defining a computer bug

The problem of bugs in machines has existed since the time of inventor Thomas Edison, who described finding one in his phonograph. The word surfaced in an 1896 manual to describe faults in electrical apparatus. Radio technicians called an early gadget that traces radio interference a bug because of its roach-shaped body.

In 1945, Harvard University operators removed a moth fouling the guts of a primitive computer called the Mark II Aiken Relay Calculator. They taped it to that day’s log book with the entry: “First actual case of bug being found.”

Computer bugs naturally spawned the term computer virus, notable for spreading nasties from one infected machine to another faster than you can sneeze. Bugs aren’t the only ‘creatures’ in computer, though. “Worm” describes a virus that contaminates computer networks, and some anti-virus software boasts “bait” or “goat” files that flush out viruses. via

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