Canonical List Of Computer One Liners

[If you can't hear me, it's because I'm in parenthises]

<-------- The information went data way --------->

"!sgub evah t'nseod CP sihT ?sgub naem ayaddahW"

"#define QUESTION ((bb) || !(bb))  - Shakespeare."

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.

29A, the hexadecimal of the Beast.

AAAAAA - American Association Against Acronym Abuse Anonymous.

A bad random number generator:  1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 4.33e+67, 1, 1, 1

A bug in the code is worth two in the documentation.

A bug in the hand is better than one as yet undetected.

A computer program does what you tell it to do, not what you want it to do.

A computer scientist is someone who fixes things that aren't broken.

A  computer without  COBOL and Fortran  is like a piece  of chocolate  cake
without ketchup and mustard.

A fault tolerant system must report the faults even as it tolerates them.

A hacker does for love what others would not do for money. 
- Laura Creighton

A list is only as strong as its weakest link. 
- Don Knuth

A low level language is one whose programs require attention to the irrelevant.

A paperless office has about as much chance as a paperless bathroom.

A successful tool is used to do something undreamed of by its author. 
- Johnson

Abstraction is achieved by data hiding and enforced by encapsulation.

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. 
- Brook

After a number of decimal places, nobody gives a damn.

After three days without programming, life becomes meaningless. 
- Geoffrey James, The Tao of Programming.

All a hacker needs is a tight PUSHJ, a loose pair of UUO's, and a warm place

All computers run at the same speed...with the power off.

All programmers are playwrights and all computers are lousy actors.

All the simple programs have been written, and all the good names taken.

All wiyht. Rho sritched mg kegtops awound?

All you need to know is the user interface. 
- J. Redford

An algorithm must be seen to be believed. 
- D. E. Knuth

An elephant is a mouse with an operating system.

And on the seventh day, He exited from append mode.

Another megabytes the dust.

Any given program will expand to fill available memory.

Any nitwit can understand computers.  Many do.
- Ted Nelson

Any program that runs right is obsolete.

Any programming language is at its best before it is implemented and used.

Any sufficiently advanced bug is indistinguishable from a feature.
- Kulawiec

APL is a write-only language. 
- Roy Keir

As far as we know, our computer has never had an undetected error. 
- Weisert

As of next week, passwords will be entered in Morse code.


Asking whether machines can think is like asking whether submarines can swim.

Avoid GOTOs completely if you can keep the program readable.

Avoid temporary variables and strange women.

Avoid the Fortran arithmetic IF (or better yet, just avoid Fortran).

Avoid unnecessary branches.

Backups?  We don't *NEED* no steenking baX%^~,VbKx     NO CARRIER

Bad style destroys an otherwise superb program.

BASIC is to computer programming as QWERTY is to typing. 
- Seymour Papert

Base 8 is just like base 10, if you are missing two fingers. 
- Tom Lehrer

Be careful when a loop exits to the same place from side and bottom.

Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it.
- Donald Knuth

Beware of programmers who carry screwdrivers. 
- Leonard Brandwein

Brain fried; core dumped.

Breakthrough: It finally booted on the first try.

Bug?  That's not a bug, that's a feature.      
-T. John Wendel

CChheecckk yyoouurr dduupplleexx sswwiittcchh..

Choose variable names that will not be confused.

Computer analyst to programmer: "You start coding.  I'll go find out what they

Computer and car salesmen differ in that the latter know when they are lying.

Computer programmers do it byte by byte.

Computers  are a more fun way  to do the same  work you'd have  to do without

Computers...  are not designed, as we are, for ambiguity. 
- Thomas

Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable. 
- Gilb

Computers are useless.  They can only give you answers. 
- Pablo Picasso

Computers talk to each other worse than their designers do.

Controlling complexity is the essence of computer programming. 
- Kernigan

"Daddy, what does FORMATTING DRIVE C mean?

Diagnostics are the programs that run when nothing else will.

Disc space, the final frontier!

Disclaimer:  Any errors in spelling, tact, or fact are transmission errors.

Do files get embarrassed when they get unzipped?

Don't comment or patch bad code; rewrite it.

Don't compare floating point numbers solely for equality.

Don't diddle code to make it faster; find a better algorithm.

Don't document the program; program the document.

Don't hit the keys so hard, it hurts.

Don't let the computer bugs bite!

Don't stop at one bug.

Dreams are free, but you get soaked on the connect time.

E Pluribus UNIX.

Emacs is a nice operating system, but I prefer UNIX. 
- Tom Christiansen

Every bug you find is the last one.

Every program in development at MIT expands until it can read mail.

Every program is a part of some other program, and rarely fits.

Every program is either trivial or it contains at least one bug.

Everybody needs a little love sometime; stop hacking and fall in love!

Expert systems are built to embody the knowledge of human experts. 
- Kulawiec

f u cn rd ths, u cn gt a gd jb n cmptr prgrmmng.

fortune: No such file or directory

From C:\*.* to shining C:\*.*

God is real, unless declared integer.

God made machine language; all the rest is the work of man.

Gotta run, the cat's caught in the printer.

grep..grep..grep.. (frog with UNIX stuck in it's throat.

Hackers have kernel knowledge.

Hardware: The parts of a computer system that can be kicked.

Have you heard about the new Cray? It's so fast, it executes an infinite
loop in 6 seconds.

Have you heard about the new Cray? It's so fast, it requires TWO halt
instructions to stop it!

Help!  I'm trapped in a Chinese computer factory!

Hind's Law #6:
Make it possible to write programs in English and you will quickly discover
programmers do not know how to write in English.

How an engineer writes a program: Start by debugging an empty file...

How do I love thee?  My accumulator overflows.

How was Thomas J. Watson buried?  9 edge down.

I am a computer, dumber than any human and smarter than an administrator.

I am still waiting for the advent of the computer science groupie.

I am the computer your mother warned you about.

I bought the latest computer; it came fully loaded.  It was guaranteed for 90
days, but in 30 was outmoded!  - "The Wall Street Journal" passed along by Big
Red Computer's 'Scarlett'

I came, I saw, I deleted all your files.

I do not fear computers.  I fear the lack of them.  - Isaac Asimov

I heard that Bill Gates's wedding night will be less than blissful  for his
new bride.  She will find out why his company is named Microsoft.

I just found the last bug.

I must have slipped a disk; my pack hurts.

I smell a wumpus.

I suppose when it gets to that point, we shan't know how it does it. 
- Turing

I write all my critical routines in assembler, and my comedy routines in
- Anonymous

If a program is useful, it must be changed.

If a program is useless, it must be documented.

If a train station is where the train stops, what is a work station?

If at first you don't succeed, you must be a programmer.

If debugging is the process of removing bugs, then programming must be the
   process of putting them in.  - Dykstra

If I had it all to do over again, I'd spell creat with an "e". 
- Kernighan

If it was easy, the hardware people would take care of it.

If God had intended Man to program, we would be born with serial I/O ports.

If only women came with pull-down menus and online help.

If the automobile had followed the same development cycle as the computer, a
Rolls-Royce today would cost $100, get a million miles to the gallon, and
explode once a year, killing everyone inside.

If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong. 
- Schryer

If you have a procedure with 10 parameters, you probably missed some.

In computer science, we stand on each other's feet. 
- Brian Reid

In the long run, every program becomes rococco, and then rubble.  - Alan Perlis

Isn't it odd that all the members of the Association for Computing Machinery
are human?  (I've been thinking of signing my home computer up.)

It is easier to change the specification to fit the program than vice versa.

It is easier to write an incorrect program than understand a correct one.

It is now pitch dark.  If you proceed, you will likely fall into a pit.

It is ten o'clock; do you know where your processes are?

