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A bug is an error in a computerprogramme or computer hardware that leads to a functional error of the computer. The functional error can be about anything from a false result up to a complete shutdown of the program or the system. The procedure to find and remove bugs from a computer programme is called "debugging".

In pratice, nearly all programs have bugs. These bug are not always disturbing. Software producers often wait with the repairment of bugs until the next release of the computer programme. If the bug gives an disturbing functional error the producer can decide to make a patch available. This is a small computer programme that repairs the bug.

Bugs are used by hackers to get in a computer. Therefore especially safety related bugs are repaired by a patch. A good example is Microsoft that distributes a patch each month to repair bugs in the Windows operating system. Every now and then a safety related patch is issued between these scheduled patches.

The name bug comes from the early days of computers. In that time the computers were so big that a small insect could crawl in the computer. The story goes that on one day in 1945 one of the first computers of the world, the Mark II from Harvard University malfunctioned. One of the assistents at the lab, Grace Hopper, discovered that the malfunctioning of the computer was caused by short circuit due to a moth in the computer. Since then the term bug is used for the malfunctioning of a computer.

Picture of the first bug.


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