The Origin of the Modern Computer Bug

Computer bugs nobody likes, them especially not IT support, but do you know where the term ‘bug’ originates from?

The term ‘bug’ dates as far back 1878 but was originally used in engineering describing a mechanical malfunction. Thomas Edison wrote the following

“It has been just so in all of my inventions. The first step is an intuition, and comes with a burst, then difficulties arise — this thing gives out and [it is] then that "Bugs" — as such little faults and difficulties are called — show themselves and months of intense watching, study and labour are requisite before commercial success or failure is certainly reached.”

However it was first used in computing back in 1945 when computer pioneer Grace Hopper was working at Harvard Faculty at the Computation Laboratory and  an actual bug (a moth) got trapped in the in a relay. When it was found it was then taped to the log book, familiar with the engineering term it was captioned the “first actual case of a bug being found.” Stemming from this errors or glitches in computing are referred to as bugs.

So we like to think of our Managed Service Team at DSP as the IT equivalent to Sir David Attenborough.


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