11666093_10153470803062792_4914668365512645054_nOn my way home from the office I spotted this little chap. In my expert opinion it is a “bug”.

This particular “bug” is harmlessly sitting outside, but have you ever wondered why computer problems are often named after this little chap (and his friends)?

H96566kThe first recorded bug report was in 1947 when Grace Hopper found a moth between the relays of a Harvard Mark II, this moth was then tapped in the log book as evidence.

Since then the process of removing bugs has been called “debugging”. However bugs had existed in electrical devices before this.

In the early days of telegraphy, there were two types of keyers. The older “manual” keyers which required the operator to code the dots and dashes. And the newer, semi-automatic keyers that would send a string of dots automatically. These semi-automatic keyers were called “bugs”. One of the most common brands of these keyers, the Vibroplex, used a graphic of a beetle.

Luckily the bugs I deal with don’t have legs or wings and are just errors in computer code. When I debug code I need to look at the inner workings of the code, looking for problems, most often it is a typo or piece of logic that doesn’t match up. But the relationship between computer bugs and living bugs does continue, the bug tracking software bugzilla uses a cartoon bug as its logo.

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Simon Foster
Web Developer
I have worked in SysAdmin and IT Management but now work as a Web Developer. I love everything IT related and I am trying to learn as much as I can especially about DevOps. Why not follow me on twitter?