66 years ago today, on the 9th September, 1947, operators of the Mark II Aiken Relay Computer being tested at Harvard University, found something curious trapped between points at Relay #70, Panel F.
A note made at the time explains, this was the “first actual case of bug being found”. History records that the legendary Grace Hopper was the person who located the moth, and in so doing, helped popularise the idea of “debugging computers”.
Update: See the comments to this article below – which debunk Grace Hopper’s involvement in the discovery of the moth. Although it does appear she helped the incident gain exposure.
Sadly, no record has been made of the moth’s identity for its considerable contribution to the world of technology, although it has achieved a certain immortality of its own thanks to a yellowing strip of Scotch tape.
The log book now resides at the National Museum of American History, but apparently is not currently on public view – which seems a shame.
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