Computer /nm./: a device designed to speed and automate errors.
— From the Jargon File.
The following are humorous (and sometimes serious too) quotes gathered from the Web, Usenet's personal .sig and other sources. Since it's all a big rip-off, I am assuming no copyright whatsoever. I don't even guarantee that they are accurate. Now that you've been warned, enjoy.
"Men are from Mars. Women are from Venus. Computers are from hell."
Hardware /nm./: the part of the computer that you can kick.
"Pencil and paper /n./: an archaic information storage and transmission device that works by depositing smears of graphite on bleached wood pulp. More recent developments in paper-based technology include improved 'write-once' update devices which use tiny rolling heads similar to mouse balls to deposit colored pigment. All these devices require an operator skilled at so-called 'handwriting' technique." — From the Jargon File.
Maniac /n./ An early computer built by nuts.
"SUPERCOMPUTER: what it sounded like before you bought it."
"If it's really a supercomputer, how come the bullets don't bounce off when I shoot it ?" — The Covert Comic.
"It reminds me of the claim that Americans built the first computer... It depends on what properties are necessary for a device to be classed as a computer: That it's electronic? That it has Randomly Accessible Memory? That it operates on a stored program? I am tempted to suggest that one of the requirements implicit in some people's lists is that it was built in America."
"A computer is like an Old Testament god, with a lot of rules and no mercy." — Joseph Campbell
"Computers are useless. They can only give you answers." — Pablo Picasso.
"To go forward, you must backup." — Cardinal rule of computing.
"If it wasn't backed-up, then it wasn't important." — The sysadmin's moto.
"Real men don't use backups, they post their stuff on a public ftp server and let the rest of the world make copies." — Linus T.
"You can screw up anything you want, miss deadlines on projects, or whatever and it likely won't get you fired, but if you don't have backups in a crisis or an audit: you're done."
"RAM /abr./: Rarely Adequate Memory."
"I dropped my computer on my foot ! That Megahurtz !"
"The only thing more dangerous than a hardware guy with a code patch is a programmer with a soldering iron."
"Adapting old programs to fit new machines usually means adapting new machines to behave like old ones." — Alan J. Perlis.
"All computers wait at the same speed."
"A computer's attention span is only as long as its power cord."
"The computer allows you to make mistakes faster than any other invention, with the possible exception of handguns and tequila." — Mitch Ratcliffe.
"There is nothing that a kick in the balls or a pressure on reset won't solve." — Me.
"She said she was hot for me, so i gave her a spare heatsink. She didnt seem happy :( I just don't understand women." — MrRoboto1024.
"A printer consists of three main parts: the case, the jammed paper tray and the blinking red light"
"Pentiums melt in your PC, not in your hand"
"Do Not Use hypersonic airflows for CPU cooling." — jd.
"Anti-glare screens to prevent eye strain ??? In my day, you didn't need an anti-glare screen. With the power they consumed, when you turned your computer on, the whole building darkened !" — Simon Travaglia (the B.O.F.H.).
"Reading computer manuals without the hardware is as frustrating as reading sex manuals without the software." — Arthur C. Clarke.
"The problem with computers is they do what you tell them." — Attribution unknown.
"Computers are useless. They can only give you answers." — Pablo Picasso (1881-1973).
"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.
"Computers save time like kudzu prevents soil erosion."
"Computers do not solve problems, they execute solutions." — Laurent Gasser.
"Any problem that can be solved by throwing money at it is not a real problem."
"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 worldwide. 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.
"The best accelerator available for a Mac is one that causes it to go at 9.81 m/s2."
"I've discovered that people on IRC don't get offended or riled up by racism, nor politically incorrect jokes, nor feminism, nazism, nor goatse, or even tubgirl, not even jokes about 9/11 get a rise out of anybody but as soon as I tell somebody that macs are better than PCs, things get ugly." — Ich.
"The box said, Win95 or better required... so I used a Mac !" — Tim Scoff.
