Computer Proverbs

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Tue Jan 30 01:38:54 UTC 2001

The following I have only seen once (it was a homemade poster in an office I
inhabited in 1984):

If it's there and you can see it, it's REAL
If it's there and you can't see it, it's TRANSPARENT
If it's not there and you can see it, it's VIRTUAL
If it's not there and you can't see it, it's DELETED


Boyer's/Stigler's Law is unlikely to appear in a Computer Science book, since
applies to mathematics, not comp sci.  Relatively few programmers have even
exposed to Maclaurin Series, either as a formula or by name, so the reference
is over
their heads.

Yes, I have heard "Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM" (probably in several
minor variants) on more than one occasion, although not since IBM lost its
dominance of the industry that it held into the 1980's.  I have not heard the
phrase applied to Microsoft, but it's not surprising.

      James A. Landau
      Systems Engineer
      FAA Technical Center (ACT-350/BCI)
      Atlantic City Airport NJ 08405 USA

P.S.  On a different topic.  I once perpetrated the following sentence: [In
reference to the Historia Matematica mailing list] "I thought that knowing
who Tartaglia is is a requirement for joining this list".  [Tartaglia was a
Medieval Italian mathematician.]  Is this sentence grammatical?  If so, then
it is possible to have the word "is" twice in a row without it having to be
in quotes.  However, it must be admitted that in response to that sentence I
received an e-mail from Germany politely requesting me to translate it into

More information about the Ads-l mailing list