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I'm thinking stackoverflow.com llc / inc should buy a brick in the Computer History Museum Wall.

It's for a noble cause -- the CHM is one of my favorite places on the planet, and the money is a non-profit donation in support of their effort to record the history of the computer.

The brick I am looking at is the Terabyte:

The wall will consist of a series of permanent high-tech plaques engraved with your message. Honor your favorite computer pioneer, recall your first technology project, or annotate any technology memory you wish to commemorate in this special area. Each engraved wall plaque will be placed in the newly remodeled entry area of the Museum, ensuring that your reminiscences will be preserved and shared for years to come.

  • Name: Terabyte
  • Price: $5000
  • Description: 8" x 8" Plaque
  • Max Lines of Text: 6
  • Max Characters per Line: 18
  • Company logo or Stock Symbol available

So, then, the question: what should our CHM plaque say?

Completed, selection made public, and payment confirmed with the Museum: Our Brick in the Computer History Museum Wall. Now we wait for October to see it live!

share|improve this question
16  
If you can put the APL character set on a brick, I bet you could reimplement SO in APL and it'd fit on that brick.... –  Earlz Apr 17 '10 at 3:29
2  
Have you verified that both the 108 characters and the logo can be accommodated? Or will someone need to do a graphic that includes the logo and some text (then the character limit may be different - higher or lower - depending on the resolution of the engraving technology)? Is there additional cost for the logo? –  Dennis Williamson Apr 17 '10 at 11:13
18  
I think the museum should donate this brick to you because 17,210 meta users are going to visit the museum just to see this brick. –  Robert Cartaino Apr 17 '10 at 18:13
5  
I took me five answers to realize that the first row of numbers were only coordinates, not actual text for the brick. –  Daniel Daranas Apr 17 '10 at 23:05
1  
I can think of one company that would be so much happier if their brick could hold seven lines of 20 characters. –  Dennis Williamson Apr 17 '10 at 23:29
5  
I really can't read a question with the words "brick in the (...) wall" without having that same song stuck in my head for the rest of the day. –  Gnoupi Apr 19 '10 at 14:15
1  
@Dennis - ah. I get it now. :) –  uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN Apr 19 '10 at 17:14
5  
Whatever the answer, I think it should include the 123456789012345678 numbers on it.. even if we lose a column and a row. And it must be monospaced font. –  glasnt Apr 20 '10 at 22:49

100 Answers 100

up vote 47 down vote accepted
  123456789012345678
1 stackoverflow.com
2 Dedicated to the 
3 expert programmers
4 whose tireless
5 work made this
6 brick possible.

