Computer Quotes – C & Unix

“It’s 5.50 a.m…. Do you know where your stack pointer is ?”

C /n./: A programming language that is sort of like Pascal except more like assembly except that it isn’t very much like either one, or anything else. It is either the best language available to the art today, or it isn’t.
(Ray Simard)

“If it wasn’t for C, we’d be writing programs in BASI, PASAL, and OBOL.”

“I have yet to meet a C compiler that is more friendly and easier to use than eating soup with a knife.”

“In My Egotistical Opinion, most people’s C programs should be indented six feet downward and covered with dirt.”

(Blair P. Houghton)

“Going from programming in Pascal to programming in C, is like learning to write in Morse code.”

(J.P. Candusso)

“Trying to outsmart a compiler defeats much of the purpose of using one.”

(Kernighan & Plauger, The Elements of Programming Style)

“#define QUESTION ((bb) || !(bb))”


“C is not a high-level language.”


“Any C programmer here ? Yeah i got a C in programming class. That counts ?”

“In C expressions, you can assume that *, /, and % come before + and -. Put parentheses around everything else.”

(Steve Oualline, C Elements of Style)

“I will not be a lemming and follow the crowd over the cliff and into the C.”

(John (Jack) Beidler)

“Because we are returning a copy for postfix ++ expressions, statements such as (c++)++; won’t work as expected.”

(Weiskamp & Flamig, The Complete C++ Primer)

“Evolution of the C programmer:
0 months to 1 month: complete beginner
1 month to 1 year: incomplete beginner
1 year to 2 years: acolyte
2 years to 3 years: adept
3 years to 8 years: expert
at 8 years: discovers comp.lang.c
8 years+: buggrit, back to beginner again !”
(Richard Heathfield)

“… one of the main causes of the fall of the Roman Empire was that, lacking zero, they had no way to indicate successful termination of their C programs.”

(Robert Firth)

“I’ve never met anyone responsible for C language code maintenance who speaks well of the C Language.

Anyone out there who LIKES to maintain C code ?”

(Ted Dennison)

“C is quirky, flawed, and an enormous success.”

(Dennis M. Ritchie)

“A C program is like a fast dance on a newly waxed dance floor by people carrying razors.”

Waldi Ravens)

“The C Programming Language — A language which combines the flexibility of assembly language with the power of assembly language.”

“The more I C, the less I see.”

“It is easier to port a shell than a shell script.”

(Larry Wall)

“Fixing Unix is easier than living with NT.”

(Jonathan Gilpin)

“There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. We don’t believe this to be a coincidence.”

(Jeremy S. Anderson)

“I liken starting one’s computing career with Unix, say as an undergraduate, to being born in East Africa. It is intolerably hot, your body is covered with lice and flies, you are malnourished and you suffer from numerous curable diseases. But, as far as young East Africans can tell, this is simply the natural condition and they live within it. By the time they find out differently, it is too late. They already think that the writing of shell scripts is a natural act.”

(Ken Pier, Xerox PARC)

“The original Unix solved a problem and solved it well, as did the Roman numeral system, the mercury treatment for syphilis, and carbon paper.”

“Confucius say: He who play in root, eventually kill tree.”

“To err is human… to really foul up requires the root password.”

“Unix is the answer, but only if you phrase the question very carefully.”

“19 Jan 2038 at 3:14:07 AM”    — The end of the word according to Unix (232 seconds after Jan 1st 1970).

“Unix is user-friendly. It’s just very selective about who its friends are.”

“UNIX: It’s not just ‘User-Unfriendly’, it’s ‘Proactively User-Hostile’ !”

“Programming graphics in X is like finding sqrt(pi) using Roman numerals. ”

“The number of the beast — vi vi vi.”

“In years past, I knew of someone who used emacs as his login shell, the only thing he found wanting in emacs was a good text editor. So he ended up using vi.”

“VMS is a text-only adventure game. If you win you can use unix.”

(W. Davidson)

“The big difference between UNIX and VMS:

To do anything on UNIX, you need to know an obscure command.

To do anything on VMS, you need to know an obscure option to SET.”

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