Wondering about wild grapes

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Wondering About Computer Bugs.

I don't know how many of you have ever tried to write code, either for programmable controllers or for computer programs, but there always seems to be a bug buried in the code somewhere.  The hard part is finding the "bug", and after that, you can fix it.  I always enjoyed writing programs for controllers and equipment, and like I said above, there was usually a bug hidden it somewhere.  Let me just say that sometimes it is easier to write the program than to find the bug.

Now, this starts me to wondering why do they call it a "bug" in the program or computer, who discovered it, and when was the first bug discovered?  Well, the answer to this may surprise you, it did me.  The year was 1947 and it was discovered by Grace Hopper, a programmer on the Harvard Mark II computer.  There was a problem with the computer and after some extensive diagnostic investigation, she found a moth wedged into relay #70 on panel F.  She then debugged the machine and in turn introduced the term "debug" into the language used by computer technicians.

This was a "real" bug, but the term has swollen into an all encompassing term for any hidden problem in computer software.  OK, I will stop bugging you and say, have a great day, you hear?

16 comments:

  1. OF course for 99% of my computer trouble, I am the bug.

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  2. I love this story! The explanation for so many phrases is downright fascinating. I think I have a book somewhere ... like a phrase dictionary... might have to find it and enjoy it again.

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    1. That book could be a great source for many blog postings.

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  3. Years ago,,, late 90s or so, i was working at a large store, and a part time older lady seriously asked me, what kind of bug was in computers. She meant real bugs.

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    1. She wasn't that far off, since the first "bug" was a real insect.

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  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Rob. Sometime the truth is stranger than fiction.

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  5. I never knew this...! Thanks for the interesting history!

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    1. I love to know where things got started. And yes, it is interesting. Thanks for stopping by today.

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  6. Wow. Bugs really were bugs. Too simple, yet true. How cool is that?

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    1. I would have never guessed. Yes, it is very cool.

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    2. Ditto Sixbears and the Hermit - great story, and one more piece of useless information for a conversation starter. Thanks, Dizzy!

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    3. Your welcome, texasann. I hope you can use some of my trivia sometime in the future.

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  7. Interesting way the term came about:) I have heard a lot about Grace Hopper. She was a Navy Admiral and quite famous in the geek world!

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    1. Glad you have heard of her. I had not. Don't know why. I have been in computers from way back in the DOS era. When the first Windows program came out, I said that "I don't do windows". Of course I was forced into it, especially after AutoCAD went to the Window's format.

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