The “First Bug”: Found 70 Years Ago

The “First Bug”: Found 70 Years Ago

This is a start of a new series of blog posts called: Did you know? So did you know that on...

The Actual First Computer Bug

September 9, 1947: Grace Hopper's computer science team at Harvard encountered puzzling errors and technical glitches with the Harvard Mark II computer. Eventually, operators traced these glitches to their source: a dead moth in a relay. Placing the moth in their log book, they cemented a new meaning of the word "bug."

While the team's insect encounter popularized the terms bug and debugging, theirs was merely the most literal of a long line of "bugs" that have preyed upon even the greatest of programmers and engineers for hundreds of years:

  • Ada Lovelace first noted how software can contain errors in 1843;
  • In 1873, Thomas Edison invented a "bug trap" to isolate false Telegraph breaks and coined the term "bug";
  • 1892: Thomas Sloane's Standard Electrical Dictionary defines bugs as "any fault or trouble in the… working of [an] electrical apparatus";


What will you debug?

Learning to code is the best thing you can do! Watch the video below to understand why.




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