The original Murphy's Law was "If there are two or more ways to do something, and one of those ways can result in a catastrophe, then someone will do it." RELATED TERM. Gremlin; Moof monster
The law's author was Edward A. Murphy, Jr., a U.S. Air Force engineer, who, in 1947, was involved in a rocket-sled experiment in which all 16 accelerator instruments were installed in the wrong way, resulting in Murphy's observation. Murphy's Law is sometimes expressed as "Anything that can go wrong, will -- at the worst possible moment." In that format, the Law was popularized by science-fiction writer Larry Niven as "Finagle's Law of Dynamic Negatives " (sometimes known as "Finagle's corollary to Murphy's Law"). Extrapolating from the original, we arrive at Murphy's Laws of Information Technology, a set of principles that may seem to be jokes but which events sometimes prove to be fundamental truths. Examples of Murphy's Laws relative to hardware: Law of Inconvenient Malfunction (A device will fail at the least opportune possible moment); Law of Cable Compatibility (If you choose a cable and a connector at random, the probability that they are compatible is equal to zero); Law of Hardware Compatibility (The probability of a given peripheral being compatible with a PC is inversely proportional to the immediate need for that peripheral); Law of Bad Sectors (The probability that an untested diskette will have bad sectors is directly proportional to the importance of the data written onto the diskette); First Law of Selective Gravitation: (When an object is dropped, it will fall in such a way as to cause the greatest possible damage to itself and/or other objects on which it lands); Second Law of Selective Gravitation (The tendency for an object to be dropped is directly proportional to its value); Law of Reality Change (Unalterable hardware specifications will change as necessary to maximize frustration for personnel affected by said specifications); Law of Noise (Noise bursts occur so as to cause the most, and/or most serious, errors in data communications, regardless of the actual amount of noise present); Law of Expectation (Consumer expectations always outpace advances in hardware technology); and, Law of the Titanic (If a device cannot malfunction, it wil). Examples of Murphy's Laws as they relate to programming: Law of Debugging (The difficulty of debugging software is directly proportional to the number of people who will ultimately use it); Law of Neurosis (The chances of software being neurotic (developing bugs spontaneously without apparent reason) is directly proportional to the confusion such neurosis can cause); Law of Available Space (If there are n bytes in a crucial software program, the available space for its convenient storage or loading is equal to n-1 bytes); First Law of Bad Sectors (The probability of software being mutilated by bad sectors is directly proportional to the value and/or importance of the programs); Second Law of Bad Sectors (When a program is mutilated by bad sectors, the damage will occur at the point(s) that result in the most frequent and/or severe errors when the program is run); Law of Noise (When a downloaded program is corrupted by noise, the corruption will occur at the point(s) that result in the most frequent and/or severe errors when the program is run); Law of Software Compatibility (If two programs are chosen at random, the probability that they are compatible is equal to zero); Law of Option Preferences (When two people share a computer, their software option preferences will differ in every possible way); Law of Expectation (Consumer expectations always outpace advances in software technology); and, Law of the Titanic (Bug-free software isn't).
- Murphy's Law
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