Stack Overflow Plaque at CHM

share|improve this answer
2  
Aw. I liked a lot others more(even being serious) :( –  Earlz May 13 '10 at 6:36
13  
meta is a fine place for in-jokes, but I think when you're putting words on granite (literally or metaphorically) in a public place, it's best to play it straight, simple, and clear. –  Jeff Atwood May 13 '10 at 7:44
17  
This one really stands out. If possible, I'd suggest a slight change so that the dedication is directed to the expert programmers rather than their tireless work : 3 expert programmers, 4 whose tireless, 5 work made this. –  Ben McCormack May 13 '10 at 12:22
8  
Congratulations, I don't think it could possibly be more vanilla. –  Won't May 13 '10 at 13:40
1  
@ben good idea -- done! –  Jeff Atwood May 14 '10 at 9:24
1  
Now can we have the closed as dupe brick? –  bananakata Mar 7 '11 at 15:30
  123456789012345678
1 stackoverflow.com 
2
3  closed as exact
4    duplicate of
5  brick #13379001
6
share|improve this answer
10  
+1 You'd need two bricks, then. –  Zach Johnson Apr 17 '10 at 1:39
8  
Precisely. The second brick would redirect to the first, of course. –  Julian H. Lam Apr 17 '10 at 3:23
62  
@Julian H. Lam: Nope, the second brick has been moved to meta. –  Tamas Czinege Apr 17 '10 at 3:26
1  
First one to make my LOL! –  Lawrence Dol Apr 17 '10 at 7:06
28  
Isn't it sad you think of closing questions when you think of SO? –  Georg Schölly Apr 17 '10 at 7:26
14  
I think it's great that there is so much knowledge on the SO-family that 50% of questions can be closed as duplicates. –  Gnoupi Apr 17 '10 at 9:53
12  
@Gnoupi that statement tells me the real issue is question discoverability. –  ongle Apr 17 '10 at 15:43
3  
To discover, you have bring up the effort to search first, though. –  mafutrct Apr 18 '10 at 1:06
3  
@ongle: Discoverability is sometimes an issue, but at least as often it seems to be users who [don't know how|are unwilling] to search. First time is free, of course, but after that folks should take some responsibility. –  dmckee Apr 18 '10 at 2:22
1  
Way to hijack an answer's comment thread by discussing totally off-topic usability issues :-P –  Andy E Apr 19 '10 at 9:26
6  
@Andy I will require (pinky in mouth) 1 Million Dollars before I will return your comment thread. –  ongle Apr 19 '10 at 15:58
1  
@eSKAy: IT'S OVER NINE THOUSAAAAAAND! –  Tamas Czinege Apr 22 '10 at 20:04
1  
@eSKay: The power level, of course –  Tamas Czinege Apr 24 '10 at 16:58
1  
@eSKay: youtube.com/watch?v=SiMHTK15Pik –  Tamas Czinege May 1 '10 at 20:32
  123456789012345678
1 See:
2 http://meta.
3  stackoverflow
4   .com/
5    questions/46920 
6 for brick history
share|improve this answer
3  
I just love this one! –  Vincent Robert Apr 17 '10 at 8:43
7  
I'm not too excited about this one - the link is only valid for so long. –  uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN Apr 21 '10 at 4:23
4  
@George, what is going to happen to the link? Surely Jeff is doing backups... –  metacoder May 3 '10 at 1:57
5  
@George: What if the museum collapses? What if Atlantis rises from the ocean tomorrow and marauding merpeople reduce us to the stone age again? Gotta draw the line somewhere.... –  Pops May 4 '10 at 18:03
7  
@George: I have come from the future to find out what these URLs that you refer to are. We find them in some archeological artifacts that we have dated to approximately this period. –  Dennis Williamson May 8 '10 at 1:17
  123456789012345678
1 stackoverflow.com
2 
3 How do I move the
4  turtle in LOGO? 
5 
6 
share|improve this answer
20  
this is GENIUS! –  Jeff Atwood Apr 17 '10 at 3:00
11  
How do I move the brick in MUSEUM? –  Earlz Apr 17 '10 at 3:46
10  
Seems a bit narcissistic to me. –  raven Apr 17 '10 at 20:04
17  
@raven - As opposed to buying a $5000 brick to commemorate yourself, which is totally humble. –  Super Long Names are Hilarious Apr 23 '10 at 18:35
  123456789012345678
1 stackoverflow.com
2  \ji
3  /.((( 
4 (,/"(((__,--.
5    \  ) _( /{ 
6    !|| " :||      
share|improve this answer
30  
+1 Nice unicorn. –  waiwai933 Apr 17 '10 at 0:58
2  
+1 "My Little Pony, My Little Pony; What does the future hold?" –  Nick Dandoulakis Apr 17 '10 at 21:48

Kicking things off with my dumb suggestion.

Remember the brick is 6 lines of 18 characters!

  123456789012345678
1 stackoverflow.com
2 our VC asked us to
3 build a business 
4 but we spent all 
5 their money on
6 this brick instead
share|improve this answer
7  
If you go this route, why stop with just 1 brick? –  Jon Seigel Apr 16 '10 at 23:55
27  
@jon that would be funnier -- a whole wall, 1 letter per brick, heh. –  Jeff Atwood Apr 16 '10 at 23:58
5  
Can I buy the one under yours and put "that is one expensive brick!"? –  jmfsg Apr 17 '10 at 0:18
2  
If you write it this way, you can avoid the hyphenated busin-ess: | StackOverflow.com | Our VC asked us to | build a business, | but we spent | all their money on | this brick. | –  Robert Cartaino Apr 17 '10 at 3:03
3  
7 -- Burma Shave. –  Piskvor Mar 7 '11 at 16:38
  123456789012345678
1 to ask questions 
2 is human, 
3 but 
4 to provide
5 expert answers is
6 stackoverflow.com
share|improve this answer
1  
For some reason reminds me of a slightly less sinister version of the motto from The Prisoner: i41.tinypic.com/b6udzk.png –  sblair Apr 17 '10 at 2:07
2  
I resent this one. Stop excluding us 'free rider'-'question-askers'-'only 5 rep per upvote' users! –  ripper234 Apr 17 '10 at 5:34
1  
Consider a version of this except with "to provide expert answers." –  Robert Cartaino Apr 17 '10 at 17:59
4  
I think it would be better without the "but". Like: "To ask questions/is human./To provide/expert answers is/stackoverflow.com". (And one line to spare.) –  Arjan Apr 17 '10 at 21:33
2  
a bit marketing-y –  UpTheCreek Apr 22 '10 at 10:24
  123456789012345678
1 stackoverflow.com:
2 The only place
3 where you can get
4 100 answers
5 for what to write
6 on this brick.
share|improve this answer
9  
I think it should be the actual final # of answers. –  Robert Cartaino Apr 17 '10 at 13:51
3  
That'd be a good meta brick. –  MPelletier Apr 17 '10 at 15:09
25  
Are there dynamic bricks? –  Franz Apr 19 '10 at 9:46
  123456789012345678
1 stackoverflow.com
2 None of us
3 Is as Dumb
4 As all of Us
5 -Jeff Atwood & 
6  Joel Spolsky

