People: Aug. 25, 1986

Aboard the Constitution, the Navy's oldest commissioned warship, the Navy's oldest officer on active duty retired last week. In 1943 Grace Murray Hopper, then an associate professor of mathematics at Vassar College, joined the reserves, and while developing an early computer program, coined one of computerese's most useful terms when she found a moth in the machine. "From then on," she recalled, "whenever anything went wrong with a computer, we said it had bugs in it." After the war, told she was too old for active duty, she went to work on UNIVAC, the first large commercial computer, and created COBOL,...

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