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Happiness is a matter of one's most ordinary everyday mode of consciousness being busy and lively and unconcerned with self. To be damned is for one's ordinary everyday mode of consciousness to be unremitting agonizing preoccupation with self.
Iris Murdoch
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A computer is a machine for manipulating data according to a list of instructions. Computers take many forms, from early room-sized complexes to modern personal computers (PCs) and personal digital assistants (PDAs) to tiny embedded systems that add sophisticated capabilities to other devices like toys and appliances.


  • Don't trust a computer you can't throw out a window *
  • Dare to be gorgeous and unique. But don't ever be cryptic or otherwise unfathomable. Make it unforgettably great.
    • Robert J. Mical, Amiga Intuition Reference Manual, 1986, (ISBN 0201110768), p. 231
  • Mr. McKitrick, after careful consideration I have come to the conclusion that your defense system sucks.
  • Trust The Computer. The Computer is your friend.
  • "So computers are tools of the devil?" thought Newt. He had no problem believing it. Computers had to be the tools of somebody, and all he knew for certain was that it definitely wasn't him.
  • Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway.

  • The simple fact is that without supporting directives or a mechanism for feedback, security is defined differently by each person and verified by no one. There is no metric for compliance with a "culture", and a "culture of security" is overridden by a culture of "get the job done" every time. If there are rules, write them down. If technology is put in place to implement or monitor the rules, write that down too. If people break the rules, follow up. If the rules prevent legitimate business from getting done, change them. It's that simple.


  • 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?
    • "Epigrams in Programming", SIGPLAN, Association for Computing Machinery, September 1982
  • Einstein argued that there must be simplified explanations of nature, because God is not capricious or arbitrary. No such faith comforts the software engineer.
  • A refund for defective software might be nice, except it would bankrupt the entire software industry in the first year.

Computer games



  • Your job is being a professor and researcher: That's one hell of a good excuse for some of the brain-damages of Minix.
  • Will journalling become prevalent in the Unix world at large? Probably not. After all, it's nonstandard.
    • The UNIX Hater's Handbook, 1994, ISBN 1568842031, unidentified chapter/page
  • Linux users think Abraham was ordered to sacrifice Linus as a burnt offering, GNU users think Abraham was ordered to sacrifice Stallman as a burnt offering. Linux users believe in the holy trinity of GNU/Linux/NvidiaBlobs, BSD users believe in the one and only UNIX. Linux users are fine with Tux toys and stickers, BSD users believe in no graven images. Linux users are subdivided into those that argue about interpretations of freedom and whether the establishment is corrupt, BSD users are subdivided according to which BSD is the true descendant of UNIX(pbuh).
  • UNIX is user-friendly, it just chooses its friends.


The following quotes either have no cited sources or have source information that does not identify a document or article from a reliable source that includes the quote.
  • A computer is like an Old Testament god, with a lot of rules and no mercy.
  • If you think that technology can solve your security problems, then you don’t understand the problems and you don’t understand the technology.
    • Bruce Schneier
  • 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.
  • Computer games don't affect kids, I mean if Pac Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive music.
  • 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 rightly able to apprehend the kind of confusion that could provoke such a question.
  • You have a hardware or a software problem.
    • Service manual for Gestetner 3240
  • To err is human, to really screw up you need a computer.
    • Anonymous
  • 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
  • The computer allows you to make mistakes faster than any other invention, with the possible exception of handguns and tequila.
  • Anyone who slaps a 'this page is best viewed with Browser X' label on a Web page appears to be yearning for the bad old days, before the Web, when you had very little chance of reading a document written on another computer, another word processor, or another network.
  • [Software are among the] things which can be copied infinitely over and over again, without any further costs.
  • A world full of computers which you can't understand, can't fix and can't use [because it is controlled by inaccessible proprietorial software] is a world controlled by machines.
  • .HELP SEX: This system is a computer and as such is not able to help with enquiries of this nature. For details on reproduction, see the Xerox documentation.
    • Famous Help text from Essex Dec 10
  • Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.
  • I don't know what percentage of our time on any computer based project is spent getting the equipment to work right, but if I had a gardener who spent as much of the time fixing her shovel as we spend fooling with our computers, I'd buy her a good shovel. At least you can buy a good shovel.
    • Erasmus Smums
  • A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.
    • Unknown source
  • In the case of Microsoft, nobody knows what is the bug and what is a marketing strategy.
    • Unknown source

See also

External links

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