This Day In History: Popularization of the Term “Bug”

A “bug” is an instance whereby something (typically machinery) does not behave as it should.  These “bugs” take a variety of forms, including minor inconveniences and faults, not accepting data input (for computing machines), or catastrophic failure.

In the 1940s, as you may already know, computers were much larger and much more temperamental than the devices of today.

While working with the Harvard Mark II, Grace Harper’s operators found that a problem with the Mark II had been traced to a moth that was caught in a relay.  From there, the story goes that Hopper said that they were “debugging” the system.  The term had already been used in mechanics and computing, but Hopper is anecdotally credited with popularizing the term.

That same moth is on display in the Smithsonian, on the same page it was taped to sixty-six years ago.

From the Wikimedia Commons.


Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in This Day In History

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow Reckless Historians on
%d bloggers like this: