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|Although it is still a truism in industry that "no one was ever fired for
buying IBM," Bill O'Neil, the chief technology officer at Drexel Burnham
Lambert, says he knows for a fact that someone has been fired for just that
reason. He knows it because he fired the guy.
"He made a bad decision, and what it came down to was, 'Well, I
bought it because I figured it was safe to buy IBM,'" Mr. O'Neil says.
"I said, 'No. Wrong. Game over. Next contestant, please.'"
-- The Wall Street Journal, December 6, 1989
|AmigaDOS Beer: The company has gone out of business, but their recipe has
been picked up by some weird German company, so now this beer will be an
import. This beer never really sold very well because the original
manufacturer didn't understand marketing. Like Unix Beer, AmigaDOS Beer
fans are an extremely loyal and loud group. It originally came in a
16-oz. can, but now comes in 32-oz. cans too. When this can was
originally introduced, it appeared flashy and colorful, but the design
hasn't changed much over the years, so it appears dated now. Critics of
this beer claim that it is only meant for watching TV anyway.
|An Ada exception is when a routine gets in trouble and says
'Beam me up, Scotty'.
|An adequate bootstrap is a contradiction in terms.
|An algorithm must be seen to be believed.
-- D.E. Knuth
|... an anecdote from IBM's Yorktown Heights Research Center. When a
programmer used his new computer terminal, all was fine when he was sitting
down, but he couldn't log in to the system when he was standing up. That
behavior was 100 percent repeatable: he could always log in when sitting and
never when standing.
Most of us just sit back and marvel at such a story; how could that terminal
know whether the poor guy was sitting or standing? Good debuggers, though,
know that there has to be a reason. Electrical theories are the easiest to
hypothesize: was there a loose with under the carpet, or problems with static
electricity? But electrical problems are rarely consistently reproducible.
An alert IBMer finally noticed that the problem was in the terminal's keyboard:
the tops of two keys were switched. When the programmer was seated he was a
touch typist and the problem went unnoticed, but when he stood he was led
astray by hunting and pecking.
-- "Programming Pearls" column, by Jon Bentley in CACM February 1985
|An elephant is a mouse with an operating system.
|An engineer is someone who does list processing in FORTRAN.
|An interpretation _I satisfies a sentence in the table language if and only if
each entry in the table designates the value of the function designated by the
function constant in the upper-left corner applied to the objects designated
by the corresponding row and column labels.
-- Genesereth & Nilsson, "Logical foundations of Artificial
|And it should be the law: If you use the word `paradigm' without knowing
what the dictionary says it means, you go to jail. No exceptions.
-- David Jones
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