The number of statements
uttered verbally and/or in print is uncountable. Some are more noteworthy than others either
because of sheer brilliance, good humor, or utter inanity. We all hope our own remembered
words, if any, fall into one of the first two categories rather than the third. I do a lot
of reading and find many notable quotes to use that fit the theme of RF Cafe; they fall into
all three categories. I always try to verify quotes from original sources or at least from
printed books like
The Experts Speak, of which I own a hard copy. Enjoy.
Notable Tech Quote Archive
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"Reliance on satellite navigation and timing
systems has become a single point of failure for much of America and is our largest,
unaddressed critical infrastructure problem." -
Dr. Brad Parkinson, aka "The Father of GPS."
According to the Wikipedia entry, "Bradford Parkinson is an American engineer and
inventor, retired United States Air Force colonel and recalled emeritus professor
at Stanford University. He is best known as the lead architect, advocate and developer,
with early contributions from Ivan Getting and Roger Easton, of the Air Force NAVSTAR
program, better known as Global Positioning System (GPS)."
July 25, 2019
"That's one small step for [a] man, one giant
leap for mankind." -
Neil Armstrong, from the moon on July 20,
1969. Armstrong says he did utter the word "a," and that the scratchy radio transmission
masked it. Having been a huge fan (short for "fanatic") of the space program and
builder / launcher of model rockets, I was sure to watch the momentous event on
TV as it was broadcast live from the moon on a Sunday evening at 10:56 PM EDT, a
month before turning 11 years old. The
Estes model rocket company issued certificates to rocketeers
who launched any model during the flight time of Apollo 11; of course I got
mine with an
July 18, 2019
"It's an interesting place to be. I
recommend it." –
Neil Armstrong re having visited the moon. That remark came during a
CBS 60 Minutes interview in November 2005. We are approaching the 50th anniversary of
the Apollo 11 moon mission, and yes, America was great for having achieved it.
You might also interested in knowing that Neil Armstrong was an aeronautical engineering graduate of Purdue University,
ostensibly the alluded-to "Parvoo
University" that teenage electronics sleuths and Ham radio aficionados Carl
& Jerry attended.
July 11, 2019
As we approach the 50th anniversary of the
Apollo 11 moon landing, many magazines are publishing articles about the event
and the background leading up to it. I have tagged a couple notable quotes from
astronauts involved that will be posted over the next month or so. The June issue
of Discover magazine included this one as delivered by
Neil Armstrong to the National Press Club: "I
am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer, born under
the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body
diagrams. ... Science is about what is. Engineering is about what can be." Amen,
"It's what you learn after you know it all that counts." -
Wernher Magnus Maximilian, Freiherr von Braun, chief designer of the
rocket that terrorized London in the 1940s and chief architect of the
Saturn V rocket that launched the first men to the moon
in the 1960s, is quoted
as saying, "The best computer is a man, and it's
the only one that can be mass-produced by unskilled labor." von Braun was one of
many German scientists conscripted to do the
National Socialist German Workers Party (aka Nazi) regime's
bidding during World War II - formally an Schutzstaffel (aka
officer. He and his research team
surrendered to the Americans in 1945 after escaping to
Austria when the end of the Third Reich was imminent. His willingness to be part
of the Nazi German war effort is fuzzy; therefore, I have a hard time fully
appreciating his significant contributions to the U.S. space program.
Reportedly, von Braun experienced a genuine
Christian religious conversion that changed his life.
Notable Quote by Albert Bandura on Self Efficacy
"People with high assurance in their capabilities
approach difficult tasks as challenges to be mastered rather than as threats to
be avoided." -
Albert Bandura, psychologist specializing in self-efficacy and
observational learning. For the record, I rarely find anything quotable from psychologists,
but I found this one recommended by "Aviation Through Aviation" editor Bill Pritchett,
of the Academy of Model
Aviation's Model Aviation magazine ...
