Tuesday

Happy World Tester's Day!

Now this is a day that I love, though I was introduced to this just three years back and if you are still wondering what is it all about:


On September, 9 1945 the scientists of the Harvard University while testing the computer Mark II Aiken Relay Calculator had found a moth which got stuck between the contacts of the electromechanical relay. 

The work they performed required some description, and the word had been found – «debugging» (literally: disposal of an insect) – and now it is used to describe the process of identifying and eliminating bugs which cause a computer to malfunction. The removed insect was pasted into the computer log with the entry: “First actual case of bug being found”, and was then transferred to the computer museum.

Now that you know, Happy Tester’s day !

3 comments:

  1. I love the idea of a Tester's Day, and this does seem a very appropriate date to choose. I have actually seen this log book - I had to make a special appointment with the curator of computer antiquities at the Smithsonian in Washington DC. I wonder if it is now on public display?

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  2. @Dot - Wow it's awesome to know you have seen it in real. I haven't had the opportunity , though a little bit of research led me to this: http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/images/h96000/h96566kc.htm
    and you are right it isn't on public display anymore.

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  3. The date in the log book was September 9, 1947, although sometimes erroneously reported as 1945. The operators who did find it, including William “Bill” Burke, later of the Naval Weapons Laboratory, Dahlgren, Virginia, were familiar with the engineering term and, amused, kept the insect with the notation “First actual case of bug being found.” Hopper loved to recount the story. This log book, complete with attached moth, is part of the collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, though it is not currently on display.
    While it is certain that the Harvard Mark II operators did not coin the term “bug”, it has been suggested that the incident contributed to the widespread use and acceptance of the term within the computer software lexicon

    - Wiki/Web

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