It turned out that the worm exploited three or four different holes in the
system.  From this, and the fact that we were able to capture and examine some
of the source code, we realized that we were dealing with someone very sharp,
probably not someone here on campus. 
- Dr. Richard LeBlanc, associate professor of ICS, was quoted in
"The Technique," Georgia Tech's newspaper.

It wasn't as easy to get programs right as we had thought.  - Wilkes, 1949

Justify my text?  I'm sorry but it has no excuse.

Kiss your keyboard goodbye!

Know Thy User.

Last one out, turn off the computer!

Let the machine do the dirty work.  - Elements of Programming Style

Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code.

Lisp Users: Due to the holiday, there will be no garbage collection on Monday

Long computations that yield zero are probably all for naught.

Machine independent code isn't.

Make input easy to proofread.

Make it right before you make it faster.

Make sure all variables are initialized before use.

Make sure comments and code agree.

Make sure your code "does nothing" gracefully.

Managing programmers is like herding cats.

Manual Writer's Creed:  Garbage in, gospel out.

Maybe Computer Science should be in the College of Theology. 
- R. S. Barton

Meets quality standards:  Compiles without errors.

Mommy!  The cursor's winking at me!

My computer isn't that nervous, it's just a bit ANSI.

My computer NEVER cras

My computer's sick.  I think my modem is a carrier.

My Go  this  amn keyboar   oesn't have any  's.

My mail reader can beat up your mail reader.

My sister  opened  a computer  store in Hawaii.  She sells C shells  by the

Netnews is like yelling, "Anyone want to buy a used car?" in a crowded

Never forget: 2 + 2 = 5 for extremely large values of 2.

Never put off till run-time what you can do at compile-time.  - D. Gries

Never test for an error condition you don't know how to handle.  - Steinbach

Never trust a computer you can't lift. 
- Stan Masor

Never trust a computer you can't throw out the window. 
- S. Hunt

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes. 
- Jackson

Never violate the Prime Directory!  C:\

Never write software that anthropomorphizes the machine.

Never write software that patronizes the user.

Nice computers don't go down.

Nobody has ever, ever, EVER learned all of WordPerfect.

No extensible language will be universal. 
- T. Cheatham

No line available at 300 baud.

No program done by a hacker will work unless he is on the system.

No program done by an undergrad will work after she graduates.

Old mail has arrived.

Old programmers never die; they just branch to a new address.

On a clear disk you can seek forever. 
- Denning

One if by LAN, two if by C. 
- Paul Revere, as told by John Karwoski

One man's constant is another man's variable. 
- Perlis

One person's error is another person's data.

One picture is worth 128K words.

Overflow on /dev/null; please empty the bit bucket.

Performance is easier to add than clarity.

People who deal with bits should expect to get bitten. 
- Jon Bentley

Profanity is the one language all programmers know best.

Programming Department:  Mistakes made while you wait.

Programming is an art form that fights back.

Programming is an unnatural act.

Programming just with goto's is like swatting flies with a sledgehammer.

Protect your software at all costs; all else is meat.

RAM DISK is not an installation procedure!

Random access is the optimum of the mass storages.

Real programs don't eat cache.

Real programmers use: COPY CON PROGRAM.EXE

Remember the good old days, when CPU was singular?

Remember, UNIX spelled backwards is XINU.

Replace repetitive expressions by calls to a common function.

Revolutionary:  Disk drives go round and round.

Save energy:  Drive a smaller shell.

SCCS, the source motel!  Programs check in and never check out! 
- Ken Thompson

SET DEVICE=EXXON to screw up your environment.

Shift to the left! Shift to the right! Pop up, push down, byte, byte, byte!

So when the machine truncates excess bits, it throws them under the raised
- Fred Felber (so THAT's why there are raised floors in computer

Software is best understood as a branch of movie making.  - Ted Nelson

Software is to computers as yeast is to dough. 
- Chuck Bradshaw

Software is mind work.  Having the right frame of mind is essential.

Some programming languages manage to absorb change but withstand progress.

