[SIGCIS-Members] Some quotations

Ceruzzi, Paul CeruzziP at si.edu
Sun Jul 28 07:06:25 PDT 2019

Greetings SIGCIS members:

We recently moved offices during a building renovation, and in the process I found a lot of stuff, including a folder of quotations. I've pulled out some of the better ones, and excluded ones that I could not verify. I hope you don't mind:

Paul Ceruzzi

National Air and Space Museum

Washington, DC


“I have discovered a truly remarkable proof of this theorem, which this margin is too small to contain.” – Pierre Fermat, 1640

“…the Analytical Engine weaves algebraic patterns just as the Jacquard-loom weaves flowers and leaves.” – Ada Augusta, 1842

“For about a year now I’ve been occupied with thoughts about a mechanical brain.” – Konrad Zuse, 1937

“First actual case of bug being found.”   - Grace Hopper, 1947

“Calculations can be performed at high speed only if instructions are supplied at high speed” – John Mauchly, 1948

“Anyone who considers arithmetical methods of producing random digits is, of course, in a state of sin.”  – John von Neumann, 1949

“The unexpected results would then enable machine owners to say with something akin to parental pride, ‘My machine (instead of “my little boy”) said such a funny thing this morning!’” – Alan Turing, ca 1950

“…the push-button age is already obsolete; the buttons now push themselves.” -- John Diebold, 1952.

“…if it should ever turn out that the basic logics of a machine designed for the numerical solution of differential equations coincide with the logics of a machine intended to make bills for a department store, I would regard this as the most amazing coincidence that I have ever encountered.” – Howard Aiken, 1956

“Open the pod bay doors please, Hal.” – “Dave” (played by actor Keir Dullea), 1968

“Go To Statement Considered Harmful” – Edsger Dijkstra, 1968

“Give us a reading on the 1202 program alarm.” – Neil Armstrong, July 20, 1969

“Nothing would please me more than to hire ten programmers and deluge the hobby market with good software.” – Bill Gates, 1976

“…I’m doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and professional like GNU) for 386 (486) AT clones.” – Linus Torvalds, August 25, 1991

“Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.” – John Perry Barlow, 1996

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