The 1947 origin story of the first computer bug is bogus

Edison’s handwriting style was unusual for the time-- as he designed it for telegraphy work.

Compare Edison’s text to a more standardized form

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I’ve never heard the assertion that Grace Hopper’s story was the origin of the term. As worded, it implies bug was already used to describe a problem with a machine. The story is interesting and funny because that this was the first documented instance of a bug [defect] being caused by an actual bug [critter].


The main difficulty in reading any German letter is knowing German to begin with.

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The common experience of bugs getting into things and wreaking havoc probably goes back thousands of years, and phrases like “fly in the ointment” go back hundreds, so the idea of a bug (whether real or virtual) in an engineered product probably predates Edison by quite a bit.

ETA: Also see Socrates/gadfly. Yes, this is not a new phenomenon.


We should take another look at the Antikythera mechanism in that light.

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True, but then again anything written in Sütterlin could just as well be Klingon.


Allegedly reads

Bisweilen wird jede Form der deutschen Kurrentschrift als Sütterlinschrift bezeichnet. Dies liegt wohl daran, daß die Sütterlinschrift diejenige Form der deutschen Kurrentschrift ist, deren Namen am bekanntesten ist. Trotzdem ist diese Bezeichnung unzutreffend, denn es gab die deutsche Kurrentschrift schon lange vor Ludwig Sütterlin.

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Deleted my comment. What @kmoser said. :slight_smile:

Yeah, is there a font yet? I should get back into the lab and do one. (never done one)

Can’t find a font of Edison’s handwriting but you can find a couple of library hand fonts, and an interesting piece on Edison’s handwriting and his influence on library hand.

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