These are some of our favorite quotations about computers, the Internet, and technology in general. We find it very useful to have a selection of quotations to use when we're preparing presentations and handouts. Do you know of a quote we should include in our list? Please let us know!
"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us."
-Western Union internal memo, 1876.
"There are three kinds of death in this world. There's heart death, there's brain death, and there's being off the network."
"In view of all the deadly computer viruses that have been spreading lately, Weekend Update would like to remind you: when you link up to another computer, you're linking up to every computer that that computer has ever linked up to."
-Dennis Miller, Saturday Night Live
"In the old days, people robbed stagecoaches and knocked off armored trucks. Now they're knocking off servers."
"Plugging your computer into the wall without a surge protector is like driving through the city without car insurance."
- Joel Johnson, SearchNetworking.com site expert on network administration
"Document, study and read. This is a profession; we are not blue-collar workers. We are in an ever-changing field and if you don't read, you're dead."
-Robert Shimonski on networking professionals
SearchNetworking.com site expert on network management
"The wireless telegraph is not difficult to understand. The ordinary telegraph is like a very long cat. You pull the tail in New York, and it meows in Los Angeles. The wireless is the same, only without the cat."
-Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
"Where is all the knowledge we lost with information?"
- T.S. Elliot
"The telephone wire, as we know it, has become too slow and too small to handle Internet traffic. It took 75 years for telephones to be used by 50 million customers, but it took only four years for the Internet to reach that many users."
- Lori Valigra
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it."
- Alan Kay
"The newest computer can merely compound, at speed, the oldest problem in the relations between human beings, and in the end the communicator will be confronted with the old problem, of what to say and how to say it."
- Edward R. Murrow
"There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home."
Kenneth H. Olson, President of DEC, Convention of the World Future Society, 1977
"Web Services is currently like sex with aliens, some people say it happens but nobody can furnish any proof."
"640K ought to be enough for anybody."
- Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, 1981
"The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do."
- B. F. Skinner
"There are three roads to ruin; women, gambling and technicians. The most pleasant is with women, the quickest is with gambling, but the surest is with technicians."
- George Pompidou
"Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage, and those who manage what they do not understand."
"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
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
- IBM Chairman Thomas Watson, 1943
"If you have any trouble sounding condescending, find a Unix user to show you how it's done."
- Scott Adams
"In a few minutes a computer can make a mistake so great that it would have taken many men many months to equal it."
"If computers get too powerful, we can organize them into a committee. That will do them in."
- Bradley's Bromide
"The Internet is the Viagra of big business."
- Jack Welch, Chairman and CEO, General Electric
"At some point...we must have faith in the intelligence of the end user."
"There are two major products that came out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. We don't believe this to be a coincidence."
- Jeremy S. Anderson
"One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man."
- Elbert Hubbard
"Any teacher that can be replaced by a computer, deserves to be."
- David Thornburg
"Those parts of the system that you can hit with a hammer are called hardware; those program instructions that you can only curse at are called software."
"We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology."
- Carl Sagan
"If you tried to read every document on the web, then for each day's effort you would be a year further behind in your goal."
"There might be new technology, but technological progress itself was nothing new - and over the years it had not destroyed jobs, but created them."
- Margaret Thatcher
"The last good thing written in C++ was the Pachelbel Canon."
- Jerry Olson
"The most overlooked advantage to owning a computer is that if they foul up there's no law against whacking them around a little."
"Everything that can be invented has been invented."
- Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899
"Computers are magnificent tools for the realization of our dreams, but no machine can replace the human spark of spirit, compassion, love, and understanding."
- Louis Gerstner, CEO, IBM
"Any science or technology which is sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from magic."
- Arthur C. Clarke
"Never let a computer know you're in a hurry."
"A year spent in artificial intelligence is enough to make one believe in God."
- Alan J. Perlis
"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
- Thomas Edison
"Get your feet off my desk, get out of here, you stink, and we're not going to buy your product."
- Joe Keenan, President of Atari, in 1976 responding to Steve Jobs' offer to sell him rights to the new personal computer he and Steve Wozniak developed
"The Internet is a great way to get on the net."
- Senator Bob Dole
"Computers in the future may have only 1,000 vacuum tubes and perhaps only weigh 1 1/2 tons."
- Popular Mechanics, 1949
"From then on, when anything went wrong with a computer, we said it had bugs in it."
- Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, US Navy
"Technology is like fish. The longer it stays on the shelf, the less desirable it becomes."
