Issue No. 04 - October-December (1998 vol. 20)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/85.728224
<p>From at least the time of Thomas Edison, U.S. engineers have used the word "bug" to refer to flaws in the systems they developed. This short word conveniently covered a multitude of possible problems. It also suggested that difficulties were small and could be easily corrected. IBM engineers who installed the ASSC Mark I at Harvard University in 1944 taught the phrase to the staff there. Grace Murray Hopper used the word with particular enthusiasm in documents relating to her work. In 1947, when technicians building the Mark II computer at Harvard discovered a moth in one of the relays, they saved it as the first actual case of a bug being found. In the early 1950s, the terms "bug" and "debug," as applied to computers and computer programs, began to appear not only in computer documentation but even in the popular press.</p>
P. A. Kidwell, "Stalking the Elusive Computer Bug," in IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 20, no. , pp. 5-9, 1998.