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Computer quotes

From: http://cnswww.cns.cwru.edu/php/fung/collections/computer/qcomp.html

Computer Quotes
"I explicitly give people the freedom not to use perl, just as god gives people the freedom
to go to the devil if they so choose." -- Larry Wall

The only way to learn a new programming language is by writing programs in it. -- Brian
Laws of Computer Programming
(1) Any given program, when running, is obsolete.
(2) Any given program costs more and takes longer.
(3) If a program is useful, it will have to be changed.
(4) If a program is useless, it will have to be documented.
(5) Any given program will expand to fill all available memory.
(6) The value of a program is proportional to the
weight of its output.
(7) Program complexity grows until it exceeds the capability of the
programmer who must maintain it.
(8) Make it possible for programmers to write programs in
English, and you will find that programmers cannot write
in English.
-- SIGPLAN Notices, Vol 2 No 2
I know engineers. They love to change things. -- Dr. McCoy
First learn computer science and all the theory. Next develop a programming style. Then
forget all that and just hack. -- George Carrette [1990]
"The personal computer market is about the same size as the total potato chip market.
Next year it will be about half the size of the pet food market and is fast approaching the
total worldwide sales of pantyhose." -- James Finke, Pres., Commodore Int'l Ltd. (1982)
"The most effective debugging tool is still careful thought, coupled with judiciously
placed print statements." -- Brian Kernighan [1978]
"The better technology does not always sell better, even if it is first." -- William J.
Spencer, Xerox Corporation
"The Street finds its own uses for technology." -- William Gibson
"Standards committees are not the best ways to create a standard. Standards meetings and
standards themselves are horribly political things. One thing that people forget is that
many standards are made by rather small groups of people. A few good people can really
save the day, and a few idiots can really make it miserable for years to come." -- Dennis
Ritchie, coinventor of Unix
Quote of the Week from InformationWeek magazine Oct. 12, 1998 "Believe me, it runs."
-- Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, filling time while an assistant tried to boot up a crashed beta
demonstration of the company's latest database, Oracle 8i, at the Internet World
conference in New York last week.
Newsgroups: alt.alien.research,sci.astro,sci.math,sci.physics,sci.physics.relativity
Subject: Re: Mars GS and Cydonia Date: 29 Mar 1998 18:28:13 GMT " One of the
problems the internet has introduced is that in the electronic village all the village-idiots
have internet access." --"Peter Nelson" (pnelson@lagoon.ultranet.com)
"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." --Popular Mechanics,
forecasting the relentless march of science,1949
"I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people,
and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year." --The editor
in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957
"But what ... is it good for?" --Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of
IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.
"So, we went to Atari and said, 'Hey, we've got this amazing thing, even built with some
of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we'll give it to you. We just
want to do it. Pay our salary, we'll come work for you.' And they said, 'No.' So then we
went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, 'Hey, we don't need you. You haven't got through
college yet.'" --Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and HP
interested in his and Steve Wozniak's personal computer.
"640K ought to be enough for anybody." -- Bill Gates, 1981
"Documentation is like sex. When it's good, it's very good. When it's bad, it's better than
How to address IS concerns about the growing size of desktop software: "Through more
software. Computers are complex devices. You only get simplicity by putting a lot of
work -- a lot of code -- into making them simple." That's from Paul Gillin, editor of
Computerworld, talking to Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft's chief technology officer.
Computerworld, Mar 10, 1997.
"I am Pentium of Borg. Precision is Futile, Prepare to be Approximated."
Parkinson's Law of Data: "Data expands to fill the space available for storage."
Asminov's Three Law's of Robotics