"Most of the VAX instructions are in microcode, but HALT and NO-OP are in hardware for efficiency."
"Large increases in cost with questionable increases in performance can be tolerated only in race horses and women." — Lord Kelvin.
"Did anyone see my lost carrier ?"
"Help! My keyboard is stuckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk
"586: The average IQ needed to understand a PC."
"Computer programmers know how to use their hardware."
"Like car accidents, most hardware problems are due to driver error."
"I don't have hard drives. i just keep 30 chinese teenagers in my basement and force them to memorize numbers." — ikkenai.
"RAID /n/ two hard drives where one holds all the 1s and the other holds all the 0s."
"I/O, I/O, It's off to disk I go, A bit or byte to read or write, I/O, I/O, I/O..."
"Sluts are like my webserver — they spend all their time going down."
"Hm. I've lost a machine... literally lost. It responds to ping, it works completely, I just can't figure out where in my apartment it is." — erno of bash.com.
"My computer's so fast it finishes an infinite loop in 5 minutes." — NellagnehC.
"Computers will not be perfected until they can compute how much more than the estimate the job will cost."
"You can bring any calculator you like to the midterm, as long as it doesn't dim the lights when you turn it on."
"I wish my motherboard would find a fatherboard so i could have anotherboard." — Neural.
"My friend forgot his laptop on the floor in my room, my granma thought it was a scale. Conclusion my granma weighs 950 dollars." — Lauri.
"If you were plowing a field, which would you rather use? Two strong oxen or 1024 chickens ?" — Seymour Cray, about clusters.
"Anyone can build a fast CPU. The trick is to build a fast system." — Seymour Cray.
"When he was told that Apple Computer had just bought a Cray to help design the next Apple Macintosh, Seymour Cray commented that he had just bought a Macintosh to design the next Cray."
"Memory is like an orgasm. It's a lot better if you don't have to fake it." — Seymour Cray, on virtual memory.
"Why would anyone ever turn off their computer ?
- During the winter my computer doubles as an extra radiator.
- Cooling fans generate white noise, which helps me get to sleep.
- Who has time for boot sequences?
- As long as the computer is running, it's not broken.
- Computer doubles as a power failure notification device.
- My penis grows 1mm every 5 days of uptime.
- Can claim CPU cycles donated to SETI@home, folding@home et al, as charitable donations on my income taxes.
- Somebody might say something important on IRC.
- Too difficult to find power switch with eye crust.
- When computer is off, it is no longer protected by the firewall." — _aa_.
"Q: How many software engineers does it take to change a lightbulb ?
A: It can't be done; it's a hardware problem."
"Q: How many tech support people does it take to change a light bulb ?
A: We have an exact copy of the light bulb here and it seems to be working fine. Can you tell me what kind of system you have ? Okay, just exactly how dark is it ? Okay. There could be four or five things wrong. Have you tried the light switch ?"
"If it jams, force it. If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway."
"The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong, it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." — Douglas Adams.
"3 Biggest Computer Room Lies:
As long as you remember to 'SAVE' your input, you'll never lose any files.
We run the stuff through as fast as it comes in the door.
The new machines are in order."
"A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk I have a workstation..."
"If you want to stop a computer from working you should use an OS-independent attack from an F-18. Such an attack can't be fixed by downloading a patch."
"You make my software turn to hardware !" — Geek pick-up line.
"Overclocking is like sex: if you smell burning, just slow down."
"Hackers do it with all sorts of characters.
Hackers do it with bugs.
Hackers do it with fewer instructions.
Hackers know all the right MOVs."
"Computer scientists are programmed to do it by macro insertion."
"Working computer hardware is a lot like an erect penis: it stays up as long as you don't fuck with it."
"I used to be a gay hacker, now I'm only a happy nerd :(" — McGrew.
"My laptop really is like an Etch-a-Sketch now. The slightest jostling or movement while it is running will cause a BSoD. And it won't recognize the hard drive after that until you turn the thing upside-down at least once." — MrAccident.
