Home Technology Why is a computer error called a bug? Why is a computer error called a bug?In 1947, a team of scientists at Harvard University were working on developing a computer when the machine suddenly stopped. When the men opened the computer, a strange but also… Technology 02/07/2023 by Space Navy 0 Comment In 1947, a team of scientists at Harvard University were working on developing a computer when the machine suddenly stopped. When the men opened the computer, a strange but also historical sight appeared before them. In computer terms, a “bug” refers to a bug in the code that causes a program to throw an error message or even crash. American mathematician and computer scientist Grace Hopper described the first known “computer bug” on September 9, 1947. Grace had been involved in designing the computer “Mark II” at Harvard University, but one day her research team realized that the computer was not working properly. When the researchers opened the box around the computer, they saw that an insect had attached itself to one of the electrodes, looking for a warm hiding place. Hopper then recorded in his diary that the computer had been working properly again after it had been “de-bugged”, i.e. after the maggot had been removed. History’s first computer louse is on display at the Smithsonian National Museum. Although the word “bug” was first used in connection with computers in 1947, the term had been used for machine failures since the 1870s, i.e. before electronics and computers were known. It is not known who first used the term “bug” to describe a machine failure, but it must have been before 1878. That year, inventor Thomas Edison mentioned the word in this sense in a letter to his colleague: “This is how all my inventions have gone. Problems arise, this and that stop working as they should, and it is at this stage that “lights”, as such small errors and difficulties are called, show themselves”. When Hopper and her team found the dead louse in 1947, they probably had no idea that the word “bug” had been used for engine failures in the past. However, the research team started using the term computer errors before others realized that meaning.