
You owe me, dude, a beer.

And then came Liz, rock solid Liz,
a winner, through and through.
We always hold you in respect,
even when we're pissed at you.

And now it's time to say goodbye,
to all those friends I name.
And even though they're still around.
It just won't be the same.

Goodbye to updates, extracts, sends,
It's time for Yes, No, Quit.
Goodbye to testy conference calls.
I won't miss them a bit.

Goodbye to gracious brunches where
you listened as we bitched.
That's just the way we speak our mind
when we've been so long-hitched.

I do not like these long goodbyes,
Though truth that may not seem.
So I'll just say "Goodbye, my friends,"

Tim Rozgonyi is the Assistant Technology Systems Editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. You can reach him at