I work for many different people fixing a wide variety of computer problems. This week’s computer fix-it jobs brought to mind some technology-related quotes I’ve had stuck in my mind for years.
Quotes like these can attain a proverb-like status, perfectly describing the situation at hand and helping put things in perspective. Here are some jewels I’ve gathered together for your enjoyment and enlightenment.
“Computers in the future may weigh no more than one-and-a-half tons.” Popular Mechanics magazine, 1949. “A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.” Emo Philips, comedian. “There is no reason anyone in the right state of mind will want a computer in their home.” Ken Olson, President of Digital Equipment Corp, 1977. “Doing research on the Web is like using a library assembled piecemeal by pack rats and vandalized nightly.” Roger Ebert, movie critic.
“My favorite thing about the Internet is that you get to go into the private world of real creeps without having to smell them.” Penn Jillett, of comedy team Penn and Teller. “I am not the only person who uses his computer mainly for the purpose of diddling with his computer.” Dave Barry, humorist. “Relying on the Government to protect your privacy is like asking a peeping Tom to install your window blinds.” John Barlow, American poet and activist.
“Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window.” Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer. “Access to computers and the Internet has become a basic need for education in our society.” Kent Conrad, former Senator (D), North Dakota. “Home computers are being called upon to perform many new functions, including the consumption of homework formerly eaten by the dog.” Doug Larson, columnist.
“The computer was born to solve problems that did not exist before.” Bill Gates. “The question of whether computers can think is just like the question of whether submarines can swim.” Edsger W. Dijkstra, Dutch computer science pioneer. “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.” Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, 2007. “The Internet? We are not interested in it.” Bill Gates, 1993.
“The problem of [computer] viruses is temporary and will be solved in two years.” John McAfee, inventor of the first commercial antivirus program, 1988. “The Macintosh uses an experimental pointing device called a ‘mouse’. There is no evidence that people want to use these things. I don’t want one of these new-fangled devices.” John C. Dvorak, computer columnist and broadcaster.
And now, a few from yours truly. “It’s stunning to me that we now live in a society based on such a horribly flawed technology as is the Internet, and yet, we tolerate it. In fact, we’re shocked when something goes wrong.” “If cars were built like computers, you would be peacefully driving along and suddenly, without warning, you would no longer be able to steer, and your car would just go out of control and crash.” Dave Moore, IT columnist.
“Truth is, I wouldn’t know a gigabyte from a snakebite.” Dolly Parton.