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Seven Great Blunders of the Computing World
July 2002 (vol. 35 no. 7)
pp. 112, 110-111
Neville Holmes, University of Tasmania

Last July, for my first-anniversary column, I urged computing professionals to temper pride with humility ("Vanity and Guilt, Humility and Pride," Computer, July 2001, pp. 104, 102-103). To justify the humility, I wrote that "the computing industry?s blunder rate is far higher than it should be, and we must take professional responsibility for it." No one reacted to this assertion, leaving me unsure if the silence sprang from collegial agreement or dismissive contempt.

But we must remember the blunders so we can strike a proper balance between pride and humility?assuming there have indeed been blunders. This column aims to confirm their existence by giving examples.

The seven blunders I offer here provide a mix that is ancient and modern, retrievable and irretrievable, general and particular, subtle and blatant, and arguable and undeniable. I describe some blunders only briefly because I have already given their details in previous issues of Computer. Further, my choice of examples reflects my background and experience. If any of you care to offer a different selection for The Profession next July, I would consider such a contribution both educational and entertaining.

Citation:
Neville Holmes, "Seven Great Blunders of the Computing World," Computer, vol. 35, no. 7, pp. 112, 110-111, July 2002, doi:10.1109/MC.2002.1016910
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