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Quotes of the day: Seymour Cray

Published Saturday, September 27, 2014 @ 7:48 PM EDT
Sep 27 2014

Seymour Roger Cray (September 28, 1925 – October 5, 1996) was a U.S. electrical engineer and supercomputer architect who designed a series of computers that were the fastest in the world for decades, and founded the company Cray Research which would build many of these machines. Called "the father of supercomputing," Cray has been credited with creating the supercomputer industry through his efforts. (Click here for full IEEE article)


Anyone can build a fast CPU. The trick is to build a fast system.

Don't do anything that other people are doing. Always do something a little different if you can.

Five-year goal: Build the biggest computer in the world. One-year goal: Achieve one-fifth of the above.

I enjoy working with young people because they have a lot of enthusiasm and most basically they don't know it can't be done yet.

I just design these things for myself. I'm always surprised when other people use them. I don't know what all this supercomputer talk is about. They certainly aren't supercomputers; they are kind of simple, dumb things.

I'm supposed to be a scientific person but I use intuition more than logic in making basic decisions.

If you were plowing a field, which would you rather use? Two strong oxen or 1024 chickens? (re: supercomputers vs parallel computing)

Memory is like an orgasm. It's a lot better if you don't have to fake it. (re: computer virtual memory)

Parity is for farmers. (On why he left memory error-correcting code out of the CDC 6600.)
I learned that a lot of farmers buy computers. (After he did include error-correcting code on the CDC 7600)

Take me out on the town once in a while. But not too often.

The blank sheet of paper is not a blank mind.

The trouble with programmers is that you can never tell what a programmer is doing until it's too late.

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