1. A robot may not injure a human being, or through

inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings

except where such orders would conflict with the First

3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such

protection does not conflict with the First or Second
"Sometimes it pays to stay in bed on Monday, rather than spending the rest of the week
debugging Monday's code." -- Dan Salomon
"I think there's a world market for about 5 computers." -- Thomas J. Watson, Chairman of
the Board, IBM (around 1948)
"I knew then (in 1970) that a 4-kbyte minicomputer would cost as much as a house. So I
reasoned that after college, I'd have to live cheaply in an apartment and put all my money
into owning a computer." -- Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, EE Times, June 6, 1988,
pg 45
"I just want to be a good engineer." -- Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer,
concluding his keynote speech at the 1988 AppleFest
"GOTO statement considered harmful" - E. W. Dijkstra, title to a letter in CACM 11, 3
(March, 1968)
"File names are infinite in length where infinity is set to 255 characters." -- Peter
Collinson, "The Unix File System"
"Debugging is anticipated with distaste, performed with reluctance, and bragged about
forever." -- button at the Boston Computer Museum
"Bill Gates says no matter how much more power we can supply, he'll develop some
really exciting software that will bring the machine to its knees." -- Intel VP David
House, In _EE_Times_, 16 October 1989
"Beware of programmers carrying screwdrivers." -- Chip Salzenberg
"And it's so portable --- at least, it worked on every VAX that I tried it
on."(MCDANIEL.90Sep6134938@dolphin.adi.com) -- Tim McDaniel
(mcdaniel@adi.com) 6 Sep 90,
"A bit of tolerance is worth a megabyte of flaming." -- Henry Spencer
"...one of the main causes of the fall of the Roman Empire was that, lacking zero, they
had no way to indicate successful termination of their C programs." -- Robert Firth
"I've finally learned what `upward compatible' means. It means we get to keep all our old
mistakes." -- Dennie van Tassel
vi is [[13~^[[15~^[[15~^[[19~^[[18~^ a
muk[^[[29~^[[34~^[[26~^[[32~^ch better
editor than this emacs.
I know I^[[14~'ll get flamed for this but the truth has to be said.
-- Jesper Lauridsen (rorschak@daimi.aau.dk), from alt.religion.emacs
I bought the latest computer;
it came fully loaded.
It was guaranteed for 90 days,
but in 30 was outmoded!
-- The Wall Street Journal passed along by Big Red Computer's SCARLETT
By striving to move the Intel-standard PC world towards a 32-bit operating system, new
32-bit applications and friendlier hardware standards, Microsoft Corp. can be compared
to a person trying to kick a dead whale down the beach. What's amazing is that with
Windows 95, the whale moved. - Stephen Howard "Win 95 poses problem for IS
integration", MacWEEK 08.21.95 Vol.9 No. 33
Maybe we should have given him a bicycle. --Ed Darden, of Atlanta, who gave his son
Frank, 16 a computer for Christmas. Frank later was arrested for hacking into a phone
system, threatening service through out the Southeast.
" If extent of addiction can be judged by how long a dumb animal will sit repetitively
pressing a bar in order to receive an occasional dose of instant gratification, I must
conclude that Netnews is far more addictive than cocaine. " -- Rob Stampfli
" ASCII no questions, I'll ANSI no lies. " -Abe Friedman
" There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. We don't
believe this to be a coincidence. " - Jeremy S. Andersen
" People in the computer industry use the term 'user', which to them means 'idiot'. " --
Dave Barry
" It is practically impossible to teach good programming style to students that have had
prior exposure to BASIC; as potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond
hope of regeneration. " -- Dijkstra
" The use of COBOL cripples the mind; its teaching should, therefore, be regarded as a
criminal offense. " -- E. W. Dijkstra
" The question of whether a computer can think is no more interesting than the question
of whether a submarine can swim. " - Edsgar W. Dijkstra
" Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes. " --
E. W. Dijkstra
" Life was simple before World War II. After that, we had systems. " -- G. Hopper
" In pioneer days they used oxen for heavy pulling, and when one ox couldn't budge a
log, they didn't try to grow a larger ox. We shouldn't be trying for bigger computers, but
for more systems of computers. " -- G. Hopper
" And, of course, you have the commercials where savvy businesspeople Get Ahead by
using their MacIntosh computers to create the ultimate American business product: a
really sharp-looking report. " -- Dave Barry
" I have a cat named Trash. In the current political climate it would seem that if I were
trying to sell him (at least to a Computer Scientist), I would not stress that he is gentle to
humans and is self-sufficient, living mostly on field mice. Rather, I would argue that he is
