UNIX survives because, unlike other operating systems, it lacks doubt and guilt. UNIX does just what you tell it to, as quickly and efficiently as it can, and then waits for more work. It doesn't worry about whether what you asked it to do was fair, beneficial, or even sensible. It just does it.
-Frank Wilson, Managing Editor O'Reilly & Associates
We will encourage you to develop the three great virtues of a programmer: laziness, impatience, and hubris.
-Larry Wall and Randal L. Schwarz, in Programming Perl
Here is a language so far ahead of its time, that is was not only an improvement on its predecessors, but also on nearly all its successors.
-C. A. R. Hoare on ALGOL 60
No gain, no pain.
-Irv Hwang, during motivational speech to employees at Hoechst-Rousell Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Like many important theorems, it says nothing.
-Christos H. Papadimitriou on Cook's theorem.
First rule of government spending: why build one when you can have two for twice the price?
People may stare at you with condescending disbelief when you confess your addiction to a show with a title like this. Their loss.
TV Guide on Buffy the Vampire Slayer
January 2, 1999

Graduate School Advice

Advice given to an anonymous incoming Berkeley CS graduate student:
  1. Choose a topic your advisor knows nothing about.
  2. Don't depend on anyone else's work, and don't let anyone else depend on yours.
  3. Don't promise anything until you already have it done.

The Wit and Wisdom of Star Trek

I never doubted the outcome. We were like warriors from the ancient sagas, there was nothing we could not do.
-Lt. Worf to Miles O'Brien
Way of the Warrior, Deep Space 9

The more they overtake the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain.
-Montgomery Scott
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

S: Star fleet captains are like children. They want everything right now and they want it their away; but the secret is to give them only what they need, not what they want.
G: Yeah, well I told the captain I'd have this analysis done in a hour.
S: How long will it really take?
G: An Hour!
S: Ah, you didn't tell him how long it would really take, did ya?
G: Well, of course I did.
S: Ah laddie, you're got a lot to learn if you want people to think of you as a miracle worker.

-Montgomery Scott to Georgi LaForge
"Relics," Star Trek: The Next Generation

A Gender Gap

T: I'm just tryin' to help out Emma; that's all I'm doin'.
E: Look, if I need your help I'll ask for it. Otherwise, don't get involved in my life.
T: Wait a minute! I thought that I was involved in your life.
E: I don't think we should see each other anymore.
T: Emma, come on, you don't mean that.
E: Yeah I do.
T: Okay, look. I sorry; if there was something that I did, I apologize.
E: Look, if you want to be in a relationship with me, deal with me; don't fight with my friends about me. If you want to fight, fight with me.
T: I don't want to fight with you.
E: See, that's exactly what I'm talking about.
T: What?!
E: If you don't want to fight with me, I can't be in this relationship. I can't be in a relationship with you. You don't want to fight with me so I don't want this relationship!
-Tim Bayliss and Emma Zoole
"Happy to Be Here," Homicide: Life on the Street,

The Joys of Dining Hall Food

Contrary to what students who ate at the Tillett Dining Hall Monday night may think, worms will not be a regular feature on the dinner menu.

On Monday night, as the dining hall of Livingston College served Monk Fish, also know as "poor man's lobster," food servers reported seeing worms in the fish before it was cooked.

[Ted Petrock, a chef at Tillet Dining Hall] described living parasites on the fish as a sign of its freshness. There would be a concern if the parasites seen on the fish were dead, Petrock said.

-The Daily Targum (Rutgers University Newspaper), Wednesday November 15 1995 reporting on the benefits of eating fish fresh enough to have parasites

Epitome: A Cut Above

But suddenly reined back by some counter thought, he hurried towards the helm, huskily demanding how the ship was heading.

'East-sou-est, sir,' said the frightened steersman.

'Thou liest!' smiting him with his clenched fist. 'Heading East at this hour in the morning and the sun astern?'

Upon this every soul was confounded; for the phenomenon just observed by Ahab had unaccountably escaped every one else; but its very blinding palpableness must have been the cause.

Thrusting his head half way into the binnacle, Ahab caught one glimpse of the compasses, his uplifted arm slowly fell; or a moment he almost seemed to stagger. Standing behind him Starbuck looked, and lo! the two compasses pointed east, and the Pequod was as infallibly going West.

Captain Ahad noticing the true direction of the Pequod's movement after the compasses had been reversed by lightning.
Moby Dick, The Needle, Chapter 124
Herman Melville


Every second billions of innocent assembler instructions are executed all over the world. Inhumanly they are put on a pipeline and executed with no regard to their feelings. The illegal instructions are spared, although they should be executed instead of the legal ones.

Prior to the execution the instructions are transported to a cache unit using a bus. There they spent their last moments waiting for the execution. Just before the execution the instruction is separated into several pieces. The execution isn't always fast and painless. On crude hardware the execution of a complex instruction can take as long as 150 clock cycles. Scientists are working on shorter execution times.

Microsoft endorses the needless execution of instructions with their products like DOSTM, WindowsTM, WordTM and ExcelTM. It is more humane to use software which minimises the executions.

Modern machines use several units to execute multiple instructions simultaneously. This way it is possible to execute several hundred million instructions per second. The time is near when there will be no more instructions to execute.

ACT NOW! Before it's too late.

This article was written on recycled paper by hand.

-Erkki Tapola
rec.humor.funny, July 19, 1996

Joseph D. Darcy