As you may have noticed, today Google has a Doodle in honor of Grace Hopper’s birthday. Among the many things I did not know about Hopper – including, but not limited to, her existence – is that she is credited with popularizing the now ubiquitous programming phrase “bug in the system”. In addition to the aptness of the surname “Hopper”, I like Wikipedia’s description of a related anecdote associated with her:
While she was working on a Mark II Computer at a US Navy research lab in Dahlgren, Virginia in 1947, her associates discovered a moth stuck in a relay and thereby impeding operation, whereupon she remarked that they were “debugging” the system. Though the term bug had been in use for many years in engineering to refer to small glitches and inexplicable problems, Admiral Hopper did bring the term into popularity. The remains of the moth can be found in the group’s log book at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.
That moth may be one of the most influential single insects ever.