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The best IT quotes of 2007

By Matthew Sparkes and Stuart Turton

Posted on 17 Dec 2007 at 13:31

The IT industry is full of characters willing to offer an opinion or clobber a rival over the head with an argument. We take a look back and pick out our favourite ten quotes of the year.

1. Naval tech guy
It takes a rare breed to work in the armed forces, as a recent recruitment advert proved. Espousing its usual secrecy, the Royal Navy took us deep into the bowels of one of its submarines to show us the technical wizardry that keeps our boats afloat.

"If the server goes down, I can't just call in some bloke to fix it," explains a young IT technician, sporting a wrench and a dangerously vacant smile. "But to be honest, sometimes I just switch it off and on again."

You couldn't make it up.

2. Tristan Nitot
Given the sheer wealth of marketing rubbish, PR blurb and pseudo-tech speak we have to wade though during the course of the year, it always brings a smile to our cynical faces to hear an executive speak from the heart. Which is exactly what happened when we interviewed Mozilla Europe president Tristan Nitot on the reasons for Firefox's success.

"Browsers hadn't been evolving for close to six years, but the web was. The browser had been dead while Microsoft was asleep at the wheel."

Don't hold back, Tristan.

"The beta [of Firefox 3] shouldn't be too long, probably by the end of the year. We want it to be stable, usable. It will be, it's not going to format your hard drive or anything."

Good news all round, then.

3. Nicolas Negroponte
Starting an organisation that aims to provide every child in every developing nation with their own laptop is a goal that even the ancient Egyptians might have described as a bit ambitious, but despite manufacturing delays and political setbacks galore, One Laptop Per Child founder Nicholas Negroponte has kept eerily cheerful, even raising a few smiles along the way.

"AMD is our partner, which means Intel is pissing on me. Bill Gates is not pleased either, but if I am annoying Microsoft and Intel then I figure I am doing something right."

Yes you are, Nicholas, yes you are.

4. Stephen Fry
The closest most comedians come to technology is the widget in beer cans. Thankfully though, everyone's favourite sophisticate, Stephen Fry, revealed his techy side earlier in the year, and swiftly gave Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6 platform the sort of silk-tongued ear-bashing we could only dream of.

"The feeling, as with all things Microsoft, is that all design features and functions are there to suit MS rather than to delight, enthuse and compel the user. Compromise, short-cuts, inconveniences, vestigial residues - no one responsible is likely to pat themselves on the back for the design."

5. Linus Torvalds
We're not entirely sure what it is about Microsoft that brings out the quips in people, but God bless it. Take this corker from Linux guru Linus Torvalds, responding to the patents row between the software giant and open-source community earlier in the year, when Microsoft claimed open-source had infringed hundreds of its patents, but wouldn't reveal which ones.

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