object-oriented. " -- Roger King
" Hardware: The parts of a computer system that can be kicked. " -- Jeff Pesis
" A crash is when your competitor's program dies. When your program dies, it is an
'idiosyncrasy.' Frequently, crashes are followed with a message like 'ID 02.' 'ID' is an
abbreviation for 'idiosyncrasy' and the number that follows indicates how many more
months of testing the product should have had. " ---Guy Kawasaki, " The Macintosh Way
pixel, n.: A mischievous, magical spirit associated with screen displays. The computer
industry has frequently borrowed from mythology: Witness the sprites in computer
graphics, the demons in artificial intelligence, and the trolls in the marketing department.
--- Moriarty, aka Jeff Meyer
"Artificial Intelligence: the art of making computers that behave like the ones in movies"
-- Bill Bulko
" The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital
computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the
petals of a flower. To think otherwise is to demean the Buddha -- which is to demean
oneself. " Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
" Power Users think 'Your computer is stoned' is part of the DOS copyright banner. " --
Richard Murnane
" Power Users believe computer salesmen. " -- Richard Murnane
" It's a well known fact that computing devices such as the abacus were invented
thousands of years ago. But it's not well known that the first use of a common computer
protocol occured in the Old Testament. This, of course, was when Moses aborted the
Egyptians' process with a control-sea... " -- Tom Galloway
" Too bad men aren't like computers. Predictable, compliant, full of answers but no
questions...yet able to deliver an occasional delightful surprise. " --Brenda Starr
" In a way, staring into a computer screen is like staring into an eclipse. It's brilliant and
you don't realize the damage until its too late. " -- Bruce Sterling
" And computers are getting smarter all the time: scientists tell us that soon they will be
able to talk to us. (By " they " I mean " computers ": I doubt scientists will ever be able to
talk to us.) " -Dave Barry
" I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them. " -- Isaac Asimov
" The danger from computers is not that they will eventually get as smart as men, but that
we will meanwhile agree to meet them halfway. " -- Bernard Avishai
" The most likely way for the world to be destroyed, most experts agree, is by accident.
That's where we come in; we're computer professionals. We cause accidents. " --
Nathaniel Borenstein
" If the automobile had followed the same development cyclee as the computer, a Rolls-
Royce would today cost $100, get a million miles per gallon, and explode once a year,
killing everyone inside. " -- Robert X. Cringely, InfoWorld
" An apprentice carpenter may want only a hammer and saw, but a master craftsman
employs many precision tools. Computer programming likewise requires sophisticated
tools to cope with the complexity of real applications, and only practice with these tools
will build skill in their use. " -- Robert L. Kruse, Data Structures and Program Design
" It would appear that we have reached the limits of what it is possible to achieve with
computer technology, although one should be careful with such statements, as they tend
to sound pretty silly in 5 years. " -- John Von Neumann (ca. 1949)
" To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer. " -- Farmers' Almanac,
" All programmers are playwrights and all computers are lousy actors. " -- Unknown
" Computers are useless. They can only give you answers. " -- Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
" Computers can figure out all kinds of problems, except the things in the world that just
don't add up. " -- James Magary
" Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This
happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining. " -- Jeff
Raskin, interviewed in Doctor Dobb's Journal
" If computers get too powerful, we can organize them into a committee -- that will do
them in. " -- Bradley's Bromide
" There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home. " -- Ken Olson,
President, Digital Equipment, 1977
" Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equpped with 18,000 vaccuum tubes and weighs
30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vaccuum tubes and perhaps weigh
1 1/2 tons. " -- Popular Mechanics, March 1949
" The most overlooked advantage to owning a computer is that if they foul up there's no
law against wacking them around a little. " -- Porterfield
" Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do
not manage, and those who manage what they do not understand. " -- Putt's Law
" Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier
to do don't need to be done. " -- Andy Rooney
Memory is like an orgasm. It's a lot better if you don't have to fake it. -- Seymour Cray
commenting on virtual memory