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bug

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bug


  4  definitions  found 
 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
 
  Bug  \Bug\,  n.  [OE.  bugge,  fr  W.  bwg,  bwgan,  hobgoblin, 
  scarecrow,  bugbear.  Cf  {Bogey},  {Boggle}.] 
  1.  A  bugbear;  anything  which  terrifies.  [Obs.] 
 
  Sir,  spare  your  threats:  The  bug  which  you  would 
  fright  me  with  I  seek.  --Shak. 
 
  2.  (Zo["o]l.)  A  general  name  applied  to  various  insects 
  belonging  to  the  Hemiptera;  as  the  squash  bug;  the  chinch 
  bug,  etc 
 
  3.  (Zo["o]l.)  An  insect  of  the  genus  {Cimex},  especially  the 
  bedbug  ({C.  lectularius}).  See  {Bedbug}. 
 
  4.  (Zo["o]l.)  One  of  various  species  of  Coleoptera;  as  the 
  ladybug;  potato  bug,  etc.;  loosely,  any  beetle. 
 
  5.  (Zo["o]l.)  One  of  certain  kinds  of  Crustacea;  as  the  sow 
  bug;  pill  bug;  bait  bug;  salve  bug,  etc 
 
  Note:  According  to  present  popular  usage  in  England,  and 
  among  housekeepers  in  America,  bug,  when  not  joined 
  with  some  qualifying  word  is  used  specifically  for 
  bedbug.  As  a  general  term  it  is  used  very  loosely  in 
  America,  and  was  formerly  used  still  more  loosely  in 
  England.  ``God's  rare  workmanship  in  the  ant,  the 
  poorest  bug  that  creeps.''  --Rogers  (--Naaman).  ``This 
  bug  with  gilded  wings.''  --Pope. 
 
  {Bait  bug}.  See  under  {Bait}. 
 
  {Bug  word},  swaggering  or  threatening  language.  [Obs.] 
  --Beau.  &  Fl 
 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
 
  bug 
  n  1:  general  term  for  any  insect  or  similar  creeping  or  crawling 
  invertebrate 
  2:  a  fault  or  defect  in  a  system  or  machine  [syn:  {glitch}] 
  3:  a  small  hidden  microphone;  for  listening  secretly 
  4:  insects  with  sucking  mouthparts  and  forewings  thickened  and 
  leathery  at  the  base;  usually  show  incomplete 
  metamorphosis  [syn:  {hemipterous  insect},  {hemipteran},  {hemipteron}] 
  5:  a  minute  life  form  (especially  a  disease-causing  bacterium); 
  the  term  is  not  in  technical  use  [syn:  {microbe},  {germ}] 
  v  1:  annoy  persistently;  "The  children  teased  the  boy  because  of 
  his  stammer"  [syn:  {tease},  {badger},  {harass},  {pester}, 
  {beleaguer}] 
  2:  tap  a  telephone  or  telegraph  wire  to  get  information  [syn: 
  {wiretap},  {tap},  {intercept}] 
 
  From  Jargon  File  (4.2.3,  23  NOV  2000)  [jargon]: 
 
  bug  n.  An  unwanted  and  unintended  property  of  a  program  or 
  piece  of  hardware,  esp.  one  that  causes  it  to  malfunction.  Antonym  of 
  {feature}.  Examples:  "There's  a  bug  in  the  editor:  it  writes  things 
  out  backwards."  "The  system  crashed  because  of  a  hardware  bug." 
  "Fred  is  a  winner,  but  he  has  a  few  bugs"  (i.e.,  Fred  is  a  good  guy, 
  but  he  has  a  few  personality  problems). 
 
  Historical  note:  Admiral  Grace  Hopper  (an  early  computing  pioneer 
  better  known  for  inventing  {COBOL})  liked  to  tell  a  story  in  which  a 
  technician  solved  a  {glitch}  in  the  Harvard  Mark  II  machine  by  pulling 
  an  actual  insect  out  from  between  the  contacts  of  one  of  its  relays,  and 
  she  subsequently  promulgated  {bug}  in  its  hackish  sense  as  a  joke  about 
  the  incident  (though,  as  she  was  careful  to  admit  she  was  not  there  when 
  it  happened).  For  many  years  the  logbook  associated  with  the  incident 
  and  the  actual  bug  in  question  (a  moth)  sat  in  a  display  case  at  the 
  Naval  Surface  Warfare  Center  (NSWC).  The  entire  story,  with  a  picture 
  of  the  logbook  and  the  moth  taped  into  it  is  recorded  in  the  "Annals 
  of  the  History  of  Computing",  Vol.  3,  No  3  (July  1981),  pp  285-286. 
 
  The  text  of  the  log  entry  (from  September  9,  1947),  reads  "1545 
  Relay  #70  Panel  F  (moth)  in  relay.  First  actual  case  of  bug  being  found". 
  This  wording  establishes  that  the  term  was  already  in  use  at  the  time  in 
  its  current  specific  sense  --  and  Hopper  herself  reports  that  the  term 
  `bug'  was  regularly  applied  to  problems  in  radar  electronics  during  WWII 
 
  Indeed,  the  use  of  `bug'  to  mean  an  industrial  defect  was  already 
  established  in  Thomas  Edison's  time,  and  a  more  specific  and  rather 
  modern  use  can  be  found  in  an  electrical  handbook  from  1896  ("Hawkin's 
  New  Catechism  of  Electricity",  Theo.  Audel  &  Co.)  which  says:  "The  term 
  `bug'  is  used  to  a  limited  extent  to  designate  any  fault  or  trouble  in 
  the  connections  or  working  of  electric  apparatus."  It  further  notes 
  that  the  term  is  "said  to  have  originated  in  quadruplex  telegraphy  and 
  have  been  transferred  to  all  electric  apparatus." 
 
  The  latter  observation  may  explain  a  common  folk  etymology  of  the 
  term;  that  it  came  from  telephone  company  usage,  in  which  "bugs  in  a 
  telephone  cable"  were  blamed  for  noisy  lines.  Though  this  derivation 
  seems  to  be  mistaken,  it  may  well  be  a  distorted  memory  of  a  joke  first 
  current  among  _telegraph_  operators  more  than  a  century  ago! 
 
  Or  perhaps  not  a  joke.  Historians  of  the  field  inform  us  that  the 
  term  bug"  was  regularly  used  in  the  early  days  of  telegraphy  to  refer 
  to  a  variety  of  semi-automatic  telegraphy  keyers  that  would  send  a 
  string  of  dots  if  you  held  them  down  In  fact  the  Vibroplex  keyers 
  (which  were  among  the  most  common  of  this  type)  even  had  a  graphic  of  a 
  beetle  on  them  (and  still  do)!  While  the  ability  to  send  repeated  dots 
  automatically  was  very  useful  for  professional  morse  code  operators, 
  these  were  also  significantly  trickier  to  use  than  the  older  manual 
  keyers,  and  it  could  take  some  practice  to  ensure  one  didn't  introduce 
  extraneous  dots  into  the  code  by  holding  the  key  down  a  fraction  too  long. 
  In  the  hands  of  an  inexperienced  operator,  a  Vibroplex  bug"  on  the  line 
  could  mean  that  a  lot  of  garbled  Morse  would  soon  be  coming  your  way 
 
  Further,  the  term  bug"  has  long  been  used  among  radio  technicians  to 
  describe  a  device  that  converts  electromagnetic  field  variations  into 
  acoustic  signals.  It  is  used  to  trace  radio  interference  and  look 
  for  dangerous  radio  emissions.  Radio  community  usage  derives  from  the 
  roach-like  shape  of  the  first  versions  used  by  19th  century  physicists. 
  The  first  versions  consisted  of  a  coil  of  wire  (roach  body),  with  the  two 
  wire  ends  sticking  out  and  bent  back  to  nearly  touch  forming  a  spark  gap 
  (roach  antennae).  The  bug  is  to  the  radio  technician  what  the  stethoscope 
  is  to  the  stereotype  medical  doctor.  This  sense  is  almost  certainly 
  ancestral  to  modern  use  of  bug"  for  a  covert  monitoring  device,  but 
  may  also  have  contributed  to  the  use  of  bug"  for  the  effects  of  radio 
  interference  itself 
 
