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Quotes for programmers

They have computers, and they may have other weapons of mass destruction. (Janet Reno)

I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We’ve created life in our own image. (Stephen Hawking)

If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger. (Frank Lloyd Wright)

Training the workforce of tomorrow with today’s high schools is like trying to teach kids about today’s computers on a 50-year-old mainframe. (Bill Gates in 2005)

If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn’t be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. (Jim Fawcette)

Computers are like bikinis. They save people a lot of guesswork. (Sam Ewing)

If the automobile had followed the same development cycle 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", Computerworld)

To err is human, but to really foul things up you need a computer. (Paul Ehrlich)

All parts should go together without forcing. You must remember that the parts you are reassembling were disassembled by you. Therefore, if you can’t get them together again, there must be a reason. By all means, do not use a hammer. (1925 IBM Maintenence Manual)

Technical people are better off not looking at patents. If somebody sues you, you change the algorithm or you just hire a hit-man to whack the stupid git. (Linus Torvalds)

How would a car function if it were designed like a computer? Occasionally, executing a maneuver would cause your car to stop and fail and you would have to re-install the engine, and the airbag system would say, "Are you sure?" before going off. (Katie Hafner)

Considering the current sad state of our computer programs, software development is clearly still a black art, and cannot yet be called an engineering discipline. (Bill Clinton)

If McDonalds were run like a software company, one out of every hundred Big Macs would give you food poisoning — and the response would be, "We’re sorry, here’s a coupon for two more". (Mark Minasi)

Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all. (John F Kennedy)

At this time I do not have a personal relationship with a computer. (Janet Reno)

It’s ridiculous to live 100 years and only be able to remember 30 million bytes. You know less than a compact disc. The human condition is really becoming more obsolete every minute. (Marvin Minsky)

For a long time it puzzled me how something so expensive, so leading edge, could be so useless, and then it occurred to me that a computer is a stupid machine with the ability to do incredibly smart things, while computer programmers are smart people with the ability to do incredibly stupid things. They are, in short, a perfect match. (Bill Bryson)

Just remember: you’re not a "dummy," no matter what those computer books claim. The real dummies are the people who, though technically expert, couldn’t design hardware and software that’s usable by normal consumers if their lives depended upon it. (Walter Mossberg)

You have to ask yourself how many IT organizations, how many CIOs have on their goal sheet, or their mission statement, "Encouraging creativity and innovation in the corporation?" That’s not why the IT organization was created. (Tom Austin)

The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do. (B. F. Skinner)

Kirk: Do you want to know something? Everybody’s human.
Spock: I find that remark insulting. ("Star Trek")

The global village is not created by the motor car or even by the airplane. It’s created by instant electronic information movement. (Marshall Mcluhan)

Replicating assemblers and thinking machines pose basic threats to people and to life on Earth. Among the cognoscenti of nanotechnology, this threat has become known as the gray goo problem. (Eric Drexler)

Computers are merely ingenious devices to fulfill unimportant functions. The computer revolution is an explosion of nonsense. (Neil Postman)

Who cares how it works, just as long as it gives the right answer? (Jeff Scholnik)

There’s an old story about the person who wished his computer were as easy to use as his telephone. That wish has come true, since I no longer know how to use my telephone. (Bjarne Stroustrup)

I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right. (Albert Einstein)

The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency. (Bill Gates)

See, no matter how clever your automation systems might be, it all falls apart if your human wetware isn’t up to the job. (Andrew Orlowski)

That’s the thing about people who think they hate computers. What they really hate is lousy programmers. (Larry Niven)

On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog. (Peter Steiner)

We are a bit of stellar matter gone wrong. We are physical machinery – puppets that strut and talk and laugh and die as the hand of time pulls the strings beneath. But there is one elementary inescapable answer. We are that which asks the question.(Sir Arthur Eddington)

The nice thing about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from. (Andrew Tannenbaum)

Standards are always out of date. That’s what makes them standards. (Alan Bennett)

Computer Science: 1. A study akin to numerology and astrology, but lacking the precision of the former and the success of the latter. 2. The boring art of coping with a large number of trivialities. (Stan Kelly-Bootle)

Once there was a time when the bringing-forth of the true into the beautiful was called technology. And art was simply called techne. (Martin Heidegger)

The computer actually may have aggravated management’s degenerative tendency to focus inward on costs. (Peter Drucker)

The buyer needs a hundred eyes, the vendor not one. (George Herbert)

Anyone who puts a small gloss on a fundamental technology, calls it proprietary, and then tries to keep others from building on it, is a thief. (Tim O’Reilly)

