The story of the computer glitch : info or intox
- By CorinneKurek
- On 15/07/2020
- 0 comments
The legend pretend to these computer "glitches" which poison us the digital hold their name from an insect, or bug, maybe a moth. Bygone where the high-tech prototype of computers weighted not less 5 tons and accomodated in a room of more than 15 meters of length and 2.50 meters of high, in a hectic and noisy atmosphere of punched tapes by the first programmers, were swallowed by the insatiable monster. By entire kilometers.
The absolute performance: the addition in 3/10 of seconds of 2 numbers of 23 figures. The happiness of mathematicians and ... other else.
Then, by a beautiful and scortching night of summer 1945, the machine stopped.
Called for help of monster, the technicians vussed in the guts, observing, weighting, thinking also, about this brutal stop.
Long hours of steril researchs later, and the machine cooling down, a woman, mathematician and distinguished programmer, but nevertheless pretty, seized her tweezers and extract from an electromagnetic piece... a moth with carbonised wings.
Thank you, Grace Murray Hopper to enlighten our famous comptuer glitch or its legend.
The proof if there is: a facsimile registered to the log book of the Mark 1 ( the behemoth) as at thhe 9th of September 1945.
In default of historical digital truth, the technicians of that time didn't have a lack of humor !
To be in fairness and complete, and synchronous with purists, we need to warn that we thought the words "bug" and "debug" during the telegraphs and first electrical equipments area.
A definition would exist even in a dictionnary of the 19th century (But in the end of this century).
Nevertheless, the fact remains that this anecdote, put in the serious field of mathematiques, stays still delightful nowadays.