10 December, 2006

original "bug" & "debugging"

The following image shows an organism of great historic significance, reportedly first identified and named by Lieutenant Grace Murray Hopper while she was on Navy active duty in 1945.

Photo #: NH 96566-KN (Color)

The First "Computer Bug"

Moth found trapped between points at Relay # 70, Panel F, of the Mark II Aiken Relay Calculator while it was being tested at Harvard University, 9 September 1945. The operators affixed the moth to the computer log, with the entry: "First actual case of bug being found". They put out the word that they had "debugged" the machine, thus introducing the term "debugging a computer program".
In 1988, the log, with the moth still taped by the entry, was in the Naval Surface Warfare Center Computer Museum at Dahlgren, Virginia.

Courtesy of the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren, VA., 1988.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.



Grace Murray Hopper is not only the Mother of COBOL, not only one of the most important women in the history of computers, she is one of the most important people in the history of computers.


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