Why are Bugs Called Bugs?

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Have you ever wondered why we call software or hardware errors “bugs”? What a strange word to describe a mistake.

Insects, though some may find them repellent, are among the most complex and perfectly adapted creatures on this planet. How can something that doesn’t work be compared with things that actually function better than most living organisms on Earth? The term has never made much sense to me even though I use it in one way or another at least once a week.

When I was a youngster in the 70’s, I imagined a horde of beetles eating their way through boxes of cardboard punch cards. As it turns out, my uninformed assumption wasn’t that far from the truth.

In the first of a three part series examining computer and software bugs, Wired Magazine contributor, Simson Garfinkel uncovers the first known computer bug, which technically speaking was actually a moth.

“… the ranks of the buggy computer — a club that began in 1945 when engineers found a moth in Panel F, Relay #70 of the Harvard Mark II system. The computer was running a test of its multiplier and adder when the engineers noticed something was wrong. The moth was trapped, removed and taped into the computer’s logbook with the words: “first actual case of a bug being found.'”

So there you go. Next time you are at a cocktail party and run out of things to say, the story of the moth and the Mark II is bound to impress and entertain.

Jim Hedger is the SEO Manager of StepForth Search Engine Placement Inc. Based in Victoria, BC, Canada, StepForth is the result of the consolidation of BraveArt Website Management, Promotion Experts, and Phoenix Creative Works, and has provided professional search engine placement and management services since 1997. http://www.stepforth.com/ Tel – 250-385-1190 Toll Free – 877-385-5526 Fax – 250-385-1198

Why are Bugs Called Bugs?
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About Jim Hedger
Jim Hedger works with Metamend Search Engine Marketing as a SEO Consultant, lead copywriter and head blog writer. Jim has been involved in the SEO field since the days of the dinosaurs and felt he had lost a personal friend when Disney went "ol' Yeller" on Infoseek. Over the course of his career, Jim has gotten drunk with Jeeves the Butler, tossed sticks to that sock-puppet dog from Pets.com and come out of a staring contest with Googlebot confidently declaring a tie. When not traveling between conferences, Jim lives with a perpetually annoyed cat named Hypertext in the Pacific techno-outport of Victoria British Columbia. WebProNews Writer
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