Friday, August 06, 2021

Bugs and Shop Slang

The bug, that perverse and elusive malfunctioning of hardware and later of software, was born in the nineteenth century. It was already accepted shop slang as early as 1878, when Thomas Edison described his style of invention in a letter to a European representative: "The first step is an intuition and it comes with a burst, then difficulties arise - this thing gives out and then that - 'Bugs' - as such little faults and difficulties are called - show themselves, and months of intense watching, study and labor are requisite before commercial success - or failure - is certainly reached."

- From Why Things Bite Back: Technology and The Revenge of Unintended Consequences by Edward Tenner

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