Famous and common software bugs that have plagued programmers throughout history!

Rohan Mathew

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Software bugs are a major headache for those involved in developing programs and applications. Even the best and most professional coders can fall foul of them.

World-famous bugs

Throughout history, several bugs have made headlines, the most famous of which was probably the Y2K bug. During the run-up to the year 2000, there was a concern that computers might think that 00, short for 2000, could be interpreted as 1900. This, people said, could result in computers crashing, systems going down, and widespread chaos. Once the turn of the millennium occurred, very little happened, and thankfully, humanity was safe!

Another example of a famous bug was when payment services provider PayPal accidentally credited a user with $92 quadrillion dollars. Sadly for the account holder, the mistake was realized and rectified when he logged into his account. To say sorry, PayPal donated a sum to a charity of the account holders’ choosing.

To avoid serious and costly mistakes such as these, many companies will engage a patch management tool to help make sure there are no bugs and that all patches are up-to-date and working properly. A patch management tools comparison site can help IT managers pick the best one for them. While this cannot prevent human error, it can make detection easier and hopefully avoid some of the most common kinds of bugs.

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A crash is one of the most well-known and most annoying computer software bugs. It happens when a program stops working properly and quits without any input from the user. The program will often freeze for a period of time. This is where it stops functioning and becomes completely unresponsive. The user then has to force a quit or wait for it to close by itself. The execution of invalid machine instructions typically causes crashes. This could be something like an incorrect address value, a buffer overflow, or an unhandled exception. It could also be due to a previous bug that hasn’t been resolved correctly. The culprit or the bug responsible for the crash is then ascertained via a process called debugging, which is a methodical way of finding and resolving an issue.

Missing command

A missing command error is when a certain command in the code is missing. This causes a continuity issue and therefore results in an error. It could be, for example, in a form within a project. There could be a box with various fields to fill in, but if the coder hasn’t added an exit or next button, the system will get stuck there and be unable to proceed. This type of bug is widespread and can happen when the programmer forgets or mistypes a line of code. It can be easily rectified once the situation has been noted. In obvious cases like our example, it is immediately noticeable, but it may take some digging in other scenarios.

Typographical errors

Otherwise known as a typo, a typographical error is where the programmer or developer mistypes a letter, digit, symbol, or something else. It can also be a logical error where the programmer has made a logical mistake when entering code.  This bug can be minor or serious, depending on where it occurs. It could just cause a slight blip in the program, or it could mean it stops functioning completely. One way of revealing such bugs is through compiled languages.

As you can see, preventing bugs can be tough. The key is in managing them and becoming aware of them, and how to fix them in good time!

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