The old pastiche of the Lerner & Loewe song from Paint Your Wagon – I talk to the trees, that’s why they put me away – will sound hopelessly passe’ once the games they are playing at the University of Guelph in Canada get out: at the university, roses will soon be programming computers, claims a Guelph press release, quickly going on to explain that the aim is to attach sensors to the stems of the plants so that they can tell the computer when they need watering, and enable it to control the temperature and humidity of the hothouse environment – but our accountant Mike Penny, a veteran of WordStar, dBase, Pegasus, Paradox and Delta reckons one or two of those might well have been programmed by roses, judging by the number of thorns he found trying to use them.
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