Another found gem on alt.humor.best-of-usenet
Subject: Re: lemmings
From: Andrew McLaren [email protected]
Just wondering if anyone knows where i can buy the original lemmings
for my PC??
It's a difficult question to answer. The term "Lemming" actually covers
about six different genera within the Arvicolinae family; although all
20 species ultimately belong to Order Rodentia.
A further difficulty is that Lemmings are actually living organisms
and as such, pretty difficult to interface directly with a PC. Even
using the very versatile IEEE-488 interface adaptor (ie GPIB) it's
pretty hard to get an animal directly attached; even on a legacy ISA
bus! A PCI lemming is even harder to imagine (although, I do have a few
friends who seem to have actually become organically attached to their
computers; and these guys certainly are animals).
You might want to back-track a bit and re-assess your requirements. Will
a lemming actually provide the user functionality you're looking for? Be
aware that lemmings do not, in fact, make those suicidal migratory
dashes to the sea for which they are widely but inaccurately celebrated.
Like many rodents (eg mice) lemmings are characterised by dramatic
swings in population size over 2 to 5 year cycles. Most species only
migrate a short distance even under population pressure; but during
population booms the Norwegian Lemming (Lemmus lemmus) will travel far
and wide, swimming across rivers and lakes, and moving into human
settlements. When the cyclical boom conditions diminish, many of the
lemmings die. Hence the origin of the popular misconception.
There's the widely-deployed pointing device called a "mouse" to
facilitate Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). But the term "mouse" here
is just an analogy - the device is constructed from synthetic materials
like plastic; the name derives from a supposed similarly to the
general external shape or morphology of the mouse animal (like lemmings,
a member of Order Rodentia). But there's no actual mouse hide, bone, or
internal organs in the apparatus.
Nevertheless ... I've been able to find some pretty rare stuff on eBay -
old software and various bits of hardware that bring back happy memories
of the 1960s and 1970s. If you look under the "Computers and Office"
section of eBay you might find what you're after. Look particularly in
the subsections with "vintage" in their name. If there's a lemming for a
computer out there somewhere - this is where you'll find it.
(Note that the Common RAT, aka Brown rat, is Rattus Norvegicus, but
the Black Rat is Rattus rattus. Whereas the Norwegian Lemming is Lemmus
lemmus, and the Brown Lemming is Lemmus sibiricus. There's definitely
some weird-shit taxonomic conspiracy going on, there ...)