From - Sun Dec 26 11:03:53 1999  From the desk of Harvey Reed, SUN Microsystems-

A few interesting IT quotes to help you all wind down for the holiday period, if you haven't already done so....!! My two favorite are: "I think there's a world market for about five computers." Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1952 "640K ought to be enough for anybody." Bill Gates, 1981 Have a Merry Christmas and a bug free start to Y2K. Best Wishes Bob -------------------------------------- Computing [16 Dec 1999] Quotes of the Millennium Picasso thought they were useless, a former IBM chief predicted we would need only five of them, and the Farmer's Almanac was thoroughly unimpressed by their performance. Everyone seems to have something to say about computers. Macs and PCs ============ "The next generation of interesting software will be done on Macintosh, not the IBM PC." Bill Gates, talking to Business Week, 1984 "That's not what the Mac does. I want Mac on the PC, I want Mac on the PC." Bill Gates when confronted with a tiled, rather than overlapping, windowing system in an early version of Windows, 1984 "Windows 3.1 is like the Mac in the same way that a transvestite is like a real woman. It's 95% the same and actually what some people would prefer, but not really the same for those who care about small differences." John Dvorak, columnist, PC Magazine, 1992 "Saying that Windows 95 is equal to Macintosh is like finding a potato that looks like Jesus and believing you've witnessed the Second Coming." Guy Kawasaki, Apple Fellow, 1995 "If Windows was on a smartcard or in a wallet we'd have to redesign every pair of trousers on the planet." Sun Microsystems chief executive Scott McNealy, June 1997 "The PC is a ridiculous device. The idea is so complicated and so expensive." Larry Ellison, chief executive of Oracle, explaining the thinking behind his network computer at the European Information Technology Forum, Paris, August 1995 "I just bought a Mac to help me design the next Cray." Seymour Cray, 1986, when told Apple had bought a Cray supercomputer to help it design the next Mac. Cray designed his first supercomputers using paper and pencil "Using an IBM PC is like juggling straight razors. Using a Mac is like shaving with a bowling pin." Ted Nelson in Computer Lib, 1988 Microchips ========== "Chips double in capacity, in relation to price, every 18 months." Gordon Moore, Intel co-founder, 1965 "But what is it good for?" Anonymous engineer at IBM's advanced computing systems division commenting on the microchip, 1968 "If cars had developed at the same pace as microprocessors over the past two decades, a typical car would now cost less than $55 and do 250,000 miles to the gallon." The Economist, 28 September 1996 The Internet "It is time to think about. Internets that are out of this world. TCP doesn't look too attractive when you think of delays to Pluto." Vinton Cerf, vice president of MCI WorldCom, on plans to build an interplanetary Internet, July 1998 "Electronic business is about taking the Internet and adding two ingredients that are natural to capitalism: fear and greed." David Smith, research director for Internet strategies at GartnerGroup, November 1999 "I took the initiative in creating the Internet." US vice president Al Gore on CNN, March 1999 "If Al Gore invented the Internet, I invented the spellcheck." Response to above from former US vice president Dan Quayle "We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true." Robert Wilensky, computer science division, University of California Digital Library Project, 1996 "We were profitable for about an hour in December 1995, but it was probably a mistake." Amazon.com chief executive Jeff Bezos on whether his company makes money, March 1999 Computers and technology ======================== "Computer: a person doing calculations." Dictionary definition, 1936 "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Arthur C Clarke's third law, 1945 "All technology should be assumed guilty until proven innocent." Environmentalist David Brower of the Earth Island Institute, 1940s "Where a calculator on the Eniac is equipped with 18,000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vacuum tubes and perhaps weigh 1.5 tons." Popular Mechanics, March 1949 "Not even computers will replace committees, because committees buy computers." Edward Shepherd Mead, Wall Street Journal, 1964 "The wireless telegraph is not difficult to understand. The ordinary telegraph is like a very long cat. You pull the tail in New York, and it meows in Los Angeles. The wireless is the same, only without the cat." Albert Einstein (1879-1955) "Computers are useless. They can only give you answers." Pablo Picasso, 1968 "To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer." Farmers' Almanac, 1978 "Computers are not thinking machines, they are simply machines which can carry out arithmetic at great speed. Computers can never make value judgments." Junior Pears Encyclopedia, 1979 "The danger from computers is not that they will eventually get as smart as men, but that we will meanwhile agree to meet them halfway." Bernard Avishai, writer, 1982 "Communications and commerce are global; investment is mobile; technology is magical; and ambition for a better life is universal. We earn our livelihood in peaceful competition with people all across the earth." Bill Clinton, First Inaugural Address, 1989 "If the automobile had followed the same development as the computer, a Rolls-Royce would today cost $100, get a million miles per gallon, and explode once a year killing everyone inside." Robert X Cringely, author, 1996 "For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press three." Alice Kahn, author of Your Joke Is In The Email, 1998 "A computer lets you make mistakes faster than any other invention in human history, with the possible exception of handguns and tequila." DW McArthur in The Pitfalls (And Pratfalls) of Corporate Communications, Management Solutions, 1987 "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." Jeff Raskin, leader of Apple's original Macintosh project, September 1995 Unix "[Unix] is snake-oil" Ken Olsen, president of DEC, Financial Times, 1988 (snake oil is US slang for a bogus universal cure) "There are two major products that came out of Berkeley: LSD and Unix. We don't believe this to be a coincidence." Attributed to one "Jeremy S Anderson' in 1988. [Editor's note: this quote pops up on countless web sites, but we have failed in our mission to discover who this man is. If you know, email helen_guyatt@vnu.co.uk ] The Millennium Bug ================== "If Saddam Hussein wanted to launch an attack on the US, the first day of the year 2000 would be the time to do it." Taskforce 2000 boss, Robin Guenier, Financial Times, 1997 "It's pretty simple to go find the place that they compare dates. You don't compare dates that many places in a program. It's in very, very few places." Bill Gates solves the millennium bug problem, May 1997 "We are addressing this problem too late. We will not fix every system on time. We will not even fix all the mission critical systems in time." Peter de Jager, leading year 2000 analyst and consultant, Computing, August 1998 "There are two kinds of people. Those who aren't working on [the Y2K problem] and are not worried and those who are working on it and are terrified." Consultant Nigel Martin-Jones of Data Dimensions, 1997 "On December 31, 1999, right at midnight... the era of the mainframe computer will be over." Robert X Cringely becomes one of the first to warn of dangers of year 2000, 1992 ----------------------------------------- The Dunce Awards Welcome to the Computing Hall of Shame. Predicting technology trends is a tough task, but if you're not sure of your facts, we respectfully suggest that you remain silent. Unfortunately for some this advice comes rather late. We've chosen five of the most short-sighted quotes from people who really should have known better... "There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home." Ken Olsen, President of DEC, at the Convention of the World Future Society, 1977 "I think there's a world market for about five computers." Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1952 "640K ought to be enough for anybody." Bill Gates, 1981 "I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year." The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957 "We don't see Windows as a long-term graphical interface for the masses." Lotus Development official, demonstrating a new Dos version of Lotus 1-2-3, 1989 $eeee^ . .$$$$$$..ze* ..e" . .e. 4$$$F .e$$$$"$$$*3P .$$$ $$ $$" 4$$*z$. '$$P$$$P-*".d$ z$P.$$ ^" $ $P"cC$" .$$F$*" =$$$$ .$P.$$" * $$"-$P .$$$ .ed$$$$$P* "$.$$F c "F.$$ $$*" "*$$$P" $P**" \ .." 4".e$$$$$" . ." 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