That's not a bug, that's a feature

Mikey 9 comments
That's not a bug, that's a feature

Bill Gates allegedly uttered those famous words when queried about auto-complete when typing into the Internet Explorer address bar.

Bugs are hardly new. The origin of the term computer bug dates back to 1945 when Grace Murray Hopper was working on the Harvard University Mark II Aiken Relay Calculator. On the 9th of September, the calculator was experiencing problems, and it was discovered that a moth had trapped itself between two relay points. The moth was removed and the event logged "First actual case of bug being found".

Eventually this incident became known as being 'debugged' and consequently the term 'debugging a program' was born.

60 years on and bugs have taken on a whole new meaning. In fact a large amount of software is released despite the authors knowing full well there are issues with it. Games in particular are prone to this, with fixes (patches) being released shortly after the initial game release. And as we all know too well, Microsoft Windows is full of security holes which are constantly being patched as they are discovered.

But this is hardly surprising when you consider how insanely difficult it must be to code software to run across thousands of hardware and software configurations.

The inspiration for today's topic comes as I stumbled upon an old screenshot I took of an error that occurred on my old Windows 2000 machine. While trying to empty a large amount of old files from the recycle bin, I was presented with this gem:

"Can not empty the recycle bin. Try freeing up some space by emptying your recycle bin"

With that in mind, what are some of the more amusing bugs have you experienced?

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Thursday 10th November 2005 | 02:57 PM

Keyboard not present. Press F2 to continue.

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L33t guy

Thursday 10th November 2005 | 03:02 PM

Not really a bug but an easter egg in MS word. Open a new docmuent and type in =rand (200,99) and press enter.

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Saturday 12th November 2005 | 11:30 AM

The Win2K loading screen says 'built on NT technology'. NT stands for 'New technology', so effectively it is saying 'built on new technology technology'. Ah Microsoft - reliability by redundancy.

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Saturday 12th November 2005 | 11:52 AM

I just remembered another: Error. cannot change file attributes. Reason - The file exists.

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Saturday 12th November 2005 | 04:27 PM

Davo said: "built on new technology technology"

LOL. Reminds me of when people say "ATM Machine".

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Saturday 12th November 2005 | 06:47 PM

Thats an interesting story about the first bug. I never knew it had a literal origin.

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Saturday 12th November 2005 | 06:53 PM

I used to use one of those ram managers years ago on my old P2.....had a mind blowing 32mb.....and it frequently crashed with the error something like......not enough memory to recover memory. try freeing up some memory and try again. I knew what it meant was to close some applications to free up some memory but the message still always made me laugh :-P

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Saturday 12th November 2005 | 06:56 PM

Caffi said: "I never knew it had a literal origin."

I didn't believe it when I first heard the story. I wonder if that moth is in the Smithsonian Institution.

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Saturday 10th December 2005 | 12:47 AM

Always enjoyed the message when you booted an old style PC without a keyboard attached:
"Keyboard not found.  Press any key to continue."

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