"I'm currently sat outside in the garden on a laptop, in 85 degree heat, in the shade, with a cold beer. If I lost the laptop I could almost pass as a normal person." — Dabz.
"As hardware gets older, your respect for it lessens. Same with wives." — FreeFrag.
"Dating a girl is just like writing software. Everything's going to work just fine in the testing lab (dating), but as soon as you have contract with a customer (marriage), then your program (life) is going to be facing new situations you never expected. You'll be forced to patch the code (admit you're wrong) and then the code (wife) will just end up all bloated and unmaintainable in the end." — scott1853.
"Want to come see my HARD DRIVE ? I promise it isn't 3.5 inches and it ain't floppy." — Geek pick-up line.
— Murphy's Laws of Computing.
- When computing, whatever happens, behave as though you meant it to happen.
- When you get to the point where you really understand your computer, it's probably obsolete.
- The first place to look for information is in the section of the manual where you least expect to find it.
- When the going gets tough, upgrade.
- For every action, there is an equal and opposite malfunction.
- To err is human... to blame your computer for your mistakes is even more human, it is downright natural.
- He who laughs last probably made a back-up.
- If at first you do not succeed, blame your computer.
- A complex system that does not work is invariably found to have evolved from a simpler system that worked just fine.
- The number one cause of computer problems is computer solutions.
- A computer program will always do what you tell it to do, but rarely what you want to do.
1. A magic spell cast over a computer allowing it to turn one's input into error messages.
2. An exercise in experimental epistemology.
3. A form of art, ostensibly intended for the instruction of computers, which is nevertheless almost inevitably a failure if other programmers can't understand it.
— From the Jargon File.
1. The art of debugging an empty file.
2. A pastime similar to banging one's head against a wall, but with fewer opportunities for reward.
3. The most fun you can have with your clothes on (although clothes are not mandatory).
— From the Jargon File.
Programmer /n./ A red-eyed, mumbling mammal capable of conversing with inanimate objects.
"Software Engineering is that part of Computer Science which is too difficult for the Computer Scientist." — F. L. Bauer.
"Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes." — Dijkstra.
"Programmers do it bit by bit."
"Most software today is very much like an Egyptian pyramid with millions of bricks piled on top of each other, with no structural integrity, but just done by brute force and thousands of slaves." — Alan Kay.
"Counting in binary is just like counting in decimal if you are all thumbs." — Glaser and Way.
"Counting in octal is just like counting in decimal, if you don't use your thumbs." — Tom Lehrer.
"Real Programmers always confuse Christmas and Halloween because Oct31 == Dec25 !" — Andrew Rutherford.
"There are 10 kinds of people in the world, those that understand binary and those that don't."
"There are 10 kinds of people in the world, those that understand trinary, those that don't, and those that confuse it with binary."
"There are two kinds of programmers: 1) those who start arrays with one and 1) those who start them with zero."
"There are two types of people in the world: 1) those that can extrapolate from incomplete data."
"Two strings walk into a bar. The first string says to the bartender: 'Bartender, I'll have a beer. u.5n$x5t?*&4ru!2[sACC~ErJ'. The second string says: 'Pardon my friend, he isn't NULL terminated'."
"Software gets slower faster than hardware gets faster." — Wirth's law.
"Whereas Europeans generally pronounce my name the right way ('Ni-klows Wirt'), Americans invariably mangle it into 'Nick-les Worth'. This is to say that Europeans call me by name, but Americans call me by value." — Niklaus Wirth.
"One of my most productive days was throwing away 1,000 lines of code." — Ken Thompson.
"The three chief virtues of a programmer are: Laziness, Impatience and Hubris." — Larry Wall.
"Software Engineering: A study akin to numerology and astrology, but lacking the precision of the former and the success of the latter."
"If you torture the data enough, it will confess." — Ronald Coase.
"If a program is useful, it will have to be changed...
...If a program is useless, it will have to be documented."
"It is easier to write an incorrect program than understand a correct one." — Alan J. Perlis.
"If you give someone a program, you will frustrate them for a day; if you teach them how to program, you will frustrate them for a lifetime."
"Documentation is like sex: when it is good, it is very, very good; and when it is bad, it is better than nothing." — Dick Brandon.
"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. The moral ? READ THE MANUAL !" — Sign on a computer system consultant's desk.
"If you think *I'm* expensive, wait until you hire an amateur." — The Consultant's Creed.
"Sell a man a fish and he will eat for a day and come back tomorrow to buy another one from you. Teach a man to fish and [our consulting company] will be out of business." — Dan Drake.
"Software is like sex; if you feel the need to pay for it you can always find someone willing to take your money."
"Vampireware /n/, a project, capable of sucking the lifeblood out of anyone unfortunate enough to be assigned to it, which never actually sees the light of day, but nonetheless refuses to die."
"Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later." — Fred Brooks.
">> [I'm] also having payroll problems, though our problem is more due to my divorce than anything else.
&bt; Perhaps if you would have paid more attention to her than that damn code!
I like the code more. It is certainly more beautiful, and perhaps more useful too..." — Hans Reiser.
"Perfection is achieved not when you have nothing more to add, but when you have nothing left to take away." — Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
"Software entities are more complex for their size than perhaps any other human construct because no two parts are alike (at least above the statement level). If they are, we make the two similar parts into a subroutine — open or closed. In this respect, software systems differ profoundly from computers, buildings, or automobiles, where repeated elements abound." — Fred Brooks.
"It is easier to change the specification to fit the program than vice versa."
"2 + 2 = 5, for extremely large values of 2."
"ASCII stupid question, get a stupid ANSI !"
"The nice thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from."
"Save a tree — disband an ISO working group today." — Jason Zions
"Multitasking /adj./ 3 PCs and a chair with wheels !"
"Digital is to analog as steps are to ramps."
"A computer scientist is someone who fixes things that aren't broken."
"The practical scientist is trying to solve tomorrow's problem with yesterday's computer; the computer scientist... often has it the other way around." — William H. Press.
"Use the source, Luke..."
"The term reboot comes from the middle age (before computers). Horses who stopped in mid-stride required a boot to the rear to start again. Thus the term to rear-boot, later abbreviated into reboot."
"All programmers are optimists. Perhaps this modern sorcery especially attracts those who believe in happy endings and fairy godmothers. Perhaps the hundreds of nitty frustrations drive away all but those who habitually focus on the end goal.
Perhaps it is merely that computers are young, programmers are younger, and the young are always optimists. But however the selection process works, the result is indisputable: 'This time it will surely run' or 'I just found the last bug'." — Fred Brooks.
"The first 90% of the code accounts for the first 90% of the development time...
...The remaining 10% of the code accounts for the other 90% of the development time." — Tom Cargill.
"If you want to eat hippopotomus, you've got to pay the freight." — Attributed to an IBM guy, about why IBM software uses so much memory.
"Programming is an art form that fights back."
"Around computers it is difficult to find the correct unit of time to measure progress. Some cathedrals took a century to complete. Can you imagine the grandeur and scope of a program that would take as long ?"
"MacOS, Windows, BeOS: they're all just Xerox copies."
"Data expands to fill the space available for storage" — Parkinson's Law of Data.
"Whenever you think you have a clever programming trick... forget it !" — My boss.
"A computer program does what you tell it to do, not what you want it to do." — Greer's Third Law.
"The stored-program digital computer has three major attributes: it is fast, it is accurate, and it is stupid. The first two attributes are often used to disguise the third." — P. J. Plauger.
"A logician trying to explain logic to a programmer is like a cat trying to explain to a fish what it's like to get wet."
"Reverse Polish Notation: A method of price justification for expensive calculators."
