Thread: The history of a "bug"

  1. #1
    left crog... back when? incognito's Avatar
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    Oct 2001

    The history of a "bug"

    Where does the word a "bug" in a program come from? I heard it was that someone had an actual bug in their computer or something. Tell me if you know.
    There are some real morons in this world please do not become one of them, do not become a victim of moronitis. PROGRAMMING IS THE FUTURE...THE FUTURE IS NOW!!!!!!!!!

    "...The only real game I thank in the world is baseball..." --Babe Ruth

    "Life is beautiful"-Don Corleone right before he died.

    "The expert on anything was once a beginner" -Baseball poster I own.

    Left cprog on 1-3-2005. Don't know when I am coming back. Thanks to those who helped me over the years.

  2. #2
    Registered User C_Coder's Avatar
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    Oct 2001
    I read somewhere that it was first used at an airforce base where their systems went down and they spent hours trying to figure it out, when all that had happened was a moth flew into a printer and jammed it up. If I remember where i read that I'll post it.
    All spelling mistakes, syntatical errors and stupid comments are intentional.

  3. #3
    ATH0 quzah's Avatar
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    Oct 2001
    Yes, that's correct. The first 'computer bug' was in fact a bug in the computer.

    Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment.

  4. #4
    the Corvetter
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    Sep 2001
    hmmm...I guess that is when they started putting the casing over the hardware.

    1978 Silver Anniversary Corvette

  5. #5
    The term 'bug' stemmed from the fact that insects were in fact attracted by the warm electronics (tubes, transformers, nixies, etc.) If a calculation malfunction occured, sometimes it was due to a 'bug' having gotten in and gotten itself positioned such that it shorted across contacts.

    The term "bug" originated when a moth crawled into an old tube-type computer and died. Operators had to remove the "bug" before the machine would work properly and the term stuck.


  6. #6
    Registered User
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    Dec 2001
    My god, I thought there was no thing worse than a
    segmentation fault

  7. #7
    The story I've heard (and this one I 've heard multiple times, so I believe this to be the most accurate) were some computer operators at a large company (don't recall the name). They couldn't get a program to work. After some time searching (hours?), someone discovered a bug between the contacts of a part in the computer. The bug was removed and the program worked fine. Hence, debugging.

    When I first heard it, there was more detail (the name of the company and a little more background), but I wasn't overly interested so I didn't memorize it.

    Ultimately, maybe it was a university, government, business, who really knows.

    But the fact of the matter is that a bug had shorted out some contacts on a computer which caused a program not to work.

    Now bug is just a reference.

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