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Ken Thompson Quotes


An American pioneer of computer science notable for his work with the B programming language and his shepherding of the Unix and Plan 9 operating systems. Most recently Thompson is also the co-creator of Google's programming language Go.
(1943 - )

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A well installed microcode bug will be almost impossible to detect.
 

Grant, if we edited Fortran, I assume that you'd put a column thing in there.
 

I also have an idea for a book on biodiversity, and why and how we should be conserving it.
 

I am a programmer.
 

I am a very bottom-up thinker.
 

I have to keep up with the scientific literature as part of my job, but increasingly I found myself reading things that weren't really relevant to my academic work, but were relevant to gardening.
 

I still have a full-time day job, which is why it took me five years to write An Ear to the Ground, and why I won't have another book finished by next week.
 

I think the major good idea in Unix was its clean and simple interface: open, close, read, and write.
 

I wanted to avoid, special IO for terminals.
 

I wanted to have virtual memory, at least as it's coupled with file systems.
 

I wanted to separate data from programs, because data and instructions are very different.
 

If you want to go somewhere, goto is the best way to get there.
 

In college, before video games, we would amuse ourselves by posing programming exercises.
 

In fact, we started off with two or three different shells and the shell had life of its own.
 

It is only the inadequacy of the criminal code that saves the hackers from very serious prosecution.
 

It's always good to take an orthogonal view of something. It develops ideas.
 

No amount of source-level verification or scrutiny will protect you from using untrusted code.
 

On the one hand, the press, television, and movies make heroes of vandals by calling them whiz kids.
 

One is that the perfect garden can be created overnight, which it can't.
 

One of my most productive days was throwing away 1000 lines of code.
 


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