For such a momentous, culture-changing event, the anniversary went largely unnoticed.
Sept. 9, 1947 - the first recorded actual debugging of a computer.
It was a moth.
On that day, a team trying to solve a glitch with the new Mark II Aiken Relay Calculator at Harvard University discovered the problem. The logbook states that at 3:45 p.m., ''Relay 70, Panel F, moth in relay. First actual case of bug being found.''
The moth itself is taped to the log. There it remains, mothballed, so to speak, under yellowed tape at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Computer Museum in Dahlgren, Va.
Team leader Navy Lt. Grace Hopper - the grandma of computer language who retired as a rear admiral - loved to tell that story. She popularized the term ''debugging a computer program'' because of an actual bug.
I have never debugged a computer. I de-kittened one once. She walked right across my keyboard while I typed.
''Stop bugging me!'' I yelled, shooing her to the floor. Then I discovered something even more aggravating - her sentence was better than mine.
I begged her to come back and finish the article for me, but cats are a finicky bunch and she ignored me to chase a cricket out of the room.
I also de-spidered a computer once. The spider showed up after I, shamed by the kitten, gave up writing for three weeks. But the spider webbed the monitor, not the Web works inside, so I don't suppose that counts as a debugging.
Hopper's moth often is credited as ''the first computer bug.'' It is not. Lucky thing. ''My computer has a moth'' doesn't sound nearly as creepy or crawly as bugs.
''Bugs'' were blamed for problems at least back to the days of the telegraph.
Benjamin Franklin invented electricity with a kite in 1752. I think that's how it was. My teacher kept bugging me to actually read the history book, but I was too busy watching ''Atom Ant'' on Saturday morning cartoons.
Anyway, about 100 years later, Thomas Edison came along and invented electrical appliances, when he wasn't being bugged.
In 1889, the Pall Mall Gazette reported that ''Mr. Edison had been up the two previous nights discovering a 'bug' in his phonograph - an expression for solving a difficulty, and implying that some imaginary insect has secreted itself inside and is causing all the trouble.''
As we can see from the Harvard moth, Tom's bug may not have been imaginary. Has anyone checked beneath the tape of his logbooks?
Then again, the bugs themselves may be electronic. Movie spies listen in all the time to other spies by planting bugs as listening devices.
Is this where the phrase ''put a bug in his ear'' comes from? Nope.
According to stuff I looked up on the computer, the phrase traces back to ''put a flea in your ear,'' used in the 14th century in French literature, meaning to provoke desire in someone else. How a flea floundering about in someone's ear provokes any kind of desire - other than to get the flea out of one's ear - I don't know. I suspect the moth in my computer made it up.
And if this column bugs you, don't blame me. The kitten wrote it while batting the cricket back across the keyboard.
---- Put a bug in Burt's ear at firstname.lastname@example.org, or buzz him the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook.