New User ? Sign Up  |  Sign In  |  Help
StrangeQuestions
Get the Answers at StrangeQuestions.com!
ask
answer
explore
Search for questions :
My Profile

Mr. Boxy

Open Questions Bookmark and Share

Why is an error on a computer called a bug?


Was there a bug caused by an insect, or did someone just give it that name like a computer mouse or spam e-mail?

4100 day(s) ago

    Comment(s) (0)
    Report Abuse
   Find Interesting  
   Email to Friends  
   Bookmark  
   Subscribe to Answer Alert  
No comments yet !!!     Be the first to comment !!!
Answers (1)

cabbagehead
The term "bug" was around to describe engineering problems long before electronic computers had been invented. Edison talked about having to work the bugs out of his designs in a letter he wrote in the late 1870s and by WWII it had become a commonly used term by radar technicians.

However, there was a computer bug caused by a real insect. In 1947 the Harvard Mark II electromechanical computer had an error, prompting the scientists using it to inspect its hardware. It turned out the "bug" was caused by a dead moth stuck in one of the relays. Finding this funny, one of the people working on the Mark II taped the moth to the project's log book with the note "First actual case of bug being found." The story was popularized by one of the scientists working on the project, Navy officer Grace Hopper.* Sometimes the discovery of the moth is erroneously attributed to her.

The log book with the moth is currently on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

*While she didn't discover the moth, Rear Admiral Hopper is notable for inventing the first compiler and helping create the first English-like programming language, COBOL.

Posted 4100 day ago

( 0 )
( 0 )
    Comment(s) (0)
   Report Abuse
No comments yet !!! Be the first to comment on this answer !!!

Edit your answer. Click save when done.
Question Title Why is an error on a computer called a bug?
Your Answer
Character Count ( Max. - 5000 ) : 112
Email this question link to friends
Please enter e-mail address and name for each friend..
Friend #1 -
Friend #2 -
Friend #3 -
Friend #4 -
Friend #5 -
  Your comment on this question
Max Allowed : 5000 Characters Current Count : 0
  Your comment on this answer
Max Allowed : 5000 Characters Current Count : 0