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© 2011 By: Dov Trietsch. All rights reserved

Whatever bugs you

My wife and I used to take some of our summer vacation in a cabin on the shore of Lake Atsion in NJ. It is a delightful place in the Wharton forest with Brown yet fresh water, where we would canoe, swim and enjoy true rest. Alas, in the last few years, yellow flies have also discovered the area’s pastoral delights and came in swarms to bug us. So much so that we had to give up.

As a computer programmer I abhor bugs. The bugs that bug me – except the pesky yellow flies – are program bugs, a specific variety of computer bugs. You can find an excellent take on the etymology of the word ‘bug” in this delightful monogram:

In my youth, I worked on Burroughs computers. Unlike their IBM brethren, the Burroughs used a 96 column card. The cards were much smaller than the 80 column IBM cards. We wrote our programs on coding sheets and then a key-punch operator transcribed them into punched cards. These were fed into a card reader and compiled. The compiler would notify us of compiler errors or bugs, but it was not always easy to get the meaning of the message.

My friend Mark Wildt, also a Burroughs veteran, gave me an old punched card from one of his programs. Obviously a bug!!

Here It Is!!

That’s All Folks!



Posted on Monday, November 14, 2011 11:05 AM | Back to top

Comments on this post: Computer Bugs - Etymology and Entomology

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march 3rd 1945 Billboard Magazine in a Review on page 11 notes : "There are still a number of bugs to shake out, but we were a sponser, we'd buy it fast"
Left by finder on Jul 06, 2012 11:09 PM

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