  Actually,  use  of  `bug'  in  the  general  sense  of  a  disruptive  event 
  goes  back  to  Shakespeare!  (Henry  VI  part  III  -  Act  V,  Scene  II:  King 
  Edward:  "So,  lie  thou  there  Die  thou;  and  die  our  fear;  For  Warwick  was 
  a  bug  that  fear'd  us  all.")  In  the  first  edition  of  Samuel  Johnson's 
  dictionary  one  meaning  of  `bug'  is  "A  frightful  object;  a  walking 
  spectre";  this  is  traced  to  `bugbear',  a  Welsh  term  for  a  variety  of 
  mythological  monster  which  (to  complete  the  circle)  has  recently  been 
  reintroduced  into  the  popular  lexicon  through  fantasy  role-playing  games. 
 
  In  any  case,  in  jargon  the  word  almost  never  refers  to  insects. 
  Here  is  a  plausible  conversation  that  never  actually  happened: 
 
  "There  is  a  bug  in  this  ant  farm!" 
 
  "What  do  you  mean?  I  don't  see  any  ants  in  it." 
 
  "That's  the  bug." 
 
  A  careful  discussion  of  the  etymological  issues  can  be  found  in  a 
  paper  by  Fred  R.  Shapiro  1987,  "Entomology  of  the  Computer  Bug:  History 
  and  Folklore",  American  Speech  62(4):376-378. 
 
  [There  has  been  a  widespread  myth  that  the  original  bug  was  moved 
  to  the  Smithsonian,  and  an  earlier  version  of  this  entry  so  asserted. 
  A  correspondent  who  thought  to  check  discovered  that  the  bug  was  not 
  there  While  investigating  this  in  late  1990,  your  editor  discovered 
  that  the  NSWC  still  had  the  bug,  but  had  unsuccessfully  tried  to  get 
  the  Smithsonian  to  accept  it  --  and  that  the  present  curator  of  their 
  History  of  American  Technology  Museum  didn't  know  this  and  agreed  that 
  it  would  make  a  worthwhile  exhibit.  It  was  moved  to  the  Smithsonian 
  in  mid-1991,  but  due  to  space  and  money  constraints  was  not  actually 
  exhibited  for  years  afterwards.  Thus  the  process  of  investigating 
  the  original-computer-bug  bug  fixed  it  in  an  entirely  unexpected  way 
  by  making  the  myth  true!  --ESR] 
 
 
 
  From  The  Free  On-line  Dictionary  of  Computing  (13  Mar  01)  [foldoc]: 
 
  bug 
 
    An  unwanted  and  unintended  property  of  a  program 
  or  piece  of  hardware,  especially  one  that  causes  it  to 
  malfunction.  Antonym  of  {feature}.  E.g.  "There's  a  bug  in 
  the  editor:  it  writes  things  out  backwards."  The 
  identification  and  removal  of  bugs  in  a  program  is  called 
  "{debugging}". 
 
  Admiral  {Grace  Hopper}  (an  early  computing  pioneer  better 
  known  for  inventing  {COBOL})  liked  to  tell  a  story  in  which  a 
  technician  solved  a  {glitch}  in  the  {Harvard  Mark  II  machine} 
  by  pulling  an  actual  insect  out  from  between  the  contacts  of 
  one  of  its  relays,  and  she  subsequently  promulgated  {bug}  in 
  its  hackish  sense  as  a  joke  about  the  incident  (though,  as  she 
  was  careful  to  admit  she  was  not  there  when  it  happened). 
  For  many  years  the  logbook  associated  with  the  incident  and 
  the  actual  bug  in  question  (a  moth)  sat  in  a  display  case  at 
  the  Naval  Surface  Warfare  Center  (NSWC).  The  entire  story, 
  with  a  picture  of  the  logbook  and  the  moth  taped  into  it  is 
  recorded  in  the  "Annals  of  the  History  of  Computing",  Vol.  3, 
  No  3  (July  1981),  pp  285--286. 
 
  The  text  of  the  log  entry  (from  September  9,  1947),  reads 
  "1545  Relay  #70  Panel  F  (moth)  in  relay.  First  actual  case  of 
  bug  being  found".  This  wording  establishes  that  the  term  was 
  already  in  use  at  the  time  in  its  current  specific  sense  -  and 
  Hopper  herself  reports  that  the  term  bug"  was  regularly 
  applied  to  problems  in  radar  electronics  during  WWII 
 
  Indeed,  the  use  of  bug"  to  mean  an  industrial  defect  was 
  already  established  in  Thomas  Edison's  time,  and  a  more 
  specific  and  rather  modern  use  can  be  found  in  an  electrical 
  handbook  from  1896  ("Hawkin's  New  Catechism  of  Electricity", 
  Theo.  Audel  &  Co.)  which  says:  "The  term  bug"  is  used  to  a 
  limited  extent  to  designate  any  fault  or  trouble  in  the 
  connections  or  working  of  electric  apparatus."  It  further 
  notes  that  the  term  is  "said  to  have  originated  in 
  {quadruplex}  telegraphy  and  have  been  transferred  to  all 
  electric  apparatus." 
 
  The  latter  observation  may  explain  a  common  folk  etymology  of 
  the  term;  that  it  came  from  telephone  company  usage,  in  which 
  "bugs  in  a  telephone  cable"  were  blamed  for  noisy  lines. 
  Though  this  derivation  seems  to  be  mistaken,  it  may  well  be  a 
  distorted  memory  of  a  joke  first  current  among  *telegraph* 
  operators  more  than  a  century  ago! 
 
  Actually,  use  of  bug"  in  the  general  sense  of  a  disruptive 
  event  goes  back  to  Shakespeare!  In  the  first  edition  of 
  Samuel  Johnson's  dictionary  one  meaning  of  bug"  is  "A 
  frightful  object;  a  walking  spectre";  this  is  traced  to 
  "bugbear",  a  Welsh  term  for  a  variety  of  mythological  monster 
  which  (to  complete  the  circle)  has  recently  been  reintroduced 
  into  the  popular  lexicon  through  fantasy  {role-playing  games}. 
 
  In  any  case,  in  jargon  the  word  almost  never  refers  to 
  insects.  Here  is  a  plausible  conversation  that  never  actually 
  happened: 
 
  "There  is  a  bug  in  this  ant  farm!" 
 
  "What  do  you  mean?  I  don't  see  any  ants  in  it." 
 
  "That's  the  bug." 
 
  [There  has  been  a  widespread  myth  that  the  original  bug  was 
  moved  to  the  Smithsonian,  and  an  earlier  version  of  this  entry 
  so  asserted.  A  correspondent  who  thought  to  check  discovered 
  that  the  bug  was  not  there  While  investigating  this  in  late 
  1990,  your  editor  discovered  that  the  NSWC  still  had  the  bug, 
  but  had  unsuccessfully  tried  to  get  the  Smithsonian  to  accept 
  it  -  and  that  the  present  curator  of  their  History  of 
  American  Technology  Museum  didn't  know  this  and  agreed  that  it 
  would  make  a  worthwhile  exhibit.  It  was  moved  to  the 
  Smithsonian  in  mid-1991,  but  due  to  space  and  money 
  constraints  has  not  yet  been  exhibited.  Thus  the  process  of 
  investigating  the  original-computer-bug  bug  fixed  it  in  an 
  entirely  unexpected  way  by  making  the  myth  true!  -  ESR] 
 
  [{Jargon  File}] 
 
  (1999-06-29) 
 
 




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