What a satire, by the way, is that machine [Babbage’s Engine], on the mere mathematician! A Frankenstein-monster, a thing without brains and without heart, too stupid to make a blunder; that turns out results like a corn-sheller, and never grows any wiser or better, though it grind a thousand bushels of them! (Oliver Wendell Holmes)

No, no, you’re not thinking, you’re just being logical. (Niels Bohr)

Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window. (Steve Wozniak)

If you put tomfoolery into a computer, nothing comes out but tomfoolery. But this tomfoolery, having passed through a very expensive machine, is somehow ennobled and no one dares criticize it. (Pierre Gallois)

A computer is essentially a trained squirrel: acting on reflex, thoughtlessly running back and forth and storing away nuts until some other stimulus makes it do something else. (Ted Nelson)

Software people would never drive to the office if building engineers and automotive engineers were as cavalier about buildings and autos as the software "engineer" is about his software. (Henry Baker)

Since the invention of the microprocessor, the cost of moving a byte of information around has fallen on the order of 10-million-fold. Never before in the human history has any product or service gotten 10 million times cheaper-much less in the course of a couple decades. That’s as if a 747 plane, once at $150 million a piece, could now be bought for about the price of a large pizza. (Michael Rothschild)

Physics is the universe’s operating system. (Steven R Garman)

If patterns of ones and zeros were like patterns of human lives and death, if everything about an individual could be represented in a computer record by a long string of ones and zeros, then what kind of creature would be represented by a long string of lives and deaths? (Thomas Pynchon)

Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft…and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor. (Wernher von Braun)

The city’s central computer told you? R2D2, you know better than to trust a strange computer! ("C3PO")

Scotty: She’s all yours, sir. All systems automated and ready. A chimpanzee and two trainees could run her!
Kirk: Thank you, Mr. Scott, I’ll try not to take that personally. (Star Trek)

I’ve noticed lately that the paranoid fear of computers becoming intelligent and taking over the world has almost entirely disappeared from the common culture. Near as I can tell, this coincides with the release of MS-DOS. (Larry DeLuca)

A friend of the Feline reports that Big Blue marketing and sales personnel have been strictly forbidden to use the word "mainframe." Instead, in an attempt to distance themselves from the dinosaur, they’re to use the more PC-friendly phrase "large enterprise server." If that’s the case, the Katt retorted, they should also refer to "dumb terminals" as "intelligence-challenged workstations." (Spencer Katt)

The computer is no better than its program. (Elting Elmore Morison)

There is no doubt that human survival will continue to depend more and more on human intellect and technology. It is idle to argue whether this is good or bad. The point of no return was passed long ago, before anyone knew it was happening. (Theodosius Dobzansky)

Man is the lowest-cost, 150-pound, nonlinear, all-purpose computer system which can be mass-produced by unskilled labor. (NASA in 1965)

A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history – with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila. (Mitch Radcliffe)

The essence of the computer is not electronic. Computers can be made from toothpicks and bottlecaps, or toilet paper and pebbles. (George Teschner)

IT is becoming a cost of doing business that must be paid by all but provides distinction to none. (Nicholas Carr)

Once the Invisible Hand has taken all the historical inequities and smeared them out into a broad global layer of what a Pakistani brickmaker would consider to be prosperity — y’know what? There’s only four things we do better than anyone else: music, movies, microcode (software), and high-speed pizza delivery. (Neal Stephenson)

Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that, once it is competently programmed and working smoothly, it is completely honest. (Isaac Asimov)

If there’s one thing that computers do well, it’s to make the same mistake uncountable times at inhuman speed. (Peter Coffee)

Life is a process which may be abstracted from other media. (John Von Neumann)

I don’t think there’s anything unique about human intelligence. All the neurons in the brain that make up perceptions and emotions operate in a binary fashion. (Bill Gates)

I bet the human brain is a kluge. (Marvin Minsky)

If you rely too much on the people in other countries and other companies, in a sense that’s your brain and you are outsourcing your brain. (Bill Gates)

Unless mankind redesigns itself by changing our DNA through altering our genetic makeup, computer-generated robots will take over our world. (Stephen Hawking)

I visualize a time when we will be to robots what dogs are to humans, and I’m rooting for the machines. (Claude Shannon)

We should sell bloat credits, the way the government sells pollution credits. Everybody’s assigned a certain amount of bloat, and if they go over, they have to purchase bloat credits from some other group that’s been more careful. (Bent Hagemark)

I can see computers everywhere – except in the productivity statistics! (Robert Solow)

Adequacy is sufficient. (Adam Osborne)

Technology happens. (Andrew Grove)