cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

A bug in the machine

A bug in the machine

A bug in the machine

bug On this day in 1947 the Harvard Mark II electro-magnetic computer at Harvard University encountered a problem. It was found to be caused by a moth, which had inadvertently found its way into the machine and became trapped in one of the electro-magnetic relays (as a reminder, the poor creature was taped to that day’s entry in the log book). This was, by some, said to be the event that coined the phrase 'bug' to describe a computer malfunction; although the term bug was used to describe problems with RADAR in World War II, and as early as 1931 where a new pinball machine was heralded as being 'bug free'. Also, on this day in 1999, there were concerns that the date 9/9/99 would cause some computer programs to fail or even cease to work. The cause for this concern was that the date value 9999 was used to specify an unknown date and fear grew that computers would not recognise this date. 9999 was also used as the end-of-file code in some old computer programs and it was thought this may stop some programs from functioning altogether! Thankfully, these fears were unfounded, as was the Millennium bug a few months later, which caused world-wide panic but had virtually no impact.

0 Thanks
4 Comments
454 Views
4 Comments