Thursday, January 3, 2008

Computer quotes

This is just a short break from a mathematic theme. While there is more then enough serious staff to write about, I don't want my blog to be a boring place. And especially I don't want it to become a blog that requires an advanced degree to read. I will blog about such things but I am not going to focus on them.
So I went over my bookmarks to see what funny staff I recently found on the web. For some reason most of it was about computers.

Please don't laugh too much (it is still a math blog):

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)
(I suppose that after that nothing could convince people that computers can become more intelligent then people.)

AI has been brain-dead since the 1970s. (Marvin Minsky)

When you say: "I wrote a program that crashed Windows", people just stare at you blankly and say: "Hey, I got those with the system -- for free." (Linus Torvalds)
(I don't like this type of jokes very much but I use Ubuntu and it is much more stable and responsive then windows)

It's not the technology, folks, it's the people. When we trace [the errors] back, it's always human error. (Bob Herbold of Microsoft)

What would you rather have to plow a field — two strong oxen or 1,024 chickens? (Seymour Cray)

Java is the most distressing thing to happen to computing since MS-DOS. (Alan Kay)

There's a simple way to find out if an operating system has been well designed. When you get an error message, go to the help system and look up the exact words in that message to see if there was enough of a concept of an architecture that they have a consistent vocabulary to talk about what's broken. (Bill Joy)

"I don't like it, and I'm sorry I ever had anything to do with it."
(Erwin Schrodinger talking about quantum mechanics. Probably he loved the cat)

"Physics is not a religion. If it were, we'd have a much easier time raising money."
(Leon Lederman. So is math..)

"What I am going to tell you about is what we teach our physics students in the third or fourth year of graduate school... It is my task to convince you not to turn away because you don't understand it. You see my physics students don't understand it... That is because I don't understand it. Nobody does."
(Richard P. Feynman (1918-1988), QED, The Strange Theory of Light and Matter, Penguin Books, London, 1990, p 9. To those who don't he is Nobel prize laureate)

"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible."
(Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.)

"X-rays will prove to be a hoax."
(Lord Kelvin, while president of the Royal Society)

"First you guess. Don't laugh, this is the most important step. Then you compute the consequences. Compare the consequences to experience. If it disagrees with experience, the guess is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn't matter how beautiful your guess is or how smart you are or what your name is. If it disagrees with experience, it's wrong. That's all there is to it."
(Richard Feynman, from a PBS show on Dr. Feynman. He was describing to his class how to look for a new law of physics)

"The great tragedy of science - the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact."
(T H Huxley (1887-1975))

In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it's the exact opposite.
(Paul Dirac1902-1984)

“If at first you don’t succeed; call it version 1.0″

“Be nice to geeks, you’ll probably end up working for one.” (Bill Gates)

“It’s a little-known fact that the Y1K problem caused the Dark Ages.”

“The nice thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from.”

“A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.”

“The glass is neither half-full nor half-empty: it’s twice as big as it needs to be.”

“The box said ‘Requires Windows 95 or better’. So I installed LINUX.”

“My software never has bugs. It just develops random features.”

“A Life? Cool! Where can I download one of those?” (I hope this was never said for real..)

“No keyboard detected. Press F9 to continue.”

“User Error. Please replace user and press any key to continue.” (We need this error dialog. From my experience with it a lot of computer problems come from this type of errors. And it is something that you at least shouldn't enjoy explaining to the user..)

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