Friday, December 8, 2006

The first bug

The first bug

Do you what's the first bug or where did the term "Bug" come from?

In 1945 and during the world war II Grace Murray Hopper and a team at the Harvard University were working on Mark II Aiken Relay Calculator.

This primitive computer was facing problems and matters were getting worth till they discovered the problem. It was a moth! A 2-inch moth was trapped at relay #70. The team used ordinary tweezers to remove that moth.

This photo is the log file left by the team.

Last line in this photo: First actual case of bug being found.

They said that they had “debugged” the machine. Thus they used “bug” to describe their problem.

Grace Murray Hopper (1906-1992) was an admiral at the American navy forces. The term “Bug” cannot be related to Grace Hopper because it was used before she used it. She made it popular. So this case didn’t introduce this term. “Bugs” was used during World War II to describe problems in radars. It was also during Thomas Edison's life to mean an industrial defect.

In days of telegraphy tapers need to send dots and dashes of Morse code. And there were the newer, semi-automatic keyers that would send a string of dots automatically. These semi-automatic keyers were called "bugs". These semi-automatic keyers require skilled operators. Or if you are not experienced you would send garbled Morse code.

Bugs and quotes:

  • Everyone knows that debugging is twice as hard as writing a program in the first place. So if you're as clever as you can be when you write it, how will you ever debug it? (Brian Kernighan)

  • When you say: "I wrote a program that crashed Windows", people just stare at you blankly and say: "Hey, I got those with the system -- for free." (Linus Torvalds)

  • Every program starts off with bugs. Many programs end up with bugs as well. There are two corollaries to this: first, you must test all your programs straight away. And second, there's no point in losing your temper every time they don't work.

  • There are no significant bugs in our released software that any significant number of users want fixed. (Bill Gates) have you any comment??

  • The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything. (Theodore Roosevelt)

  • Of all my programming bugs, 80% are syntax errors. Of the remaining 20%, 80% are trivial logical errors. Of the remaining 4%, 80% are pointer errors. And the remaining 0.8% are hard. (Marc Donner)

  • Sometimes it pays to stay in bed in Monday, rather than spending the rest of the week debugging Monday's code. (Dan Salomon)

So do you know where “Bugs” originated from?
I don’t know.

But it seems that Grace Murray Hopper case is the first actual bug found.

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