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Peter Sheil

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Computers ... [Aug. 27th, 2005|04:13 pm]
Peter Sheil
... we all use them, without them you wouldn't be reading this post (and maybe doing something far more productive in the "real" world). So let me give you a selection of quotes about them.

The computing field is always in need of new cliches.
Alan Perlis

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 (1919 - )

The great thing about a computer notebook is that no matter how much you stuff into it, it doesn't get bigger or heavier.
Bill Gates (1955 - ), Business @ The Speed of Thought

If computers get too powerful, we can organize them into a committee -- that will do them in.
Bradley's Bromide

Why is it drug addicts and computer afficionados are both called users?
Clifford Stoll

Home computers are being called upon to perform many new functions, including the consumption of homework formerly eaten by the dog.
Doug Larson

Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.
E. W. Dijkstra

Not even computers will replace committees, because committees buy computers.
Edward Shepherd Mead

To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer.
Farmers' Almanac, 1978

I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them.
Isaac Asimov (1920 - 1992)

Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that, once it is competently programmed and working smoothly, it is completely honest.
Isaac Asimov (1920 - 1992)

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.
Jef Raskin, interviewed in Doctor Dobb's Journal

The most overlooked advantage to owning a computer is that if they foul up there's no law against wacking them around a little.
Joe Martin, Porterfield

In all large corporations, there is a pervasive fear that someone, somewhere is having fun with a computer on company time. Networks help alleviate that fear.
John C. Dvorak

There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.
Ken Olsen (1926 - ), President, Digital Equipment, 1977

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 (1957 - )

Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.
Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973)

The computer is a moron.
Peter Drucker

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

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

To err is human--and to blame it on a computer is even more so.
Robert Orben

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, InfoWorld magazine

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 (1942 - )

All programmers are playwrights and all computers are lousy actors.

In a few minutes a computer can make a mistake so great that it would have taken many men many months to equal it.

Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equipped with 18,000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vaccuum tubes and perhaps weigh 1.5 tons.
unknown, Popular Mechanics, March 1949


[User Picture]From: becky44
2005-08-27 04:00 pm (UTC)
It's amazing how so many people can be so smart - including the computers - and we still have all the same problems and the same big hammers hidden behind the reboot switch!
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[User Picture]From: petersheil
2005-08-27 06:18 pm (UTC)
Well they have changed so much - from "small buildings" to chips too small to see by eye; from the physics lab to consumer product you slip in your pocket. There are still things that are problems, but then if you change bits around in other consumer products there would be problems.

As the level of complexity increases it becomes impossible(*) to completely test the programs and operating system, so we have to live with the occasional kludge and snafu.


(*)within a reasonable(1) time limit
(1)reasonable here equates to allowing the company to make a profit - which is, after all, what its shareholders would like it to do.
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[User Picture]From: becky44
2005-08-27 10:37 pm (UTC)
I've just watched 'Stealth' - it's fantastic! I want to see more computers develop altruism... and I was almost crying at the end!
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[User Picture]From: petersheil
2005-08-28 12:30 am (UTC)
Not seen it :( Must have passed me by quietly ;)
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