We have a bug!

Gary McMaster

Well-known Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2009
Messages
1,978
The introduction to my first college programming manual for the Control Data "Cyber" computer (dating myself) claimed that during WWII the big guns on naval vessels were aimed by computers built from electro-mechanical relays.

When the captain asked why a particular system had malfunctioned the technician explained that a moth had gotten into one of the relays and fouled its contacts. The captain exclaimed, "Your telling me we missed our target because we had a bug in the system!"

As we all know, his comment stuck.

Gary
 

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I can vouch for the electro-mechanical part of the story. And more recently than WWII too. The USS Truxtun, now retired from service, was still using an electro-mechanical targeting computer in the early 90's. And it was frankly a lot more mechanical than it was electro.
 

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