14.0060 first use of "software"

From: Humanist Discussion Group (willard@lists.village.virginia.edu)
Date: Wed Jun 14 2000 - 07:38:50 CUT

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                    Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 60.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

             Date: Wed, 14 Jun 2000 08:35:40 +0100
             From: "Tarvers, Josephine K." <tarversj@exchange.winthrop.edu>
             Subject: RE: 14.0057 first use of "software"

    As a student at Penn in the late 70s I was fortunate enough to meet some of
    the people responsible for the ENIAC computer--and learn APL, the world's
    most useless programming language, but that's another story. The version
    told there was that "bug" in the computer sense originated from a literal
    circumstance. The ENIAC was in the basement of the Moore School Engineering
    Building, a place (still) infested with large cockroaches. They used to get
    into the ENIAC housing, where it was warm, and often knocked some of the
    vacuum tubes out of sockets, or shorted them out. Hence, when the ENIAC went
    down, as it often did, the cause frequently was a literal "bug" in the
    system. The well-known engineering slang term was, of course, appropriated
    to the circumstance.

    The story may just be University legend, or a variation on the Hopper story,
    and there's no cockroach taped to a lab log that I know of. But I saw those
    cockroaches--some the size of cocktail franks--and I believe it!


    Jo Koster Tarvers, Ph.D.
    Department of English
    Winthrop University
    Rock Hill, SC 29733-0001
    (803) 323-4557; fax (803) 323-4837
    tarversj@winthrop.edu <mailto:tarversj@winthrop.edu>
    http://faculty.winthrop.edu/tarversj <http://faculty.winthrop.edu/tarversj>
    "Not the least part of finding the answers is asking the right
    questions."--St. Augustine

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Humanist Discussion Group
    Sent: Wednesday, June 07, 2000 4:26 PM
    To: Humanist Discussion Group

    >From what I found Hopper is associated with the term "Bug" (although the
    use of
    this term can be traced back to Shakespeare's time):

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