Re: [midatlanticretro] PC Authority / Slashdot old computer coverage...
- 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.
> 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.
- --- In email@example.com, Evan Koblentz <evan@...> wrote:
>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.
> 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.
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.