Humor on Computers, Systems and Programming
Real programmers don't comment their code. It was hard to write, it
should be hard to understand and even harder to modify.
Real Programmers don't document. Documentation is for simpletons who can't
read listings or the object code from the dump.
Real programmers don't write in BASIC. Actually, no programmers write
in BASIC after reaching puberty.
Real Programmers don't write in COBOL. COBOL is for COmmon Business-Oriented
Laymen who can't run a business, much less write a real program.
Real Programmers don't write in COBOL. COBOL was designed to be read, not run.
Unfortunately it is often run anyway.
Real Programmers don't write in APL, unless the whole program can be written
on one line.
Real Programmers don't write in LISP. Only idiots' programs contain more
parenthesis than actual code.
Real Programmers don't write in PASCAL, BLISS, ADA, or any of those other
sissy computer science languages. Strong typing is the crutch for people
with weak minds.
Real Programmers don't write in PL/I. PL/I is for programmers who
can't decide whether to write in COBOL or FORTRAN.
Real programmers don't write in FORTRAN. FORTRAN is for pipe stress
freaks and crystallography weenies. FORTRAN is for wimp engineers who
wear white socks.
Real Programmers don't write in RPG. RPG is for gum-chewing dimwits
who maintain ancient payroll programs.
Real Programmers don't write applications programs. They program
right down on the bare metal. Applications programming is for the
dullards who can't do systems programming.
Real Programmers don't write specs. Users should be grateful for
whatever they get: they are lucky to get any programs at all.
Real Programmers don't read manuals. Reliance on a reference manual
is the hallmark of the novice and the coward.
Real Programmers don't believe in schedules. Planners make up
schedules. Managers "firm up" schedules. Frightened coders strive
to meet schedules. Real Programmers ignore schedules.
Real Programmers consider "what you see is what you get" to be just as
bad a concept in text editors as it is in women. No, the Real Programmer
wants a "you asked for it, you got it" text editor -- complicated,
cryptic, powerful, unforgiving, dangerous.
Real Users find the one combination of bizarre input values that shuts
down the system for days.
Real Users hate Real Programmers.
Real Users know your home telephone number.
Real Users never use the Help key.
"Perl: The only language that looks the same before and after RSA encryption."
C makes it easy to shoot yourself in the foot. C++ makes it harder, but when
you do, it blows away your whole leg. ---Bjarne Stroustrup
If I hear the phrase ``everything is an object'' once more, I think I will
scream. ---Michael Stonebraker
"The C Programming Language -- A language which combines the
flexibility of assembly language with the power of assembly language."
COBOL programs are an exercise in Artificial Inelegance.
A computer without COBOL and FORTRAN is like a piece of chocolate cake
without ketchup and mustard.
PASCAL: A programming language named after a man who would turn over in
his grave if he knew about it.
The primary purpose of the DATA statement is to give names to
constants; instead of referring to pi as 3.141592653589793 at every
appearance, the variable PI can be given that value with a DATA
statement and used instead of the longer form of the constant. This
also simplifies modifying the program, should the value of pi change.
-- FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers
Bug: An aspect of a computer program which exists because the
programmer was thinking about Jumbo Jacks or stock options when he
wrote the program.
Heisenbug: [from Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle in quantum physics]
A bug that disappears or alters its behavior when one attempts
to probe or isolate it. (This usage is not even particularly
fanciful; the use of a debugger sometimes alters a program's
operating environment significantly enough that buggy code, such
as that which relies on the values of uninitialized memory,
behaves quite differently.) Antonym of Bohr bug; see also
mandelbug, schroedinbug. In C, nine out of ten heisenbugs result
from uninitialized auto variables, fandango on core phenomena
(esp. lossage related to corruption of the malloc arena) or errors
that smash the stack.
Bohr Bug: [from quantum physics]
A repeatable bug; one that manifests reliably under a possibly
unknown but well-defined set of conditions.
Mandel Bug: [from the Mandelbrot set]
A bug whose underlying causes are so complex and obscure as to
make its behavior appear chaotic or even non-deterministic. This
term implies that the speaker thinks it is a Bohr bug, rather than
Schroedinbug [Schroedinger's Cat thought-experiment in quantum physics]
A design or implementation bug in a program that doesn't manifest
until someone reading source or using the program in an unusual
way notices that it never should have worked, at which point the
program promptly stops working for everybody until fixed. Though
(like bit rot) this sounds impossible, it happens; some programs
have harbored latent schroedinbugs for years.
GDB has a 'break' feature; why doesn't it have 'fix' too?
At the source of every error which is blamed on the computer you will
find at least two human errors, including the error of blaming it on
Hardware: The parts of a computer system that can be kicked.
"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."
-- Jeff Raskin, interviewed in Doctor Dobb's Journal
"There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home."
-- Ken Olson, President of DEC, World Future Society
A bus station is where a bus stops.
A train station is where a train stops.
On my desk, I have a workstation...
Error, no keyboard - press F1 to continue.
"Unix is user friendly - it's just a bit more choosy about who it's
friends are." -- Gene Buckle
"The box said 'Requires Windows 95, NT, or better,' so I installed Linux."
Computers are like air conditioners.
They stop working when you open Windows.
"... being a Linux user is sort of like living in a house inhabited
by a large family of carpenters and architects. Every morning when you
wake up, the house is a little different. Maybe there is a new turret,
or some walls have moved. Or perhaps someone has temporarily removed
the floor under your bed." -- Unix for Dummies, Jon "maddog" Hall
The only thing Micro$oft has done for society, is make people
believe that computers are inherently unreliable.
"Where do you want to go today?" -- Microsoft ad campaign
"Where do you want to go tomorrow?" -- Linux enthusiasts
"One cannot delete the Web browser from KDE without
losing the ability to manage files on the user's own
hard disk." - Prof. Stuart E Madnick, MIT.
So called "expert" witness for Microsoft. 2002/05/02
/ / __ _ _ _ _ __ __
/ /__ / / / \// //_// \ \/ / -o)
/____/ /_/ /_/\/ /___/ /_/\_\ /\\
is lika a WIGWAM: _\_v-
No gates, no windows, and an Apache inside.
Linux is for networking,
Mac is for working,
Windows is just for solitaire.
"There are two ways of constructing a software design. One way is to
make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies and the other
is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies."
- C A R Hoare, as quoted by Erik de Castro Lopo
"I don't trust a precompiled binary any farther than I can spit a rat."
- Erik Fichtner
"FF1517 packages are for professional drivers only, on a closed course."
- Austin Lesea in comp.arch.fpga
"The cheapest, fastest and most reliable components of a computer system
are those that aren't there."
- Gordon Bell, DEC laboratories, quoted by Jörn Engel
"The real romance is out ahead and yet to come. The computer revolution
hasn't started yet. Don't be misled by the enormous flow of money into
bad defacto standards for unsophisticated buyers using poor adaptations
of incomplete ideas."
- Alan Kay, quoted by Donovan Rebbechi
"It's large amounts of well-organized ignorance that scares me."
- Cody Ann Michaels, quoted by Steve Thompson, Sysadmin, Malcontent
"A society without religion is like a crazed psychopath without a loaded
- David Voth
"See everything; overlook a great deal; correct a little."
- Pope John XXIII
"The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it."
- John Gilmore, quoted by Bjørn Borud
"The Web is to graphic design as the fax machine is to literature."
- Decklin Foster
"Modularity is not a hack."
- Dan Bernstein
"Troubleshooting is intrinsically a layering violation."
- Larry Doolittle
"Computers are state machines. Threads are for people who can't program
- Alan Cox
"Lies, damned lies and FPGA Gate Count."
- Uwe Bonnes
"My favorite programming language is a soldering iron."
- Steve Ciarcia
"Computers are useless; they can only give you answers."
- Pablo Picasso
"An Interface is what gets in between you and what you want to do."
- Carl Havermiste
"Have you ever worked until late at night, put the resulting alpha
software in a public location, and then read a bug report and suggested
fix from halfway around the world using the bedside laptop the next
morning? I have."
- Donald J. Becker in November, 1993
"Just because the code is intended to cause flaming death is no reason
to get sloppy and leave off the casts."
- Tim Smith , regarding sample (F0 0F C7 C8) Pentium
Death code on comp.os.linux.advocacy
"Note that if I can get you to 'su and say' something just by asking,
you have a very serious security problem on your system and you should
look into it."
- Paul Vixie , in the vixie-cron 3.0.1 installation notes
"DES itself is now 'DED'. It is 'kid sister' code. It has 'X'es for
eyeballs. It is defunct. It is an ex-protocol."
- Robert Hettinga , in July 20, 1998 letter
explaining that it costs $684.93 to break one DES key.
"...very few phenomena can pull someone out of Deep Hack Mode, with two
noted exceptions: being struck by lightning, or worse, your *computer*
being struck by lightning."
- Matt Welsh
"Well, let's just say, 'if your VCR is still blinking 12:00, you don't
- Bruce Perens, Debian's Fearless Leader
"The sticker on the side of the box said 'Supported Platforms: Windows
95, Windows NT 4.0, or better', so clearly Linux was a supported platform."
- Nathan Hand
"Would you buy a car with the hood welded shut? Debian/GNU Linux ... the
maintainable operating system."
- Tim Thomson
"Right now some people are just running around in circles and claiming
that moving things to the kernel automatically makes it more stable. I'm
telling you that the kernel is stable not because it's a kernel, but
because I refuse to listen to arguments like this."
- Linus Torvalds
"I don't know what you would do for MSDOS other than boot Linux."
- Russ Nelson
"All I'm saying is this: 'Great, you're a new pilot, and you want to
fly. Fine. We've got a Cessna 127 here, and an F16. You know, I think
you ought to start with the Cessna.'"
- Bryan Pfaffenberger , explaining why he wants
companies to create "Linux Lite" products targeted for newcomers
"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion,
butcher a hog, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders,
solve equations, pitch manure, program a computer, fight efficiently,
die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
- Lazarus Long, in Time Enough for Love by Robert A. Heinlein
"How do you power off this machine?"
- Linus, when upgrading linux.cs.helsinki.fi, and after using the
machine for several months
"Who is General Failure and why is he reading my disc?"
'Hit any user to continue'
Use the force, read the source!
Of course it doesn't work. We've performed a software upgrade.
Artificial Intelligence stands no chance against Natural Stupidity.
[X] <- nail here for new monitor
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page updated Jul 21, 2006