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“The best protection is always to be working on hard problems. Writing novels is hard. Reading novels isn't. Hard means worry: if you're not worrying that something you're making will come out badly, or that you won't be able to understand something you're studying, then it isn't hard enough. There has to be suspense.”

—Paul Graham, What You'll Wish You'd Known (archive)

Two: Allow me to introduce .. The General. All the professor's own work; he gave birth to it and loves it with a passionate love, probably hates it even more. That mass of circuits, my dear fellow, is as revolutionary as nuclear fission. No more wastage in schools: there's no more tedious learning by rote. A brilliantly devised course, delivered by a leading teacher, subliminally learned, checked, and corrected by an infallible authority. And what have we got ...
Six: A row of cabbages!
Two: Indeed!  knowledgeable cabbages.

—The Prisoner, Episode 6, The General

“I've reached the conclusion that Operating Systems are not radically different from other programs. They are just large programs based on the principles of a more fundamental subject: parallel programming … Above all, processor management, memory management, scheduling algorithms, and resource protection are simply the required techniques for implementing parallel processes.”

—P.B. Hansen, Operating System Principles, ACM Classics

“A big definition of who you are as a designer is the way you're looking at the world, and it's kind of a curse: you're constantly looking at something and thinking why, why is it like that? why is it like that and not like this? And in that sense you're constantly designing … in fact, a lot of what we seem to be doing is actually getting design out of the way. And I think when forms develop with that sort of reason, and not just arbitrary manufactured shapes, it feels almost inevitable, almost undesigned.”

—Jonathan Ive, on Design

“I would like to see computer science teaching set deliberately in a historical framework ... Students need to understand how the present situation has come about, what was tried, what worked and what did not, and how improvements in hardware made progress possible. The absence of this element in their training causes people to approach every problem from first principles. They are apt to propose solutions that have been found wanting in the past. Instead of standing on the shoulders of their precursors, they try to go it alone.”

—Maurice V. Wilkes

“`Threads must be relegated to the engine room of computing, to be suffered only by expert technology providers.' The only change I would make would be to replace `suffered' with `enjoyed'.”

—Paul E. McKenny, on an LWN.net comment (archive)

“So, like it or not, you will have to be free.”

—Phil Ochs, Cops of the World (archive)