"This reminds me of a revelation I had a few years ago, after getting my first CD-ROM drive. I'd manage to misplace a CD containing a multimedia encyclopedia and eventually found it sitting on the floor under my desk. I realized then that never before in human history had it been possible to lose an entire 28 volume encyclopedia by dropping it behind a piece of furniture. Now that's what I call progress !" — $rtbl_this.
"Einstein argued that there must be simplified explanations of nature, because God is not capricious or arbitrary. No such faith comforts the software engineer." — Fred Brooks.
"The computer programmer is a creator of universes for which he alone is the lawgiver. No playwright, no stage director, no emperor, however powerful has exercised such absolute authority to arrange a stage or field of battle and to command such unswervingly dutiful actors or troops." — Joseph Weizenbaum.
"I have never seen anything fill up a vacuum so fast and still suck." — Rob Pike, commenting on the X Window System.
"If the designers of X Windows built cars, there would be no fewer than five steering wheels hidden about the cockpit, none of which followed the same principles — but you'd be able to shift gears with your car stereo. Useful feature, that." — Marcus J. Ranum, Digital Equipment Corp.
"You have to go back to the very early 60s to find [mainframe] operating systems that are designed as poorly as the ones on micros." — Alan Kay (1985).
"IBM: It may be slow, but it's hard to use." — Andrew Tannenbaum.
"Managing senior programmers is like herding cats." — Dave Platt.
"If builders built buildings the way programmers write programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization." — Weinberg's Second Law.
"Artificial intelligence — take five years and see what happens." — CMU Professor David Farber in 1957.
"Artificial Intelligence: the art of making computers that behave like the ones in movies." — Bill Bulko.
"AI: anything a computer can't do yet."
"Your program is sick ! Shoot it and put it out of its memory."
"You start coding. I'll go find out what they want." — Computer analyst to programmer.
"If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong." — Norm Schryer.
"As a computer, I find your faith in technology amusing."
"Is reading in the bathroom considered Multi-Tasking ?"
"Real programmers use: COPY CON PROGRAM.EXE"
"The definition of a hacker ? Someone who, after installing a new program, goes immediately into the [Tools][Options] menu." — Me.
"A 'hacker' is any person who derives joy from discovering ways to circumvent limitations." — Robert Bickford.
"Hacking is like sex. You get in, you get out, and hope that you didn't leave something that can be traced back to you."
"Penetration tester [...] you will play an exciting and fundamental role [...] Live penetrations of locked down hosts..." — From a job posting on securityfocus.com.
"If you have responsibility for security but have no authority to set rules or punish violators, your own role in the organization is to take the blame when something big goes wrong." — Spaf's first principle of security administration.
"If your computer speaks English, it was probably made in Japan." — Alan J. Perlis.
"Oh, boy, virtual memory ! Now I'm gonna make myself a really *big* RAMdisk !"
"Life begins with a disk drive." — Tim Paterson.
"What's the difference between Raid_0 and Raid_1 ? In Raid_0 the zero stands for how many files you are going to get back if something goes wrong."
"And you know how slow that framebuffer was ? Let's just say it's the first time I saw DSL downloads being braked by the speed of updating the progress bar." — Moraelin.
"Programmers are tools for converting caffeine into code."
"Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning." — Rich Cook.
"Premature optimization is the root of all evil." — Donald E. Knuth.
"The first rule of optimization is: Don't do it.
The second rule of optimization (for experts only) is: Don't do it yet."
"Standard are industry's way of codifying obsolescence."
/* You are not expected to understand this */
"The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance." — Robert R. Coveyou, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
"Anyone who considers arithmetical methods of producing random digits is, of course, in a state of sin." — John von Neumann (1951).
"Sysadmins are the janitors of Information Technology, no matter how much the current crop of adolescents looks up to them like boys in the past admired riverboat pilots and railroad engineers."
"I was pretty dumb about computers. Then I learned you could get porn on them. 3 years later I'm a system administrator." — [NCA]Spank.
