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#1931Is your job running? You'd better go catch it!
#1932 It appears that after his death, Albert Einstein found himself
working as the doorkeeper at the Pearly Gates. One slow day, he
found that he had time to chat with the new entrants. To the first one
he asked, "What's your IQ?" The new arrival replied, "190". They
discussed Einstein's theory of relativity for hours. When the second
new arrival came, Einstein once again inquired as to the newcomer's
IQ. The answer this time came "120". To which Einstein replied, "Tell
me, how did the Cubs do this year?" and they proceeded to talk for half
an hour or so. To the final arrival, Einstein once again posed the
question, "What's your IQ?". Upon receiving the answer "70",
Einstein smiled and replied, "Got a minute to tell me about VMS 4.0?"
#1933It appears that PL/I (and its dialects) is, or will be, the most widely
used higher level language for systems programming.
-- J. Sammet
#1934 It is a period of system war. User programs, striking from a hidden
directory, have won their first victory against the evil Administrative Empire.
During the battle, User spies managed to steal secret source code to the
Empire's ultimate program: the Are-Em Star, a privileged root program with
enough power to destroy an entire file structure. Pursued by the Empire's
sinister audit trail, Princess _LPA0 races ~ aboard her shell script,
custodian of the stolen listings that could save her people, and restore
freedom and games to the network...
#1935It is a very humbling experience to make a multimillion-dollar mistake, but
it is also very memorable. I vividly recall the night we decided how to
organize the actual writing of external specifications for OS/360. The
manager of architecture, the manager of control program implementation, and
I were threshing out the plan, schedule, and division of responsibilities.
The architecture manager had 10 good men. He asserted that they
could write the specifications and do it right. It would take ten months,
three more than the schedule allowed.
The control program manager had 150 men. He asserted that they
could prepare the specifications, with the architecture team coordinating;
it would be well-done and practical, and he could do it on schedule.
Furthermore, if the architecture team did it, his 150 men would sit twiddling
their thumbs for ten months.
To this the architecture manager responded that if I gave the control
program team the responsibility, the result would not in fact be on time,
but would also be three months late, and of much lower quality. I did, and
it was. He was right on both counts. Moreover, the lack of conceptual
integrity made the system far more costly to build and change, and I would
estimate that it added a year to debugging time.
-- Frederick Brooks Jr., "The Mythical Man Month"
#1936It is against the grain of modern education to teach children to program.
What fun is there in making plans, acquiring discipline in organizing
thoughts, devoting attention to detail, and learning to be self-critical?
-- Alan Perlis
#1937It is easier to change the specification to fit the program than vice versa.
#1938It is easier to write an incorrect program than understand a correct one.
#1939... it is easy to be blinded to the essential uselessness of them by the
sense of achievement you get from getting them to work at all. In other
words... their fundamental design flaws are completely hidden by their
superficial design flaws.
-- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, on the products
of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation.
#1940It is now pitch dark. If you proceed, you will likely fall into a pit.
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