The unofficial RF Cafe grammar checker is
a retired electrical engineer / ham radio operator. While discussing
filters lately, he wrote this: "Sometimes filters just aren't
worth the hassle, for instance many moons ago I acquired a 1,000 foot reel of wire
that I used to make a 1,000 foot long wire antenna for a crystal radio, but unfortunately
there was a 50 kW 'blowtorch' of a station nearby and I couldn't realistically
filter it out and any filtering I did try would just add loss, but I knew the station
went off the air for 'regularly scheduled maintenance' so I just waited until they
were off the air and the band was wide open! If you want to pick nits, I guess you
could say that I filtered that station in the time domain instead of the frequency
domain." Brilliant ...
"If whatever signal remains has reached anyone,
it clearly hasn't inspired a reply." - Jill Tarter, SETI, regarding, 'We joke that
the first message extraterrestrials will pick up is I Love Lucy; it was among the
first big broadcasts. But Lucy's light-speed antics are pretty garbled by now."
Spring 2018 issue of
Popular Science magazine.
"Forecasts are mostly just guessing plus
math" - Dilbert, 12/1/2017.
It was part of a dialog with the Pointy-Haired Boss who compelled Dilbert to prepare
a financial report for him ...
"Ideas alone have little worth. The value
of an invention lies in its practical implementation." -
Werner von Siemens, 1865. The unit of electrical conductance
is named after him.
"Buy the best and cry only once" (BTBCOO) means that a customer cries once at the high price,
but doesn't cry again (because the higher price meant greater quality). It is not
clear what retailer originated or popularized the saying. "Buy quality and cry once—
buy cheap and cry forever" has been cited in print since 1922. - Anon, from
The Big Apple.
"I don't know the last time you purchased
some new coax, but it's sold by the foot and can cost an arm and a leg!" - H. Ward
Silver, QST magazine, October 2017,
Hands-on- Radio (p71).
"I would like to die on Mars... just not
on impact." - Elon Musk,
SpaceX CEO, during 2013 South by Southwest (SXSW) interview. Begins at 44:15 in
"Light is strange, but you can get used to
it." - Robert Lanza & Bob Berman in
Beyond Biocentrism. The book discusses some of the
stranger aspects of quantum physics including the dual particle and wave nature
of light, and the "spooky action at a distance" of entanglement. The biocentrism
theme is weird, but there is a good review of quantum theory ...
"There, his new specimens joined his collection
and waited patiently as only rocks can until he could
find time to analyze them." - Kat McGowan, "Where Did It Begin?"
September / October 2017 Popular Science (p41).
"Chasing the perfect battery is a fool's journey:
a catchpenny, a sensation, a mechanism for swindling the public by stock companies,"
wrote Thomas Edison in 1883. "Working on the latest, greatest battery
brings out a man's 'latent capacity for lying." July / August 2017 Discover magazine ...
"You wouldn't dip a glass in the ocean, come
up with no fish inside and conclude, 'No fish exist.'" - astronomer
regarding where humans are with SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence).
July / August 2017 Discover magazine ...
"I pass with relief from the tossing sea of
Cause and Theory to the firm ground of Result and Fact." - Winston L. Spencer Churchill,
The Story of the Malakand Field Force - An Episode of Frontier War,
p60. Other Notable Tech Quotes ...
"Its catalog was the
Boys' Life of electronics." - Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, CEO
of ARRL, regarding the second bankruptcy filing for Radio
Shack (May 2017 QST, p81) ...
"There is a way to tell who is used to working
on transistor equipment from those used to working on tube equipment. Before those
used to working on tube equipment touch their equipment, they put one hand in their
pocket to avoid electrocution. Before those used to working on low-voltage equipment
begin to work, they put one hand on the chassis to avoid damage from electrostatic
discharge." - Walter Underwood, K6WRU, as reported by Joel
Hallas in his "The Doctor Is In" column in the May 2017 issue of QST (p61) ...
"...timeframes are the enemy, they'l figure
out if you're behind schedule if you are too specific." - Jamie Davies, in a telecoms.com
article titled "Euro 5G Consortium Releases Roadmap with No Direction." Thanks
to RF Cafe visitor Bob Davis for the tip