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Computers - Quotes

Before you do anything, you have to do something else first.

If you don't care where you are, you're not lost.

Anything can be made to work if you fiddle with it long enough.

If you fiddle with something long enough, you'll break it.

An expert is a person who avoid the small errors while sweeping on to the grand fallacy.

Facts are not all equal. There are good facts and bad facts. Science consists of using good facts.

Whatever goes wrong, there's always someone who knew it would.

You can't win them all, but you sure can lose them all.

It's a mistake to allow any mechanical object to know you're in a hurry.

If it's worth doing, it's worth hiring someone who know how to do it.

An ounce of application is worth a ton of abstraction.

If builders built buildings the way programmer wrote programs, the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.

The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.

The incidence of typographical errors increases in proportion to the number of people who will see the copy.

The incidence of missed typographical errors is in direct proportion to the size of the letters in the copy.

The one piece of data you're absolutely sure is correct, isn't.

Typographical errors will be found only after the letter is mailed.

If you want to keep your head while all those about you are losing theirs, be in charge of the guillotine.

The attention span of a computer is only as long as its electrical cord.

The weaker the math, the more elaborate the graphics need to be.

Adding staff to a late project makes it later.

If something doesn't go wrong, in the end it will be shown that it would have been ultimately beneficial for it to have gone wrong.

There are no real secrets - only obfuscations.

When all else fails, read the instructions.

A computer program does what you tell it to do, not what you want it to do.

The most useless computer tasks are the most fun to do.

Software bugs are correctable only after the software is judged obsolete by the industry.

When putting it into memory, remember where you put it.

Users don't know what they really want, but they know for certain what they don't want.

Program complexity grows until it exceeds the capability of the programmer who must maintain it.

Interchangeable tapes won't.

Profanity is one language all programmers know best.

Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable.

Any system that depends on human reliability is unreliable.

Undetectable errors are infinite in variety, in contrast to detectable errors, which by definition are limited.

You can't win.You can't break even.You can't even quit the game.

Artificial Intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

A transistor protected by a fast-acting fuse will protect the fuse by blowing first.

A failure will not appear until a unit has passed final inspection. A purchased component or instrument will meet its specs long enough, and only long enough, to pass inspection.

If wires can be connected in two different ways, the first way blows the fuse.

Ahh. You see that would never have happened under OS/2!

John Kahler

Many spend their time berating practitioners for not applying their method. We all need to disseminate our ideas, but most of our time should be spent applying and improving our methods, not selling them. The best way to sell a mouse trap is to display some trapped mice.

David Parnas
IEEE Computer April 1996

Act in haste and repent at leisure; Code too soon and debug forever.

Raymond Kennington

If a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing well - unless doing it well takes so long that it isn't worth doing any more. Then you just do it 'good enough'.

Programming Perl, Wall and Schwartz

DOS Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq, Tandy, and millions of others are by far the most popular, with about 70 million machines in use wordwide. Macintosh fans, on the other hand, may note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans, and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form.

New York Times, November 26, 1991

Do not look into the laser with remaining eye!

warning message on the side of lab laser

Applicants must also have extensive knowledge of Unix, although they should have sufficiently good programming taste to not consider this an achievement.

Hal Abelson
MIT job advertisement.

Atilla The Hun's Maxim: If you're going to rape, pillage and burn, be sure to do things in that order.

P. J. Plauger
Programming On Purpose

There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home.

Ken Olson

Win 95 is Mac '89.

Helge Tonsky