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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
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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
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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
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  Computer Science 
  is no more about
   computers than
    astronomy is 
   about telescopes
          -Dijkstra
share|improve this answer
2  
it's a great quote, but it's more about computer science than it is about programming - i.e. you can't really replace "computer science" in the quote with "programming" –  Kyle Cronin Apr 17 '10 at 0:33
3  
Agree with Kyle. Good quote, but not for this purpose. –  Andrew Apr 17 '10 at 1:17
add comment
stackoverflow: 
please don't use 
phpBB for question 
and answer sites
share|improve this answer
1  
s/stackoverflow/stack exchange –  Earlz Apr 17 '10 at 3:36
show 1 more comment

I like the idea of stating what Stack Overflow is all about.

  123456789012345678
1 stackoverflow.com
2 We help the
3 world's best
4 developers make
5 better software
6 
share|improve this answer
2  
well, that's what Fog Creek is about, technically –  Jeff Atwood Apr 16 '10 at 23:54
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Or if you'd like to throw a philosophical in-joke in...

 it took a bit, but
 we learned the 
 important things
 aren't answers,
 but questions.
  stackoverflow.com
share|improve this answer
6  
Except that this is incorrect. –  Lawrence Dol Apr 17 '10 at 7:01
5  
[subjective-and-argumentative]. Some would argue the important things aren't questions, but Unicorns... :) –  Jonathan Sampson Apr 17 '10 at 13:17
4  
Tell that to the users who lost half of the rep gained from asking questions.... –  Michael Kniskern Apr 19 '10 at 20:41
add comment
  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
add comment
  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
show 6 more comments
  123456789012345678
1 My name is
2 Jeff Atwood.
3 I built this site.
4 In case you forgot
5 my name, again, is
6 Jeff Atwood.
share|improve this answer
7  
That can't be from the real Jeff; you're missing any mention of [status-bydesign]. –  Ether Apr 17 '10 at 0:11
show 1 more comment

Similar to my other brick suggestion but with the Stack Exchange mission spiced up to be specific for Stack Overflow.

  123456789012345678
1 stackoverflow.com
2 Make the Internet
3 a better place to
4 get expert answers
5 to your program-
6 ming questions
share|improve this answer
add comment
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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      ╲ │      
   ╲-  ╲ │ stack         
     ╲- ╲   over        
 │ ---_╲_ │  flow        
 │ ______ │   .com
 └────────┘
share|improve this answer
add comment
  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
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  123456789012345678
1
2 stackoverflow.com
3
4  we have waffles
5
6 
share|improve this answer
add comment

As an extension of Jason's answer:

  123456789012345678
1 stackoverflow.com
2 My name is
3 Jeff Atwood.
4 I built this site.
5 It took me six to
6 eight weeks.
share|improve this answer
show 2 more comments
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
add comment
  123456789012345678
1     Badges?
2 We don't need no
3    steenkin'
4     badges!
5 
6 stackoverflow.com
share|improve this answer
add comment
 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
show 6 more comments
  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
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stackoverflow.com

No hyphens needed

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add comment

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
show 1 more comment
  123456789012345678
1 stackoverflow.com
2
3   Answered 2009
4
5     Great Brick
6   Community Wiki
share|improve this answer
add comment

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
show 5 more comments
  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
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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
add comment
  123456789012345678
1 stackoverflow.com
2 fast
3      free
4           answers
5 run by:
6      the community
share|improve this answer
show 2 more comments
      123456789012345678
    1 Honoring
    2 stackoverflow.com
    3 who improved how 
    4 experts exchange 
    5 information. It's
    6 rockhardawesome!
share|improve this answer
1  
I'm so tempted to stick a hyphen in there... –  that one guy Apr 18 '10 at 1:07
1  
@that one guy: Hyphen? I'm tempted to put "experts" in quotes :) –  Billy ONeal Apr 27 '10 at 2:43
add comment
  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
show 4 more comments
  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
show 2 more comments
  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
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