- Andrew Heller, IBM
"AOL is like the cockroach left after the nuclear bomb hits. They know how to survive."
- Jan Horsfall, VP of marketing for Lycos
"How could this be a problem in a country where we have Intel and Microsoft?"
- Al Gore on Y2K
"The modern computer hovers between the obsolescent and the nonexistent."
- Sydney Brenner in 1927
"The Linux philosophy is 'Laugh in the face of danger'. Oops. Wrong One. 'Do it yourself'. Yes, that's it."
- Linus Torvalds
"Windows is just DOS in drag."
"During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."
- Al Gore describing his 1986 legislation to interconnect five supercomputer centers (17 years after the first Internet servers hooked up)
"If Gore invented the Internet, I invented spell-check."
- Former Vice President J. Danforth Quayle
"The day I made that statement, I was tired because I'd been up all night inventing the Camcorder."
- Al Gore attempting damage control
"Too much networking is just not enough!"
-Dr. "Greg" Network, SearchNetworking.com site expert
- "Real Users never know what they want, but they always know when your program doesn't deliver it." -Author unknown Submitted by Carol Tryon
- "The purpose of Physics class is to make the engineers realize that they're not perfect, and to make the rest of the people realize that they're not engineers." - Author unknown Submitted by Carol Tryon
- "When properly administered, vacations do not diminish productivity: for every week you're away and get nothing done, there's another when your boss is away and you get twice as much done." - Daniel B. Luten Submitted by Carol Tryon
- "If you think the problem is bad now, just wait until we've solved it." - Arthur Kasspe Submitted by Carol Tryon
- "All programmers are playwrights and all computers are lousy actors." -Author unknown Submitted by Carol Tryon
- "Oops. My brain just hit a bad sector." -Anonymous Submitted by Carol Tryon
- "Whom computers would destroy, they must first drive mad." -Author unknown Submitted by Carol Tryon
- "Paradigm - shifting without a clutch …" -Author unknown Submitted by Carol Tryon
- "Failure is not an option - It comes bundled with the software." -Author unknown Submitted by Carol Tryon
- "A picture is worth a thousand words but it uses up a thousand times more memory." -Author unknown Submitted by Carol Tryon
- "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick Submitted by Carol Tryon
- Best Reasons Not to Come Back From Lunch: "We felt a drunk with root access was a bad thing..." Author unknown Submitted by Carol Tryon
- Buying the right computer and getting it to work properly is no more complicated than building a nuclear reactor from wristwatch parts in a darkened room using only your teeth. - Dave Barry Submitted by Carol Tryon
- Billet is from Medieval French billette, from Old French bullette, diminutive of bulle, "a document," from Medieval Latin bulla, "a document" proving that documents are derived from bull. Submitted by Carol Tryon
- "No trees were killed in the sending of this message. However, a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced." Author unknown Submitted by Carol Tryon
- "UNIX was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that would also stop you from doing clever things." - Doug Gwyn Submitted by Carol Tryon
- "You can teach a user a process, but you can't make them think." -Steve Ashley Submitted by Carol Tryon
- "The future is already upon us, it is just unevenly distributed." - William Gibson Submitted by Carol Tryon
- "Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity." Author unknown Submitted by Carol Tryon
- "A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila."
-Mitch Ratliffe —Submitted by: Bill Baker
- "A crash reduces your expensive computer to a simple stone."
-James Lopez —Submitted by: Ken D.
- "Boot, you transistorized tormentor ... BOOOOOOOT!"
-Alfred Leek (Veggie Tales) —Submitted by: Karin D.
- "Neither expert project management or technical expertise can save a project from a bad political situation."
-Anonymous —Submitted by: Wayne
- "The use of COBOL cripples the mind. Its teaching, therefore, should be considered a criminal offense."
- Edgars Dykstra —Submitted by: Ralph S.
- "Reboot and sin no more."
Submitted by Rick Killmer
- Three people you don't want to tick off, the person preparing your food, your air conditioner man and your network technician.
Submitted by Jake Beaver
- "Redundant systems should be designed to fail in pairs."
Submitted by Bob McCullough
- "The only system which is truly secure is one which is switched off and unplugged, locked in a titanium lined safe, buried in a concrete bunker, and is surrounded by nerve gas and very highly paid armed guards. Even then I wouldn't stake my life on it." Gene Spafford
Submitted by George E. Stephenson, Systems Security Architect and Administrator