“Well, Mr. Frankel, who started this program, began to suffer from the computer disease that anybody who works with computers now knows about. It's a very serious disease and it interferes completely with the work. The trouble with computers is you *play* with them. They are so wonderful. You have these switches - if it's an even number you do this, if it's an odd number you do that - and pretty soon you can do more and more elaborate things if you are clever enough, on one machine.
After a while the whole system broke down. Frankel wasn't paying any attention; he wasn't supervising anybody. The system was going very, very slowly - while he was sitting in a room figuring out how to make one tabulator automatically print arc-tangent X, and then it would start and it would print columns and then bitsi, bitsi, bitsi, and calculate the arc-tangent automatically by integrating as it went along and make a whole table in one operation.
Absolutely useless. We *had* tables of arc-tangents. But if you've ever worked with computers, you understand the disease - the *delight* in being able to see how much you can do. But he got the disease for the first time, the poor fellow who invented the thing.”
― Richard Feynman, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character
“Today," she told it, "death comes to all your circuits. Will it be slow and systematic or fast and brutal?" Considering, she circled it, "Tough decision. I've waited so long for this moment. Dreamed of it."
Showing her teeth, she began to roll up her sleeves.
"What," Roarke asked from the doorway that connected their work areas, "is that?"
"The former bane of my existence. The Antichrist of technology. Do we have a hammer?"
Studying the pile on the floor, he walked in. "Several, I imagine, of various types."
"I want all of them. Tiny little hammers, big, wallbangers, and everything in between."
"Might one ask why?"
"I'm going to beat this thing apart, byte by byte, until there's nothing left but dust from the last trembling chip."
"Hmmm." Roarke crouched down, examined the pitifully out-of-date system. "When did you haul this mess in here?"
"Just now. I had it in the car. Maybe I should use acid, just stand here and watch it hiss and dissolve. That could be good."
Saying nothing, Roarke took a small case out of his pocket, opened it, and chose a slim tool. With a few deft moves, he had the housing open.
"Hey! Hey! What're you doing?"
"I haven't seen anything like this in a decade. Fascinating. Look at this corrosion. Christ, this is a SOC chip system. And it's cross-wired."
When he began to fiddle, she rushed over and slapped at his hands. "Mine. I get to kill it."
"Get a grip on yourself," he said absently and delved deeper into the guts. "I'll take this into research."
"No. Uh-uh. I have to bust it apart. What if it breeds?”
― J.D. Robb, Witness in Death