"Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, 'We've always done it this way.' I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise." -- Grace Hopper
Grace Hopper was known worldwide for her work with
one of the the first large-scale digital computers, the Mark I. "It was 51 feet long, eight feet high, eight feet deep," she
said. "And it had 72 words of storage and could perform three additions a second."
In her 40 years in computing, Admiral Hopper made important contributions to the field that developed "the machine that assisted the power of the brain rather than muscle." In 1951 she discovered the first computer "bug" [introducing the term "debugging"]. It was a real moth, which she pasted into the UNIVAC I logbook. In 1952 she had an operational compiler. "Nobody believed that," she said. "I had a running compiler and nobody would touch it. They told me computers could only do arithmetic." Admiral Hopper is also the "progenitor" of COBOL, which she was working on in 1955. In 1967, she was recalled to the Navy and served with the Naval Data Automation Command until she retired. Her mission was to preside over the Navy's efforts to maintain uniformity in computer languages. In 1983 she earned a special Presidential appointment
to flag rank as admiral. -- From The OCLC Newsletter, March/April, 1987, No. 167 (Editor and article author is Philip Schieber.)
The first computer "bug"