"I do not fear computers, I fear the lack of them."
"Build a machine even a fool could use, and only a fool will want to use it."
"In place of infinity we usually put some really big number, like 15."
, Anonymous Computer Science professor
"If it wasn't for C, we'd be using BASI, Pasal, and OBOL."
"Computers aren't intelligent, they only think they are."
"You can tell how far we have to go, when FORTRAN is the language of supercomputers."
"It is only when they go wrong that machines remind you how powerful they are."
"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."
"If the automobile had followed the same development as the computer, a Rolls-Royce would today cost $100, get a million miles per gallon, and explode once a year killing everyone inside."
"The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it."
"You will be able to appreciate the influence of such an Engine on the future progress of science. I live in a country which is incapable of estimating it."
"The three principal virtues of a programmer are Laziness, Impatience, and Hubris."
"No matter how clever the hardware boys are, the software boys will piss it away."
"The tradition of open science has done more to build the modern economy than Microsoft every will."
"The problem with using bleeding edge technology is that the blood on the floor ends up being yours."
, Web Pages That Suck web site
"Just be aware that you will be confused."
"No one just sits and reads UNIX books for fun; it just isn't done."
"That's why they regard Macintosh as a toy; it's got that crap all over it."
, While teaching OOP at SUNY Geneseo, in reference to the MacNcrash GUI
"It is commonly the case with technologies that you can get the best insight about how they work by watching them fail."
"Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity."
"Someone who thinks logically provides a nice contrast to the real world."
To the optimist, the glass is half full.
To the pessimist, the glass is half empty.
To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
Distributed applications are great, but sometimes when we put Humpty Dumpy together again we end up with Mr. Potato Head.
"If you have any problems at all, don't hesitate to shut up."
"Think of using DOS as flicking your wrist to avoid an obstacle while driving a Formula One racer, compared with tapping on the partition glass to ask the driver of your bulletproof Windows NT limousine: "What was that thump? The champagne jiggled."
, In a letter to PC Magazine (June 9, 1998)
"Code is great, so we'll be nice."
, Note from grader for a Computer Science project
Most people know more about how the Vatican works than what programmers do.
Software programmers have more in common with masons than with engineers. Engineering, real engineering, not programming, is problem solving divorced from the needs of actual people.
"It sounds like an oversimplified complicated version of what they want to do."
"This is a consistent problem that comes and goes."
, A user's helpdesk request for help
"Never let a computer know you're in a hurry."
Finally, from my experiences a fun environment is a must for creative people. Agree or not, software developers are some of the most creative and imaginative people on the planet. Building software is as much art as science and will be for many years to come. If you are surrounded by people in suits and cube farms, then creativity is probably suffocating in a constipated bureaucracy. And, besides, it is difficult to get sufficient blood to your creative brain with a constrictive leash around your throat.
"We just want it to work."
, Comment when asked what his project's goal was
"The magnitude of this hack compares favorably with that of the national debt."
"They are ready to sell us their back end."
, tech-speak can be unintentionally funny
"Nothing you can't spell will ever work."
"Men have become the tools of their tools."
"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."
"It's like playing Jenga with code."
, On the perils of updating someone else's poorly written code.
I suspect the claims that the GPL "violates the U.S. Constitution" will get recorded in some historical analysis of corporate Tourette's syndrome.
"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."
"If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them."
"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."
"Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it."
"I get a top of the line phone, but imitation wheat thins."
"This project is experimental and of course comes without any warranty whatsoever. However, it could start a revolution in information access."
"Lisp has all the visual appeal of oatmeal with fingernail clippings mixed in. (Other than that, it's quite a nice language.)"
"C makes it easy to shoot yourself in the foot; C++ makes it harder, but when you do it blows your whole leg off."
"The idea that I can be presented with a problem, set out to logically solve it with the tools at hand, and wind up with a program that could not be legally used because someone else followed the same logical steps some years ago and filed for a patent on it is horrifying."
, "John Carmack: Knee Deep in the Voodoo" Voodo Extreme (2000-09-20)
"There has grown in the minds of certain groups in this country the idea
that just because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the
public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged
with guaranteeing such a profit in the future, even in the face of changing
circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is
supported by neither statute or common law. Neither corporations or
individuals have the right to come into court and ask that the clock
of history be stopped, or turned back."
Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature.
Machines take me by surprise with great frequency.
The release of atomic energy has not created a new problem. It has merely made more urgent the necessity of solving and existing one.
I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones.