DEEn Dictionary De - En
DeEs De - Es
DePt De - Pt
 Vocabulary trainer

Spec. subjects Grammar Abbreviations Random search Preferences
Search in Sprachauswahl
Personal
Search for:
Mini search box
 
Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English) by Linux fortune

In personal conversations with technical people, I call myself a hacker. But
when I'm talking to journalists I just say "programmer" or something like that.

        - Linus Torvalds
Having your own personal custom language dialect might be tempting but it is
normally something only the lisp community do.

        - Alan Cox on the linux-kernel mailing list
True to our past we work with an inherited, observed, and accepted vision of
personal futility, and of the beauty of the world.
                -- David Mamet
Dear Mister Language Person: What is the purpose of the apostrophe?

Answer: The apostrophe is used mainly in hand-lettered small business signs
to alert the reader than an "S" is coming up at the end of a word, as in:
WE DO NOT EXCEPT PERSONAL CHECK'S, or: NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ITEM'S.
Another important grammar concept to bear in mind when creating hand- lettered
small-business signs is that you should put quotation marks around random
words for decoration, as in "TRY" OUR HOT DOG'S, or even TRY "OUR" HOT DOG'S.
                -- Dave Barry, "Tips for Writer's"
One promising concept that I came up with right away was that you could
manufacture personal air bags, then get a law passed requiring that they be
installed on congressmen to keep them from taking trips.  Let's say your
congressman was trying to travel to Paris to do a fact-finding study on how
the French government handles diseases transmitted by sherbet.  Just when he
got to the plane, his mandatory air bag, strapped around his waist, would
inflate -- FWWAAAAAAPPPP -- thus rendering him too large to fit through the
plane door.  It could also be rigged to inflate whenever the congressman
proposed a law.  ("Mr. Speaker, people ask me, why should October be
designated as Cuticle Inspection Month?  And I answer that FWWAAAAAAPPPP.")
This would save millions of dollars, so I have no doubt that the public
would violently support a law requiring airbags on congressmen.  The problem
is that your potential market is very small: there are only around 500
members of Congress, and some of them, such as House Speaker "Tip" O'Neil,
are already too large to fit on normal aircraft.
                -- Dave Barry, "'Mister Mediocre' Restaurants"
The salary of the chief executive of the large corporation is not a market
award for achievement.  It is frequently in the nature of a warm personal
gesture by the individual to himself.
                -- John Kenneth Galbraith, "Annals of an Abiding Liberal"
Microsoft ActivePromo Campaign: "What Slogan Do You Want to See Tommorrow?"

Microsoft's PR masterminds are planning a massive marketing campaign,
code-named "ActivePromo 2000", to promote the upcoming release of Windows
2000 (scheduled for February 2001).  This marketing campaign will include a
"What Slogan Do You Want to See Tommorrow?" promotion.

Children under age 16 will have to opportunity to create their own Microsoft
slogan to replace the aging "Where Do You Want to Go Today?"(R) motto.
Microsoft will set up a special email alias where children can submit their
entries along with detailed personal and demographic information (for
verification purposes, of course).  A panel of Microsoft employees will
select a winning entry, which will become the official slogan.  The winner
and his/her family will receive an all-expense paid week-long vacation to
Redmond, WA ("The Vacation Capital of East Central Washington State"),
including a guided tour of the Microsoft campus and a personal ten minute
photo-opportunity with Chairman Bill.

We personally believe that "Don't Think About Going Anywhere Else Today"
would make a perfect Microsoft slogan.  "Crashes Are Normal" might also be a
good choice.
Bill Gates Passes Turing Test

LONDON, ENGLAND -- Microsoft proclaimed that they have passed the Turing
Test by creating a Bill Gates multimedia simulacrum that crack BBC
interviewer Jeremy Paxman couldn't distinguish from the real thing. "I
never would have expected this," Paxman said about the Gates AI program.
"After all, this Microsoft program actually worked for an extended period
of time, something you don't see very often."

Microsoft has plans to mass-produce the Bill Gates holographic simulation
by 2010 or so. "The hardware just isn't there yet for home use," a
Microserf explained. "By then, though, Intel's Itanium 6 Super Pro Plus
III CPU running at 600 Ghz or whatever should be sufficient." Windows 2010
is expected to include the Bill Gates simulation, making the World's
Richest Man(tm) accessible to the entire world.

A newly printed brochure for the faux-Gates advertises, "Need help running
Windows 2010? Bill Gates will sit beside you and guide you through the
system. Have a question for the world's sexiest and smartest nerd? He'll
answer it. Wondering if free and open source software is a plot by
Communists freaks to overthrow the free market system? He'll be there to
explain. Want to ask for a personal loan? Sorry, won't happen."          
Brief History Of Linux (#17)
If only Gary had been sober

When Micro-soft moved to Seattle in 1979, most of its revenue came from
sales of BASIC, a horrible language so dependant on GOTOs that spaghetti
looked more orderly than its code did. (BASIC has ruined more promising
programmers than anything else, prompting its original inventor Dartmouth
University to issue a public apology in 1986.)

However, by 1981 BASIC hit the backburner to what is now considered the
luckiest break in the history of computing: MS-DOS. (We use the term
"break" because MS-DOS was and always will be broken.) IBM was developing
a 16-bit "personal computer" and desperately needed an OS to drive it.

Their first choice was Gary Kildall's CP/M, but IBM never struck a deal
with him. We've discovered the true reason: Kildall was drunk at the time
the IBM representatives went to talk with him. A sober man would not have
insulted the reps, calling their employer an "Incredibly Bad Monopoly" and
referring to their new IBM-PC as an "Idealistically Backwards
Microcomputer for People without Clues". Needless to say, Gary "I Lost The
Deal Of The Century" Kildall was not sober.
Brief History Of Linux (#27)

Microsoft's position as the 5,000 pound gorilla of the computer industry
didn't change during the 1990's. Indeed, this gorilla got even more
bloated with every passing Windows release. Bill Gates' business strategy
was simple:

1. Pre-announce vaporous product.
2. Hire monkeys (low-paid temps) to cruft something together in VB
3. It it compiles, ship it.
4. Launch marketing campaign for new product showcasing MS "innovation".
5. Repeat (GOTO 1).

With such a plan Microsoft couldn't fail. That is, unless some external
force popped up and ruined everything. Such as Linux and the Internet
perhaps. Both of these developments were well-known to Bill Gates in the
early and mid 1990's (a company as large as Microsoft can afford a decent
spy network, after all). He just considered both to be mere fads that
would go away when Microsoft announced some new innovation, like PDAs --
Personal Desktop Agents (i.e. Bob and Clippit).
The Worst Musical Trio
        There are few bad musicians who have a chance to give a recital at
a famous concert hall while still learning the rudiments of their
instrument.  This happened about thirty years ago to the son of a Rumanian
gentleman who was owed a personal favour by Georges Enesco, the celebrated
violinist.  Enesco agreed to give lessons to the son who was quite
unhampered by great musical talent.
        Three years later the boy's father insisted that he give a public
concert.  "His aunt said that nobody plays the violin better than he does.
A cousin heard him the other day and screamed with enthusiasm."  Although
Enesco feared the consequences, he arranged a recital at the Salle Gaveau
in Paris.  However, nobody bought a ticket since the soloist was unknown.
        "Then you must accompany him on the piano," said the boy's father,
"and it will be a sell out."
        Reluctantly, Enesco agreed and it was.  On the night an excited
audience gathered.  Before the concert began Enesco became nervous and
asked for someone to turn his pages.
        In the audience was Alfred Cortot, the brilliant pianist, who
volunteered and made his way to the stage.
        The soloist was of uniformly low standard and next morning the
music critic of Le Figaro wrote: "There was a strange concert at the Salle
Gaveau last night.  The man whom we adore when he plays the violin played
the piano.  Another whom we adore when he plays the piano turned the pages.
But the man who should have turned the pages played the violin."
                -- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
I'm sorry if the following sounds combative and excessively personal,
but that's my general style.        -- Ian Jackson
<miguel> `You have been unsubscribed from the high energy personal
         protection devices mailing list'
<miguel> I dont remember getting into the mailing list
<Deek> "I keep my personal gpg data in a locked, lead safe in a vault
       guarded by angry rednecks and their dawgs.  Trespassers will be
       violated, and all that..."
I'm meditating on the FORMALDEHYDE and the ASBESTOS leaking into my
PERSONAL SPACE!!
"Computer literacy is a contact with the activity of computing deep enough to
make the computational equivalent of reading and writing fluent and enjoyable.
As in all the arts, a romance with the material must be well under way.  If
we value the lifelong learning of arts and letters as a springboard for
personal and societal growth, should any less effort be spent to make computing
a part of our lives?"
-- Alan Kay, "Computer Software", Scientific American, September 1984
I have sacrificed time, health, and fortune, in the desire to complete these
Calculating Engines.  I have also declined several offers of great personal
advantage to myself.  But, notwithstanding the sacrifice of these advantages
for the purpose of maturing an engine of almost intellectual power, and after
expending from my own private fortune a larger sum than the government of
England has spent on that machine, the execution of which it only commenced,
I have received neither an acknowledgement of my labors, not even the offer
of those honors or rewards which are allowed to fall within the reach of men
who devote themselves to purely scientific investigations...  

If the work upon which I have bestowed so much time and thought were a mere
triumph over mechanical difficulties, or simply curious, or if the execution
of such engines were of doubtful practicability or utility, some justification
might be found for the course which has been taken; but I venture to assert
that no mathematician who has a reputation to lose will ever publicly express
an opinion that such a machine would be useless if made, and that no man
distinguished as a civil engineer will venture to declare the construction of
such machinery impracticable...

And at a period when the progress of physical science is obstructed by that
exhausting intellectual and manual labor, indispensable for its advancement,
which it is the object of the Analytical Engine to relieve, I think the
application of machinery in aid of the most complicated and abtruse
calculations can no longer be deemed unworthy of the attention of the country.
In fact, there is no reason why mental as well as bodily labor should not
be economized by the aid of machinery.
- Charles Babbage, Passage from the Life of a Philosopher
The vigor of civilized societies is preserved by the widespread sense that high
aims are worth-while.  Vigorous societies harbor a certain extravagance of
objectives, so that men wander beyond the safe provision of personal
gratifications.  All strong interests easily become impersonal, the love of
a good job well done.  There is a sense of harmony about such an accomplishment,
the Peace brought by something worth-while.
- Alfred North Whitehead, 1963, in "The History of Manned Space Flight"
The more a man is imbued with the ordered regularity of all events, the firmer
becomes his conviction that there is no room left by the side of this ordered
regularity for causes of a different nature.  For him neither the rule of
human nor the rule of divine will exists as an independent cause of natural
events.  To be sure, the doctrine of a personal God interfering with natural
events could never be refuted, in the real sense, by science, for this
doctrine can always take refuge in those domains in which scientific knowledge
has not yet been able to set foot.

But I am persuaded that such behavior on the part of the representatives
of religion would not only be unworthy but also fatal.  For a doctrine which
is able to maintain itself not in clear light, but only in the dark, will
of necessity lose its effect on mankind, with incalculable harm to human
progress.  In their struggle for the ethical good, teachers of religion
must have the stature to give up the doctrine of a personal God, that is,
give up that source of fear and hope which in the past placed such vast
powers in the hands of priests.  In their labors they will have to avail
themselves of those forces which are capable of cultivating the Good, the
True, and the Beautiful in humanity itself.  This is, to be sure, a more
difficult but an incomparably more worthy task.
- Albert Einstein
"Calling J-Man Kink.  Calling J-Man Kink.  Hash missile sighted, target
Los Angeles.  Disregard personal feelings about city and intercept."
-- The Firesign Theatre movie, _J-Men Forever_
"The Amiga is the only personal computer where you can run a multitasking
operating system and get realtime performance, out of the box."
-- Peter da Silva
Even if we put all these nagging thoughts [four embarrassing questions about
astrology] aside for a moment, one overriding question remains to be asked.
Why would the positions of celestial objects at the moment of birth have an
effect on our characters, lives, or destinies?  What force or influence,
what sort of energy would travel from the planets and stars to all human
beings and affect our development or fate?  No amount of scientific-sounding
jargon or computerized calculations by astrologers can disguise this central
problem with astrology -- we can find no evidence of a mechanism by which
celestial objects can influence us in so specific and personal a way. . . .
Some astrologers argue that there may be a still unknown force that represents
the astrological influence. . . .If so, astrological predictions -- like those
of any scientific field -- should be easily tested. . . . Astrologers always
claim to be just a little too busy to carry out such careful tests of their
efficacy, so in the last two decades scientists and statisticians have
generously done such testing for them.  There have been dozens of well-designed
tests all around the world, and astrology has failed every one of them. . . .
I propose that we let those beckoning lights in the sky awaken our interest
in the real (and fascinating) universe beyond our planet, and not let them
keep us tied to an ancient fantasy left over from a time when we huddled by
the firelight, afraid of the night.
-- Andrew Fraknoi, Executive Officer, Astronomical Society of the Pacific,
    "Why Astrology Believers Should Feel Embarrassed," San Jose Mercury
    News, May 8, 1988
                        HOW TO PROVE IT, PART 4

proof by personal communication:
        'Eight-dimensional colored cycle stripping is NP-complete
        [Karp, personal communication].'

proof by reduction to the wrong problem:
        'To see that infinite-dimensional colored cycle stripping is
        decidable, we reduce it to the halting problem.'

proof by reference to inaccessible literature:
        The author cites a simple corollary of a theorem to be found
        in a privately circulated memoir of the Slovenian
        Philological Society, 1883.

proof by importance:
        A large body of useful consequences all follow from the
        proposition in question.
                Hard Copies and Chmod

And everyone thinks computers are impersonal
cold diskdrives hardware monitors
user-hostile software

of course they're only bits and bytes
and characters and strings
and files

just some old textfiles from my old boyfriend
telling me he loves me and
he'll take care of me

simply a discarded printout of a friend's directory
deep intimate secrets and
how he doesn't trust me

couldn't hurt me more if they were scented in lavender or mould
on personal stationery
                -- terri@csd4.milw.wisc.edu
        A MODERN FABLE

Aesop's fables and other traditional children's stories involve allegory
far too subtle for the youth of today.  Children need an updated message
with contemporary circumstance and plot line, and short enough to suit
today's minute attention span.

        The Troubled Aardvark

Once upon a time, there was an aardvark whose only pleasure in life was
driving from his suburban bungalow to his job at a large brokerage house
in his brand new 4x4.  He hated his manipulative boss, his conniving and
unethical co-workers, his greedy wife, and his snivelling, spoiled
children.  One day, the aardvark reflected on the meaning of his life and
his career and on the unchecked, catastrophic decline of his nation, its
pathetic excuse for leadership, and the complete ineffectiveness of any
personal effort he could make to change the status quo.  Overcome by a
wave of utter depression and self-doubt, he decided to take the only
course of action that would bring him greater comfort and happiness: he
drove to the mall and bought imported consumer electronics goods.

MORAL OF THE STORY:  Invest in foreign consumer electronics manufacturers.
                -- Tom Annau
Like you,  I am frequently haunted by profound questions related to man's
place in the Scheme of Things.  Here are just a few:

        Q -- Is there life after death?
        A -- Definitely.  I speak from personal experience here.  On New
Year's Eve, 1970, I drank a full pitcher of a drink called "Black Russian",
then crawled out on the lawn and died within a matter of minutes, which was
fine with me because I had come to realize that if I had lived I would have
spent the rest of my life in the grip of the most excruciatingly painful
headache.  Thanks to the miracle of modern orange juice, I was brought back
to life several days later, but in the interim I was definitely dead.  I
guess my main impression of the afterlife is that it isn't so bad as long
as you keep the television turned down and don't try to eat any solid foods.
                -- Dave Barry
        ... This striving for excellence extends into people's personal
lives as well.  When '80s people buy something, they buy the best one, as
determined by (1) price and (2) lack of availability. Eighties people buy
imported dental floss.  They buy gourmet baking soda.  If an '80s couple
goes to a restaurant where they have made a reservation three weeks in
advance, and they are informed that their table is available, they stalk
out immediately, because they know it is not an excellent restaurant.  If
it were, it would have an enormous crowd of excellence-oriented people
like themselves waiting, their beepers going off like crickets in the
night.  An excellent restaurant wouldn't have a table ready immediately
for anybody below the rank of Liza Minnelli.
                -- Dave Barry, "In Search of Excellence"
It [being a Vulcan] means to adopt a philosophy, a way of life which is
logical and beneficial.  We cannot disregard that philosophy merely for
personal gain, no matter how important that gain might be.
                -- Spock, "Journey to Babel", stardate 3842.4
Heaven, n.:
        A place where the wicked cease from troubling you with talk of
        their personal affairs, and the good listen with attention while you
        expound your own.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Impartial, adj.:
        Unable to perceive any promise of personal advantage from
        espousing either side of a controversy or adopting either of two
        conflicting opinions.
                -- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
Rhode's Law:
        When any principle, law, tenet, probability, happening, circumstance,
        or result can in no way be directly, indirectly, empirically, or
        circuitously proven, derived, implied, inferred, induced, deducted,
        estimated, or scientifically guessed, it will always for the purpose
        of convenience, expediency, political advantage, material gain, or
        personal comfort, or any combination of the above, or none of the
        above, be unilaterally and unequivocally assumed, proclaimed, and
        adhered to as absolute truth to be undeniably, universally, immutably,
        and infinitely so, until such time as it becomes advantageous to
        assume otherwise, maybe.
Decade Blending:
        In clothing: the indiscriminate combination of two or more
items from various decades to create a personal mood: Sheila =
Mary Quant earrings (1960s) + cork wedgie platform shows (1970s) +
black leather jacket (1950s and 1980s).
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Successophobia:
        The fear that if one is successful, then one's personal needs
will be forgotten and one will no longer have one's childish needs
catered to.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Personal Tabu:
        A small rule for living, bordering on a superstition, that
allows one to cope with everyday life in the absence of cultural or
religious dictums.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Me-ism:
        A search by an individual, in the absence of training in
traditional religious tenets, to formulate a personally tailored
religion by himself.  Most frequently a mishmash of reincarnation,
personal dialogue with a nebulously defined god figure, naturalism,
and karmic eye-for-eye attitudes.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Bradyism:
        A multisibling sensibility derived from having grown up in
large families.  A rarity in those born after approximately 1965,
symptoms of Bradyism include a facility for mind games, emotional
withdrawal in situations of overcrowding, and a deeply felt need for a
well-defined personal space.
                -- Douglas Coupland, "Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated
                   Culture"
Something better...

1 (obvious): Excuse me.  Is that your nose or did a bus park on your face?
2 (meteorological): Everybody take cover.  She's going to blow.
3 (fashionable): You know, you could de-emphasize your nose if you wore
        something larger.  Like ... Wyoming.
4 (personal): Well, here we are.  Just the three of us.
5 (punctual): Alright gentlemen.  Your nose was on time but you were fifteen
        minutes late.
6 (envious): Oooo, I wish I were you.  Gosh.  To be able to smell your
        own ear.
7 (naughty): Pardon me, Sir.  Some of the ladies have asked if you wouldn't
        mind putting that thing away.
8 (philosophical): You know.  It's not the size of a nose that's important.
        It's what's in it that matters.
9 (humorous): Laugh and the world laughs with you.  Sneeze and it's goodbye,
        Seattle.
10 (commercial): Hi, I'm Earl Schibe and I can paint that nose for $39.95.
11 (polite): Ah.  Would you mind not bobbing your head.  The orchestra keeps
        changing tempo.
12 (melodic): Everybody! "He's got the whole world in his nose."
                -- Steve Martin, "Roxanne"
There are many people today who literally do not have a close personal
friend.  They may know something that we don't.  They are probably
avoiding a great deal of pain.
We thrive on euphemism.  We call multi-megaton bombs "Peace-keepers", closet
size apartments "efficient" and incomprehensible artworks "innovative".  In
fact, "euphemism" has become a euphemism for "bald-faced lie".  And now, here
are the euphemisms so colorfully employed in Personal Ads:

EUPHEMISM                        REALITY
-------------------                -------------------------
Excited about life's journey        No concept of reality
Spiritually evolved                Oversensitive
Moody                                Manic-depressive
Soulful                                Quiet manic-depressive
Poet                                Boring manic-depressive
Sultry/Sensual                        Easy
Uninhibited                        Lacking basic social skills
Unaffected and earthy                Slob and lacking basic social skills
Irreverent                        Nasty and lacking basic social skills
Very human                        Quasimodo's best friend
Swarthy                                Sweaty even when cold or standing still
Spontaneous/Eclectic                Scatterbrained
Flexible                        Desperate
Aging child                        Self-centered adult
Youthful                        Over 40 and trying to deny it
Good sense of humor                Watches a lot of television
Your Co-worker Could Be a Space Alien, Say Experts
                ...Here's How You Can Tell
Many Americans work side by side with space aliens who look human -- but you
can spot these visitors by looking for certain tip-offs, say experts. They
listed 10 signs to watch for:
    (3) Bizarre sense of humor.  Space aliens who don't understand
        earthly humor may laugh during a company training film or tell
        jokes that no one understands, said Steiger.
    (6) Misuses everyday items.  "A space alien may use correction
        fluid to paint its nails," said Steiger.
    (8) Secretive about personal life-style and home.  "An alien won't
        discuss details or talk about what it does at night or on weekends."
   (10) Displays a change of mood or physical reaction when near certain
        high-tech hardware.  "An alien may experience a mood change when
        a microwave oven is turned on," said Steiger.
The experts pointed out that a co-worker would have to display most if not
all of these traits before you can positively identify him as a space alien.
                -- National Enquirer, Michael Cassels, August, 1984.

        [I thought everybody laughed at company training films.  Ed.]
Good government never depends upon laws, but upon the personal qualities of
those who govern.  The machinery of government is always subordinate to the
will of those who administer that machinery.  The most important element of
government, therefore, is the method of choosing leaders.
                -- Frank Herbert, "Children of Dune"
It is enough to make one sympathize with a tyrant for the determination
of his courtiers to deceive him for their own personal ends...
                -- Russell Baker and Charles Peters
        A master was explaining the nature of Tao to one of his novices.
"The Tao is embodied in all software -- regardless of how insignificant,"
said the master.
        "Is Tao in a hand-held calculator?" asked the novice.
        "It is," came the reply.
        "Is the Tao in a video game?" continued the novice.
        "It is even in a video game," said the master.
        "And is the Tao in the DOS for a personal computer?"
        The master coughed and shifted his position slightly.  "The lesson
is over for today," he said.
                -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
===  ALL USERS PLEASE NOTE  ========================

Bug reports now amount to an average of 12,853 per day.  Unfortunately,
this is only a small fraction [ < 1% ] of the mail volume we receive.  In
order that we may more expeditiously deal with these valuable messages,
please communicate them by one of the following paths:

        ARPA:  WastebasketSLMHQ.ARPA
        UUCP:  [berkeley, seismo, harpo]!fubar!thekid!slmhq!wastebasket
         Non-network sites:  Federal Express to:
                Wastebasket
                Room NE43-926
                Copernicus, The Moon, 12345-6789
        For that personal contact feeling call 1-415-642-4948; our trained
        operators are on call 24 hours a day.  VISA/MC accepted.*

* Our very rich lawyers have assured us that we are not
  responsible for any errors or advice given over the phone.
I have sacrificed time, health, and fortune, in the desire to complete these
Calculating Engines.  I have also declined several offers of great personal
advantage to myself.  But, notwithstanding the sacrifice of these advantages
for the purpose of maturing an engine of almost intellectual power, and
after expending from my own private fortune a larger sum than the government
of England has spent on that machine, the execution of which it only
commenced, I have received neither an acknowledgement of my labors, not even
the offer of those honors or rewards which are allowed to fall within the
reach of men who devote themselves to purely scientific investigations...
        If the work upon which I have bestowed so much time and thought were
a mere triumph over mechanical difficulties, or simply curious, or if the
execution of such engines were of doubtful practicability or utility, some
justification might be found for the course which has been taken; but I
venture to assert that no mathematician who has a reputation to lose will
ever publicly express an opinion that such a machine would be useless if
made, and that no man distinguished as a civil engineer will venture to
declare the construction of such machinery impracticable...
        And at a period when the progress of physical science is obstructed
by that exhausting intellectual and manual labor, indispensable for its
advancement, which it is the object of the Analytical Engine to relieve, I
think the application of machinery in aid of the most complicated and abtruse
calculations can no longer be deemed unworthy of the attention of the country.
In fact, there is no reason why mental as well as bodily labor should not
be economized by the aid of machinery.
                -- Charles Babbage, "The Life of a Philosopher"
Imagine that Cray computer decides to make a personal computer.  It has
a 150 MHz processor, 200 megabytes of RAM, 1500 megabytes of disk
storage, a screen resolution of 4096 x 4096 pixels, relies entirely on
voice recognition for input, fits in your shirt pocket and costs $300.
What's the first question that the computer community asks?

"Is it PC compatible?"
        Now she speaks rapidly.  "Do you know *why* you want to program?"
        He shakes his head.  He hasn't the faintest idea.
        "For the sheer *joy* of programming!" she cries triumphantly.  
"The joy of the parent, the artist, the craftsman.  "You take a program,
born weak and impotent as a dimly-realized solution.  You nurture the
program and guide it down the right path, building, watching it grow ever
stronger.  Sometimes you paint with tiny strokes, a keystroke added here,
a keystroke changed there."  She sweeps her arm in a wide arc.  "And other
times you savage whole *blocks* of code, ripping out the program's very
*essence*, then beginning anew.  But always building, creating, filling the
program with your own personal stamp, your own quirks and nuances.  Watching
the program grow stronger, patching it when it crashes, until finally it can
stand alone -- proud, powerful, and perfect.  This is the programmer's finest
hour!"  Softly at first, then louder, he hears the strains of a Sousa march.
"This ... this is your canvas! your clay!  Go forth and create a masterwork!"
Real software engineers don't like the idea of some inexplicable and
greasy hardware several aisles away that may stop working at any
moment.  They have a great distrust of hardware people, and wish that
systems could be virtual at *___all* levels.  They would like personal
computers (you know no one's going to trip over something and kill your
DFA in mid-transit), except that they need 8 megabytes to run their
Correctness Verification Aid packages.
                The Guy on the Right Doesn't Stand a Chance
The guy on the right has the Osborne 1, a fully functional computer system
in a portable package the size of a briefcase.  The guy on the left has an
Uzi submachine gun concealed in his attache case.  Also in the case are four
fully loaded, 32-round clips of 125-grain 9mm ammunition.  The owner of the
Uzi is going to get more tactical firepower delivered -- and delivered on
target -- in less time, and with less effort.  All for $795. It's inevitable.
If you're going up against some guy with an Osborne 1 -- or any personal
computer -- he's the one who's in trouble.  One round from an Uzi can zip
through ten inches of solid pine wood, so you can imagine what it will do
to structural foam acrylic and sheet aluminum.  In fact, detachable magazines
for the Uzi are available in 25-, 32-, and 40-round capacities, so you can
take out an entire office full of Apple II or IBM Personal Computers tied
into Ethernet or other local-area networks.  What about the new 16-bit
computers, like the Lisa and Fortune?  Even with the Winchester backup,
they're no match for the Uzi.  One quick burst and they'll find out what
Unix means.  Make your commanding officer proud.  Get an Uzi -- and come home
a winner in the fight for office automatic weapons.
                -- "InfoWorld", June, 1984
The personal computer market is about the same size as the total potato chip
market.  Next year it will be about half the size of the pet food market and
is fast approaching the total worldwide sales of pantyhose"
                -- James Finke, Commodore Int'l Ltd., 1982
Good government never depends upon laws, but upon the personal qualities of
those who govern.  The machinery of government is always subordinate to the
will of those who administer that machinery.  The most important element of
government, therefore, is the method of choosing leaders.
                -- Frank Herbert, "Children of Dune"
When alerted to an intrusion by tinkling glass or otherwise, 1) Calm
yourself 2) Identify the intruder 3) If hostile, kill him.

Step number 3 is of particular importance.  If you leave the guy alive
out of misguided softheartedness, he will repay your generosity of spirit
by suing you for causing his subsequent paraplegia and seek to force you
to support him for the rest of his rotten life.  In court he will plead
that he was depressed because society had failed him, and that he was
looking for Mother Teresa for comfort and to offer his services to the
poor.  In that lawsuit, you will lose.  If, on the other hand, you kill
him, the most that you can expect is that a relative will bring a wrongful
death action. You will have two advantages: first, there be only your
story; forget Mother Teresa.  Second, even if you lose, how much could
the bum's life be worth anyway?  A Lot less than 50 years worth of
paralysis.  Don't play George Bush and Saddam Hussein.  Finish the job.
        -- G. Gordon Liddy's "Forbes" column on personal security
You will always have good luck in your personal affairs.
No guarantee of accuracy or completeness!
©TU Chemnitz, 2006-2019
Your feedback:
Ad partners


Sprachreise mit Sprachdirekt
Sprachreisen.org