brain sizes: Einstein's and women's

John Jones enuffSPAM at nothanks.invalid
Mon Jul 15 10:05:37 EST 2002

"The 9th Witch" <appalachian_witch at> wrote in message
news:aguhkq$nl8k9$1 at
> Parse Tree <parsetree at> wrote in message
> news:6CyY8.1335$o7.353081 at
> >
> > If Grace Murray Hopper really did invent the compiler, then
her impact has
> > been far beyond that of Marie Curie, and most Nobel Laureates
in general.
> >
> >
> She did. She also was the first to "debug" a computer:).
> T9W

"Hopper and her colleagues must have thought the discovery of the
moth remarkable because mechanical defects were already called
bugs. Her September 9, 1945, log entry, which reads, "First
actual case of bug being found," makes this quite clear. Even the
verb debug must have predated Mark II, since the OED cites a 1945
use in the Journal of the Royal Aeronautical Society, which was
probably preceded by sev eral years of oral use in engineering
The argument is clinched by remarks made by J. Presper Eckert,
the coinventor of ENIAC, the first fully electronic digital
computer. In an interview in Computerworld (George Harrar, "In
the Beginning...," November 3, 1986), Eckert was asked, "Do you
know how the term bug originated?" He replied, "I know how Grace
Hopper thinks it originated. She tells this fanciful story. As
far as I know, this was a term in use by engineers, both
mechanical and electrical, for difficulties in the equipment long
before Grace Hopper ever heard of any of these things. What it
amounts to is that it was a new term to Grace. I've never called
her up and told her that that's nuts, but it is nuts. That term
was in wide use before then."


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