Debugging the Machine

The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson is a great book. He explains how these groups of people created the digital age. Below is a good story about debugging.

Debugging the MachineThe Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution

In addition, her crew helped to popularize the terms bug and debugging. The Mark II version of the Harvard computer was in a building without window screens. One night the machine conked out, and the crew began looking for the problem. They found a moth with a wingspan of four inches that had gotten smashed in one of the electromechanical relays. It was retrieved and pasted into the log book with Scotch tape. “Panel F (moth) in relay,” the entry noted. “First actual case of bug being found.” From then on, they referred to ferreting out glitches as “debugging the machine.”

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