Apple’s splashy launch of iOS 8 was quickly followed by an update; the version level now stands at 8.0.2 and counting. There is a list of reasons, but the short version reads “bug fixes.” In the world of computer programming, the term “bug” is a familiar, albeit unwelcome one. Human brains have “lapses”, machines have “glitches”, and programs have “bugs.”
Most of today’s technical terms are acronyms. Not so with bugs. The term actually predates computers, and was originally used interchangeably with glitches for many types of systems. Thomas Edison used the word in reference to “…little faults and difficulties…” which interfered with his inventions. It was Rear Admiral Grace Hopper who sealed the deal for computer programs. Her team was working on the Mark I at Harvard in the 1940’s when their prototype compiler just wasn’t compiling. The problem was eventually traced to a moth that had taken up residence in a relay. Removing the bug fixed the program.
As technology advances, and software continues to run most of the devices we routinely use, programs will grow ever more complex. Frequent software updates are a fact of life, a fact that bugs me to no end.