Computer Quotations




"Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all."
    — John F. Kennedy


"Men are from Mars.
Women are from Venus.
Computers are from Hades."


"To go forward, you must backup." — Cardinal rule of computing.


"If it wasn't backed-up, then it wasn't important."


"I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my telephone.   My wish has come true.   I no longer know how to use my telephone."
    — Bjarne Stroustrup


"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons."
    — Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949.


"The problem with computers is they only do what you tell them."


"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.


"Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day;
teach that person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks."


"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."


".. the Twentieth Century, the innovative century that brought you WW I, WW II, and WWW."
    — Bill Higgins


"There are 10 kinds of people in the world, those that understand binary and those that don't."


"ASCII stupid question, get a stupid ANSI !"


"My computer's so stupid, it thinks 1 + 1 = 10."


"... one of the main causes of the fall of the Roman Empire was that, lacking zero, they had no way to indicate successful termination of their C programs."
    — Robert Firth


"Treat your password like your toothbrush.
Don't let anybody else use it, and get a new one every six months."
    — Clifford Stoll


"Everything that can be invented has been invented."
    — Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899.


"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
    — Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943.


"I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year."
    — The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957.


"But what... is it good for ?"
    — An engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division
        of IBM, commenting on the microchip in 1968.


"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."
    — Ken Olson, president of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977.


"640K (of memory) ought to be enough for anybody."
    — Bill Gates, 1981.


"Bill Gates is so rich because he got his wish when he said:
'I wish I had a nickel for every time a PC reboots'."


"Microsoft Works." — Oxymoron


"The difference between Bill Gates and God is that God's Word works."


"Walking on water and developing software from a specification are easy if both are frozen."
    — Edward V. Berard, "Life-Cycle Approaches"


"I had a fortune cookie the other day and it said:
'Outlook not so good'.
I said: 'Sure, but Microsoft ships it anyway'."


"Mac users swear by their Mac,
PC users swear at their PC."


"Looking at the proliferation of personal web pages on the net, it looks like very soon everyone on earth will have 15 Megabytes of fame."
    — M.G. Siriam


"The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers."
    — Sydney J. Harris


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


"Hardware: the parts of a computer that can be kicked."
    — Jeff Pesis


"The best way to accelerate a Macintosh is at 9.8m/sec/sec."
    — Marcus Dolengo


"Jesus saves! The rest of us better make backups."


"In God we trust, all others we virus scan."


"The Internet is the world's largest library.
It's just that all the books are on the floor."
    — John Allen Paulos


"To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer."
    — Farmer's Almanac, 1978


"We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare.   Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true."
    — Robert Wilensky





"If an infinite number of computer programmers programmed for an infinite number of years, they would eventually come up with a working operating system. Bill Gates, being impatient, gave them two days and took the first one that was finished."


"Saying Windows 95 is equal to Macintosh is like finding a potato that looks like Jesus and believing you've witnessed the second coming."
    — Guy Kawasaki


"Real programmers don't comment their code. If it was hard to write, it should be hard to understand ."


"The only thing I'd rather own than Windows is English. Then I'd be able to charge you an upgrade fee every time I add new letters like N and T."
    — Scott McNealy, chairman of Sun Microsystems, Inc.


"And computers are getting smarter all the time: scientists tell us that soon they will be able to talk to us.     (By "they" I mean "computers": I doubt scientists will ever be able to talk to us.)"
    — Dave Barry


"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


"During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."
    — Al Gore


"Consistently separating words by spaces became a general custom about the tenth century A.D., and lasted until about 1957, when FORTRAN abandoned the practice."
    — Sun FORTRAN Reference Manual


"0x2B | ~0x2B." — Hamlet


"Javascript is the duct tape of the Internet."
    — Charlie Campbell


"Managing programmers is like trying to herd cats."
    — Greg Settle


"noitaton hsilop desrever" -- reversed polish notation.


"The shortest distance between two pixels is not necessarily a straight line."


OLD SAYING: "If you really want to learn something, teach it to someone."
NEW SAYING: "If you really want to learn something, teach it to a computer."


"It's not a bug — it's an undocumented feature."
    — Anonymous


"One man's crappy software is another man's full time job. "
    — Jessica Gaston


"A good programmer is someone who always looks both ways before crossing a one-way street."
    — Doug Linder


"In order to understand recursion, one must first understand recursion."
    — Anonymous


"The trouble with programmers is that you can never tell what a programmer is doing until it's too late."
    — Seymour Cray


"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


"The use of COBOL cripples the mind; its teaching should therefore be regarded as a criminal offense."
    — E.W. Dijkstra


"Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live."
    — Martin Golding


"Talk is cheap.  Show me the code."
    — Linus Torvalds


"In theory, theory and practice are the same.   In practice, they're not."
    — Yoggi Berra


"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


"To iterate is human, to recurse divine."
    — L. Peter Deutsch


"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


"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?'   I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.
    — Charles Babbage


Most good programmers do programming not because they expect to get paid or get adulation by the public, but because it is fun to program."
    — Linus Torvalds


"Like car accidents, most hardware problems are due to driver error."


"If at first you don't succeed; call it version 1.0."


"Life would be so much easier if we only had the source code."


"Any fool can use a computer.   Many do."


"Computer dating is fine, if you're a computer."


"The Internet: where men are men, women are men, and children are FBI agents."


"The world is coming to an end. Please log off."


"Death -- The BIG logoff."