"Software is like entropy. It is difficult to grasp, weighs nothing, and obeys the second law of thermodynamics; i.e. it always increases." — Norman R. Augustine.
"Roger Schank was once asked 'Do you think computers will ever be as intelligent as humans?' and replied 'Yes. Briefly'." increases."
"The question of whether a computer can think is no more interesting than the question of whether a submarine can swim." — Edsgar W. Dijkstra (1930—2002).
"I mean, if 10 years from now, when you are doing something quick and dirty, you suddenly visualize that I am looking over your shoulders and say to yourself: 'Dijkstra would not have liked this', well that would be enough immortality for me." — Edsgar W. Dijkstra (1930—2002).
"You think you know when you learn, are more sure when you can write, even more when you can teach, but certain when you can program." — Alan J. Perlis.
"Talk is cheap. Show me the code." — Linus Torvalds.
"Pasting code from the internet into production code is like chewing gum found in the street." — Mike Johnson.
"GOTO is a four letter word." — Edsger W. Dijkstra.
"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.
"That's all very good in practice, but how does it work in theory ?"
"Before software can be reusable it first has to be usable." — Ralph Johnson.
"Some say the world will end in fire; some say in segfault." — xkcd.
"Shift to the left, shift to the right !
Pop up, push down, byte, byte, byte !" — The Programmers' Cheer.
"To define recursion, we must first define recursion."
"Yeah. This software is stable. As in full of horse shit." — Steve.
"Software Independent: Won't work with ANY software."
"ERROR: Computer possessed; Load EXOR.SYS ? [Y/N]"
"UNIX is an operating system, OS/2 is half an operating system, Windows is a shell, and DOS is a boot partition virus." — Peter H. Coffin.
"UNIX was never a deliverable!" — Alan Chynoweth.
"If you don't have a good system, make sure you get good users."
"Sendmail is the sort of tool that gave UNIX its bad reputation." — System Performance Tuning.
"It only takes three commands to install Gentoo:
cfdisk /dev/hda && mkfs.xfs /dev/hda1 && mount /dev/hda1 /mnt/gentoo/ && chroot /mnt/gentoo/ && env-update && . /etc/profile && emerge sync && cd /usr/portage && scripts/bootsrap.sh && emerge system && emerge vim && vi /etc/fstab && emerge gentoo-dev-sources && cd /usr/src/linux && make menuconfig && make install modules_install && emerge gnome mozilla-firefox openoffice && emerge grub && cp /boot/grub/grub.conf.sample /boot/grub/grub.conf && vi /boot/grub/grub.conf && grub && init 6
That's the first one."
"The Unix 'file system' Sure it corrupts your data, but look how fast it is !"
"UNIX was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that would also stop you from doing clever things." — Doug Gwyn.
"Linux is only free if your time is worthless." — Jamie Zawinski.
"Linux: find out what you've been missing while you've been rebooting Windows NT." — Infoworld.
"Here is your parachute and here is the manual. Welcome to Linux."
"One of Linus's earlier projects was a program that would switch between printing AAAA and BBBB. This later evolved to Linux." — Larry Greenfield, The Linux Users' Guide Beta v1.
"Once. A few years ago. There was a brief moment I thought I heard the song of BSD, but I turned around and it was just a wrinkled old harlot clearing her throat." — ChefInnocent.
"I should go back to using Windows, at least there when something doesn't work, I don't have the illusion that I can fix it."
"sleep $(( 7 *60*60 )) && cat /vmlinuz > /dev/audio" — Evil alarm clock.
"— I admit it, I was wrong. I was attracted to Gentoo because I thought it would make me l33t and cool.
— That's not in the documentation; you've got to work that out on your own."
"unzip; strip; touch; finger; mount; fsck; more; yes; unmount; sleep"
"Whip me. Beat me. Make me maintain AIX."
"3 Biggest Software Lies:
The program's fully tested and bug-free.
We're working on the documentation.
Of course we can modify it."