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Re: [midatlanticretro] PC Authority / Slashdot old computer coverage...

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  • Bob Schwier
    The story about the techs using rolling stock that I heard was that the techs on ENIAC used shopping carts of tubes.  That was told to me by M. Bouchillon who
    Message 1 of 10 , Sep 1, 2009
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      The story about the techs using rolling stock that I heard was that the techs on
      ENIAC used shopping carts of tubes.  That was told to me by M. Bouchillon who
      was a yeoman working for Grace Hopper on that project.
      bs

      --- On Tue, 9/1/09, Mike Loewen <mloewen@...> wrote:

      From: Mike Loewen <mloewen@...>
      Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] PC Authority / Slashdot old computer coverage....
      To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Tuesday, September 1, 2009, 1:55 PM

       

      On Tue, 1 Sep 2009, Bob Schwier wrote:

      > The story I heard was that SAGE was finally put off line because, in the seventies,
      > they discovered that the only source for the vacuum tubes was from Yugoslavia,
      > a then communist state.  As with so much other military gear, they had real
      > problems programming newer, off the shelf, hardware to do the same job and
      > accept data from the existing sources.

      I've heard that same story (about tube sources), but never saw any
      corroborative evidence. The military tends to hang on to things as long
      as possible, as long as they work. SAGE was operational for 25 years and
      its successor (ROCC) almost as long..

      The story floating around about SAGE technicians zooming around on
      roller skates, pushing shopping carts full of tubes is almost certainly
      not true, at least not on the SAGE I worked on.

      Mike Loewen mloewen@cpumagic. scol.pa.us
      Old Technology http://sturgeon. css.psu.edu/ ~mloewen/ Oldtech/


    • evan@snarc.net
      ... Oy ... Grace Hopper and her stories again ... Hopper was a decent computer scientist and had much to do with getting COBOL started. That s it. Last year I
      Message 2 of 10 , Sep 1, 2009
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        >>> working for Grace Hopper on that project.

        Oy ... Grace Hopper and her stories again ...

        Hopper was a decent computer scientist and had much to do with getting COBOL started. That's it.

        Last year I was at Infoage one day and some visitor INSISTED that Hopper really did "discover" the "first bug".

        What actually happened is that Hopper JOKED about her techs finding a real bug inside a computer, and a bunch of people including media took it seriously. "Bug" was used since Thomas Edison's day.
      • Jim Scheef
        One of my history books has a picture of the Mark I logbook with the moth taped to the page but I can t find it right now. However, the story is directly
        Message 3 of 10 , Sep 1, 2009
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          One of my history books has a picture of the Mark I logbook with the
          moth taped to the page but I can't find it right now. However, the story
          is directly attributed to Hopper in Portraits In Silicon, Slater, p.223.

          Grace Hopper was instrumental in the creation of the first compiler
          (A-0) for the UNIVAC I. This was long before FORTRAN. She just about
          invented high-level languages. She was a member of the committee that
          defined COBOL. Whether she coined the term "bug" as related to a defect
          in a computer program is open to discussion but she was willing to
          accept it.

          Jim

          evan@... wrote:
          >
          >
          > >>> working for Grace Hopper on that project.
          >
          > Oy ... Grace Hopper and her stories again ...
          >
          > Hopper was a decent computer scientist and had much to do with getting
          > COBOL started. That's it.
          >
          > Last year I was at Infoage one day and some visitor INSISTED that Hopper
          > really did "discover" the "first bug".
          >
          > What actually happened is that Hopper JOKED about her techs finding a
          > real bug inside a computer, and a bunch of people including media took
          > it seriously. "Bug" was used since Thomas Edison's day.
          >
        • Evan Koblentz
          Nobody denies there WAS a literal bug in the computer. The problem is she s widely and falsely credited with coining the term itself, despite the term going
          Message 4 of 10 , Sep 1, 2009
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            Nobody denies there WAS a literal bug in the computer. The problem is
            she's widely and falsely credited with coining the term itself, despite
            the term going back to the 1800s.


            > One of my history books has a picture of the Mark I logbook with the
            > moth taped to the page but I can't find it right now. However, the story
            > is directly attributed to Hopper in Portraits In Silicon, Slater, p.223.
            >
            > Grace Hopper was instrumental in the creation of the first compiler
            > (A-0) for the UNIVAC I. This was long before FORTRAN. She just about
            > invented high-level languages. She was a member of the committee that
            > defined COBOL. Whether she coined the term "bug" as related to a defect
            > in a computer program is open to discussion but she was willing to
            > accept it.
            >
            > Jim
            >
            > evan@... wrote:
            >
            >>
            >>
            >> >>> working for Grace Hopper on that project.
            >>
            >> Oy ... Grace Hopper and her stories again ...
            >>
            >> Hopper was a decent computer scientist and had much to do with getting
            >> COBOL started. That's it.
            >>
            >> Last year I was at Infoage one day and some visitor INSISTED that Hopper
            >> really did "discover" the "first bug".
            >>
            >> What actually happened is that Hopper JOKED about her techs finding a
            >> real bug inside a computer, and a bunch of people including media took
            >> it seriously. "Bug" was used since Thomas Edison's day.
            >>
            >>
          • brian_cirulnick
            ... Don t be dissing Grace. While she didn t coin the term as it related to engineering, she popularized it as it related to SOFTWARE, a totally different
            Message 5 of 10 , Sep 3, 2009
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              --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Evan Koblentz <evan@...> wrote:
              >
              > Nobody denies there WAS a literal bug in the computer. The problem is
              > she's widely and falsely credited with coining the term itself, despite
              > the term going back to the 1800s.
              >


              Don't be dissing Grace. While she didn't coin the term as it related to engineering, she popularized it as it related to SOFTWARE, a totally different field than it was normally attributed to.

              Remember that every field has it's own lingo, and in some cases there's some crossover. She happened to have the incident noted, and the clout of enough people re-writing what she said to "re-invent" the term for the software industry at a time where it was still forming it's own lingo.

              That's the hisorical context of everything -- being in the right place at the right time.
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