Steinbach's Rule:
Never test for an error condition you don't know how to handle.

Structured Programming supports the law of the excluded muddle.

Swap read error.  You lose your mind.

System going down at 1:45 for disk crashing.

System going down at 5 pm to install scheduler bug.

Systems programmers are the high priests of a low cult. 
- R. S. Barton

That does not compute.

The attention span of a computer is only as long as its power cord.

The best packed information most resembles random noise.

The computer is mightier than the pen, the sword, and usually, the programmer.

The computer is the Proteus of machines. 
- Seymour Papert

The computing field is always in need of new cliches. 
- Alan Perlis

The determined programmer can write a FORTRAN program in any language.

The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance.

The less time planning, the more time programming.

The moving cursor prints, and having printed, blinks on.

The number of UNIX installations has grown to 10, with more expected.  (6/72)

The next generation of computers will have a "Warranty Expired" interrupt.

The only thing good about "standards" in computer science is that there are so
many to choose from.

The program is absolutely right; therefore, the computer must be wrong.

The programmer's national anthem is 'AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH'. 

The purpose of computing is insight, not numbers. 
- Hamming

The Soviet Union does not exist any more in its present format.

The steady state of disks is full. 
- Ken Thompson

The value of a program is proportional to the weight of its output.

The wise person writes bomb-proof code.

The world is coming to an end...  SAVE YOUR BUFFERS!!

There are always at least two ways to program the same thing.

There are never any bugs you haven't found yet.

There are two ways to write error-free programs; only the third one works.

There must be more to life than compile-and-go.

There can never be a computer language in which you cannot write a bad program.

There is no problem that, when programmed just right, isn't more complicated.

This login session:  $13.76, but for you:  $11.88.

This screen intentionally left blank.

This system will self-destruct in five minutes.

Those who can't write, write help files.

Those who can, do.  Those who cannot, teach.  Those who cannot teach, HACK!

Thrashing is just virtual crashing.

To be, or not to be, those are the parameters.

To define recursion, we must first define recursion.

To err is human; to forgive, beyond the scope of the Operating System.

To err is human; to really foul things up requires a computer.

To iterate is human; to recurse, divine. 
- Robert Heller

To understand a program you must become both the machine and the program.

Try not to let implementation details sneak into design documents.

[Unix] is not necessarily evil, like OS/2. 
- Peter Norton

UNIX is many things to many people, but it has never been everything to

Unprecedented performance:  Nothing ever ran this slow before.

Use free-form input where possible.

Use GOTOs only to implement a fundamental structure.

Use IF...ELSE  IF...ELSE  IF...ELSE...  to implement multi-way branches.

Variables won't; constants aren't.
- Osborn

"Virtual" means never knowing where your next byte is coming from.

Watch out for off-by-one errors.

What do computer engineers use for birth control?  Their personalities.

What this country needs is a good five-cent microcomputer.

When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes.

When we write programs that "learn", it turns out we do and they don't.

Where the system is concerned, you are not allowed to ask "Why?".

Who is General Failure and why is he reading my disk?

Why do we want intelligent terminals when there are so many stupid users?

WOMEN.ZIP:  A great program, but it doesn't come with documentation...

WOMAN.ZIP:  Great Shareware, but be careful of viruses...

You can't go home again, unless you set $HOME.

You can't make a program without broken egos.

You depend too much on computers for information.

You don't have to know how the computer works, just how to work the computer.

You forgot to do your backup 16 days ago. Tomorrow you'll need that version.

You had mail, but the super-user read it, and deleted it!

You have a tendency to feel you are superior to most computers.

You have junk mail.

You know it is going to be a bad day when you forget your new password.

You might have mail.

You never finish a program, you just stop working on it.

Your fault, core dumped.

Your password is pitifully obvious.


This is the Canonical List Of Computer Humor. It has been compiled
with  the assistance of a lot  of people but a special thanks goes to Prof P. Piacenza ( who contributed a great deal of jokes etc to this list.