http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2008/09/stack-overflow-none-of-us-is-as-dumb-as-all-of-us.html

share|improve this answer
38  
hmm, initially misread that as "none of us is as dumb as Jeff Atwood & Joel Spolsky" –  Mark Heath Apr 22 '10 at 9:49
1  
That's already the subtitle for the 'Meetings' demotivational poster. Still funny though. I think of this everytime I'm in a meeting at work... or really anywhere for that matter. –  Craig Apr 24 '10 at 18:45

Poetized version of Atwood's earlier answer.

Answered questions quick
VCs made wallets thick
Won some cash to kick some ass
But spent it on this brick.

  123456789012345678
1 Answered questions
2 quick, VCs made
3 wallets thick, Won
4 some cash to kick
5 some ass but spent
6 it on this brick

alt text

share|improve this answer
2  
Yo! The Beastie Boys are in the house! –  Dennis Williamson Apr 17 '10 at 1:31
6  
it has no meter. rhythm fail. –  quack quixote Apr 17 '10 at 9:00
6  
Sounds like it rhymes pretty well to me - perhaps it's the char-per-line restriction that is making it difficult to read? –  Jonathan Sampson Apr 17 '10 at 13:14
  123456789012345678
1 Programming Q&A?
2 StackOverflow.com
3 has both.
4 -- Answered 2009
5 community briki
6 Jeff Atwood
share|improve this answer
7  
I confess. I only posted this to get the community briki joke in. –  Oddthinking Apr 17 '10 at 3:42
17  
well, I LOL'ed so mission accomplished. COMMUNITY BRIKI! –  Jeff Atwood Apr 17 '10 at 3:49
7  
I confess. I only upvoted this because the community briki joke was in. –  Pops May 4 '10 at 18:05
  123456789012345678
1 stackoverflow.com
2 Asking 14-million
3 expert programmers
4 what to write
5 on this brick.
6 [status-completed]

Of course, we'll need the actual # of users.

share|improve this answer
3  
Imho the best one ever –  Pavel Shved Apr 17 '10 at 17:37
2  
Where does the figure of 14-million come from? (The most recent SO user id is 319,402.) –  Arjan Apr 17 '10 at 20:35
3  
I think I should clarify why this brick is the best. It contains a reference that SO is a great and influential Q&A site. It also contains a generic joke, in addition to an inside joke; this is what many bricks here lack. –  Pavel Shved Apr 18 '10 at 9:16
  123456789012345678
1 stackoverflow.com
2
3 [closed]brick
4 
5 not programming
6 related
share|improve this answer

It really should be something in code . . . and this seems like the most obvious choice:

  123456789012345678
1 /* See:
2  StackOverflow.com
3 */
4 public int Foo() {
5     return Foo();
6 }

Because of course the logical place that someone would come to figure out what that means, or how to fix it is to visit StackOverflow.com.

share|improve this answer
2  
That's seven lines. –  Dennis Williamson Apr 17 '10 at 2:54
1  
@Dennis, could just take the { up a line and reduce it to 6. This is actually a common(though not in C#) coding style –  Earlz Apr 17 '10 at 3:45
2  
Hope the edits are ok. Return type changed to int so I could fit a { and a space. Most importantly, it now fits the spec –  that one guy Apr 18 '10 at 1:05
1  
How can we be certain this won't get TCO'd to just loop forever? –  SamB Feb 25 '12 at 20:13
 123456789012345678
1 stackoverflow() {
2   ask_questions;
3   get_answers;
4   rep++;
5   return profit;
6 }
share|improve this answer
5  
Bill adds ()s to all of those... –  Billy ONeal Apr 17 '10 at 2:45
1  
-1 for using a language that requires semi-colons. –  Stefan Kendall Apr 18 '10 at 1:16
1  
@Paul: Why not? I profit from the answers I receive, even if only intellectually. Besides "profit" is a meme. –  Dennis Williamson Apr 22 '10 at 18:24
3  
profit is undefined –  bobobobo May 9 '10 at 22:08
  123456789012345678
1 StackOverflow.com
2 Dedicated to the
3 tireless effort of
4 expert programmers
5 making this brick
6 [status-complete]
share|improve this answer
5  
I like this because it's true to the "dedication" nature of the brick, plus contains a bit of the SO purpose and an inside-meme, to boot. –  Robert Cartaino Apr 17 '10 at 18:03
1  
By all my powers I have just made up, I hereby pronounce you the best brickmaker ever. –  Pavel Shved Apr 21 '10 at 19:10
1  
This is nice - punny, on-message, in-jokey, and awesome. –  Paul Nathan Apr 22 '10 at 0:09
  123456789012345678
1 ___|_____|_____|__
2 |_____|_____|_____
3 ___|_____|_____|__
4 |_____|_____|_____
5 ___|_____|_____|__
6 |_____|_____|_____

It's just another brick in the wall.

share|improve this answer
1  
Nice, but you know some do better. ;-) –  Arjan Apr 20 '10 at 19:28
2  
@Arjan: tell Jeff to get us kbd back, and I'll try. –  perbert Apr 20 '10 at 19:58
First brick here?
Check out the FAQ!
share|improve this answer

I prefer a more nuanced message:

  123456789012345678
1 Add 2 parts Q & A,
2 1 part Wiki,
3 1 part forum.
4 Bake for 6-8 weeks
5 Makes 3-4 servings
6 stackoverflow.com
share|improve this answer
4  
-1 forgot to mention waffles –  uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN Apr 17 '10 at 4:51
  123456789012345678
1 stackoverflow\.com
2.you shouldn't par\
3.se [X]HTML with re
4.gular expressions.
5.have you tried HT\
6.ML Parser instead?
share|improve this answer
3  
haha, I always hate it when people rain on my cthulu parade! –  travis Apr 19 '10 at 15:30
if you're looking        
for gender reass-      
ignment, you've          
come to the wrong
place 
 stackoverflow.com
share|improve this answer
27  
+1 But I'm sure the history books will have long forgotten the hyphen-site, making this one confusing brick :) –  Jonathan Sampson Apr 17 '10 at 0:49
  123456789012345678
1        \   |
2      __  \  |
3        --_ \ |
4    | ______ |
5    |________|
6 stackoverflow.com
share|improve this answer
9  
and the bricks have logos anyway –  Joel Spolsky Apr 17 '10 at 3:48
4  
Any one have any pictures of actual bricks? –  dwj Apr 18 '10 at 19:51


  123456789012345678
1 stackoverflow.com
2
3   eventually
4  we'd like to
5     be an
6    exhibit
share|improve this answer
  123456789012345678
1  
2 
3 (λx.x x) (λx.x x)
4 stackoverflow.com
5 
6 
share|improve this answer
2  
omega, my mega. –  Jared Updike Apr 18 '10 at 3:25
  123456789012345678
1 The only community
2 on the internet
3 where users enjoy
4 when avatars are
5 hacked and turned
6 into unicorns.
share|improve this answer
2  
Without the hyphen the word community just fits fine on that first line, right? –  Arjan Apr 17 '10 at 12:17

How about:

  123456789012345678
1
2            Alconja
3              3,772
4          ●1 ●3 ●16
5  
6 stackoverflow.com

Ok, maybe I'm not well known enough... so perhaps:

  123456789012345678
1
2          Jon Skeet
3            168,276
4     ●31 ●593 ●1153
5
6 stackoverflow.com

Or:

  123456789012345678
1
2      Jeff Atwood ♦
3             58,226
4       ●9 ●110 ●190
5
6 stackoverflow.com
share|improve this answer
46  
Let Jon buy his own brick! –  C. Ross Apr 18 '10 at 12:05
  123456789012345678
1 stackoverflow.com
2  
3 Fixing the
4 internet
5 one question
6 at a time
share|improve this answer

The solution is obvious. You need to buy many bricks, and set them up with graphics of the game breakout.

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Not to rain in your parade, but this is the kind of neighbours you'd have?

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21  
I'm really hoping these "examples" aren't representative. We're in the high-rent neighborhood.. –  Jeff Atwood Apr 17 '10 at 2:59
1  
@Jeff: that reminds me... who is paying for this? :) –  uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN Apr 17 '10 at 4:51
5  
If someone pays $5k for one of these I'll send them my address so they can send to balance of their excess to me. –  squillman Apr 17 '10 at 13:15
010100110111010001
100001011000110110
101101001111011101
100110010101110010
011001100110110001
10111101110111 
share|improve this answer
4  
I'd prefer it in mixed case or all lower case instead of all caps. –  Dennis Williamson Apr 17 '10 at 0:39
16  
-1, a lot of bricks will be like that, methinks. –  MPelletier Apr 17 '10 at 17:59

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