What is a software bug

What is a "bug"? And where does the term come from?

In the computer world you often hear about "bugs", when programs or PCs do not work properly. But what is a "bug"? And where does the term come from?

First of all: a Bug has nothing to do with the front part of a ship in the IT world.

What is a "bug"?

  • The term Bug stands for Bug.
  • If a program does not work properly, for example because the programming code is faulty, one speaks of one or more Bugs.
  • Bugscan appear in software, on websites, and in computer games.
  • If the Bugs fixed by a subsequent update is also called the update Bug fix.
  • But there are also technical bugs if, for example, a power cable is defective and it causes a short circuit.

The following sentence is also jokingly established when users discover bugs:

It's not a bug, it's a feature!

Translated accordingly: "This is not a mistake, it is a wanted program function! "

Where did the term "bug" come from?

The word Bug itself comes from English, where it means Beetle or insect means. But why should a beetle be a mistake? Therefore:

  • In the past, computers were rather large cabinets made up of many technical switches and relays.
  • The switches were either off (0) or on (1), creating the binary code that the computer uses to calculate (How does a computer work?).
  • The first big, at first inexplicable, computer error occurred in 1945 because a small moth (bug) flew into a switch that was then out of order.
  • As a result, the entire computer stopped working.

Incidentally, it is no different today, only that the "switches" are now located as transistors on the processor, where fortunately no moth can fly in.

However, even today, beetles, spiders and cockroaches can nibble on cables and thus render PCs and technology unusable. However, since home PCs are no longer cabinets, their inner workings are manageable and can be carefully cleaned with a compressed air spray.

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