Becketwood Cooperative
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Inspired by the migration from VISI to COMCAST

Inspired by the migration from VISI to COMCAST

By Lily Ng, Becketwood Member

Once upon a time, when I was a lowly graduate student, I happened to come across a poster in the university bookstore titled “Murphy’s Laws on Technology”.   I have since looked everywhere for another copy since mine now is getting frayed at the edges.  But I failed.

This past week, while I was watching the COMCAST technicians installing a modem in the room where Mr. Murphy’s collection of axioms on technology was posted, I smiled, because Mr. Murphy was so right.  I hope the quotes below from the poster will also bring a smile to your face whether you are technologically savvy or not.  Enjoy.

By the way, I will really pay high price for a better-than-mine edition of the poster, or, a finder fee if anyone can direct me to one.

Murphy’s Laws on Technology (selected)

“New Systems generate new problems.”

“A failure will not appear till a unit has passed final inspection.”

“The attention span of a computer is only as long as its electrical cord.”

“If you can’t understand it, it is intuitively obvious.”

“If it’s not in the computer, it doesn’t exist.”

“The only perfect science is hindsight.”

“Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable.”

“A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that works.”

“If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.”

“When all else fails, read the instructions.”

“Any simple theory will be worded in the most complicated way.”

“Any given program, when running, is obsolete.”

“To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer.”

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  • Jack Heule April 21, 2013, 9:48 pm

    Just got to read this today. Thanks for the Sunday afternoon enjoyment! It also brings back memories. Eons ago, at Control Data, we had a contract to install educational systems in Iran. I was well aware of “Murphy’s Law”, but my experience there gave it new insight. As a result I had a sign made for my office wall saying “Murphy Was a Persian”. No criticism intended here; it had to do with our very slowly evolving process of understanding the cultural differences. Clearly all cultures do not necessarily think alike when it comes to such as priorities, schedules and the like. It was a great learning experience!

    • Lily Ng April 28, 2013, 2:07 pm

      Very interesting, Jack. Would like to hear more about your Iran experience. Why not write a blog about that?!