Computers are incredibly fast, accurate, and stupid. Human beings are incredibly slow, inaccurate, and brilliant. Together they are powerful beyond imagination.
Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that humans can understand
Sometimes it pays to stay in bed on Monday, rather than spending the rest of the week debugging Monday’s code
If debugging is the process of removing software bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in
If you think you are worth what you know, you are very wrong. Your knowledge today does not have much value beyond a couple of years. Your value is what you can learn and how easily you can adapt to the changes this profession brings so often.
Commenting your code is like cleaning your bathroom — you never want to do it, but it really does create a more pleasant experience for you and your guests.
Looking at code you wrote more than two weeks ago is like looking at code you are seeing for the first time.
The programmers of tomorrow are the wizards of the future. You gonna look like you have magic powers compared to anybody else
I taught myself how to program computers when I was a kid, bought my first computer when I was 10 and sold my first commercial program when I was 12.
I hope the ﬁeld of computer science never loses its sense of fun. ... What you know about computing other people will learn. Don’t feel as if the key to successful computing is only in your hands. What’s in your hands I think and hope is intelligence: the ability to see the machine as more than when you were ﬁrst led up to it, that you can make it more.
I don't know how many of you have ever met Dijkstra, but you probably know that arrogance in computer science is measured in nano-Dijkstras.
Computers and mobile devices are becoming known for their inherent insecurities and the ability to damage the long term health of the users.
More importantly, it is difficult to study minds because we are mental beings. We have our own minds to maintain and protect, and may not wish to discover facts that force us to change, or make us question our own being in the world, or conflict with our sense of right and wrong. We have not discussed belief systems known as religions to any extent in this book. However, particularly threatening are facts that run counter to ourreligious beliefs, especially if those beliefs are strongly held. Further, scientists have hopes, standards, and ethical beliefs, and they—like anybody—are not eager to find that their beliefs are invalid.
Unix is not so much a product as it is a painstakingly compiled oral history of the hacker subculture. It is our Gilgamesh epic: a living body of narrative that many people know by heart, and tell over and over again—making their own personal embellishments whenever it strikes their fancy. The bad embellishments are shouted down, the good ones picked up by others, polished, improved, and, over time, incorporated into the story. […] Thus Unix has slowly accreted around a simple kernel and acquired a kind of complexity and asymmetry about it that is organic, like the roots of a tree, or the branchings of a coronary artery. Understanding it is more like anatomy than physics.
Lilah did little more than sleep and eat and cry, which to me was the most fascinating thing in the entire universe. Why did she cry? When did she sleep? What made her eat a lot one day and little the next? Was she changing with time? I did what any obsessed person would do in such a case: I recorded data, plotted it, calculated statistical correlations. First I just wrote on scraps of paper and made charts on graph paper, but I very quickly became more sophisticated. I wrote computer software to make a beautifully colored plot showing times when Diane fed Lilah, in black; when I fed her, in blue (expressed mother's milk, if you must know); Lilah's fussy times, in angry red; her happy times, in green. I calculated patterns in sleeping times, eating times, length of sleep, amounts eaten.Then, I did what any obsessed person would do these days; I put it all on the Web.
Code is not like other how-computers-work books. It doesn't have big color illustrations of disk drives with arrows showing how the data sweeps into the computer. Code has no drawings of trains carrying a cargo of zeros and ones. Metaphors and similes are wonderful literary devices but they do nothing but obscure the beauty of technology.
It can be argued that the computer is humanity’s attempt to replicate the human brain. This is perhaps an unattainable goal. However, unattainable goals often lead to outstanding accomplishment.
The business we're in is more sociological than technological, more dependent on workers' abilities to communicate with each other than their abilities to communicate with machines.
Seemingly innocuous language like 'Oh, I'm flexible' or 'What do you want to do tonight?' has a dark computational underbelly that should make you think twice. It has the veneer of kindness about it, but it does two deeply alarming things. First, it passes the cognitive buck: 'Here's a problem, you handle it.' Second, by not stating your preferences, it invites the others to simulate or imagine them. And as we have seen, the simulation of the minds of others is one of the biggest computational challenges a mind (or machine) can ever face.
Well, writing novels is incredibly simple: an author sits down…and writes.Granted, most writers I know are a bit strange.Some, downright weird.But then again, you’d have to be.To spend hundreds and hundreds of hours sitting in front of a computer screen staring at lines of information is pretty tedious. More like a computer programmer. And no matter how cool the Matrix made looking at code seem, computer programmers are even weirder than authors.
The ocean is a Turing machine, the sand is its tape; the water reads the marks in the sand and sometimes erases them and sometimes carves new ones with tiny currents that are themselves a response to the marks.
A few years ago a friend said that I use to hunt and fish and build houses and things but now my whole life revolved around my computer I replied But my computer revolves around the world