cs quotes

Thanks to Troy Ronda for compiling these!

  • Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

         -- A. Clarke

  • The real technology -- behind all our other technologies -- is language. It actually creates the world our consciousness lives in.

         -- A. Codrescu

  • If you don't think carefully, you might believe that programming is just typing statements in a programming language.

         -- W. Cunningham

  • If you cannot describe what you are doing as a process, you don't know what you're doing.

         -- W. E. Deming

  • As long as there were no machines, programming was no problem at all; when we had a few weak computers, programming became a mild problem, and now [1972] that we have gigantic computers, programming has become a gigantic problem. As the power of available machines grew by a factor of more than a thousand, society's ambition to apply these new machines grew in proportion, and it was the poor programmer who found his job in this exploded field of tension between the ends and the means. The increased power of the hardware, together with the perhaps more dramatic increase in its reliability, made solutions feasible that the programmer had not dared to dream about a few years before. And now, a few years later, he had to dream about them and even worse, he had to transform such dreams into reality! It is no wonder that we found ourselves in a software crisis

         -- E. Dijkstra (The Humble Programmer, "ACM Turing Award Lectures: The First 25 Years", Addison-Wesley, 1987, pages 17-32)

  • In the development of the understanding of complex phenomena, the most powerful tool available to the human intellect is abstraction. Abstraction arises from the recognition of similarities between certain objects, situations, or processes in the real world and the decision to concentrate on these similarities and to ignore, for the time being, their differences.

         -- C.A.R. Hoare

  • Computers are to computing as instruments are to music. Software is the score whose interpretations amplifies our reach and lifts our spirits. Leonardo da Vinci called music the shaping of the invisible, and his phrase is even more apt as a description of software.

         -- A. Kay

  • To understand a program, you must become both the machine and the program.

         -- A. Perlis

  • Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.

         -- Popular Science (1959)

  • There are only 10 different kinds of people in the world: those who know binary and those who don't.

         -- Anonymous

updated June 20 2003
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