back to article Lord Lucan, Murakami's Strange Library ... and a hitchhiker's guide to the Computing Universe

El Reg bookworm Mark Diston trawls through the freshest releases in publishing. This week we have a trippy new Murakami about a murderous librarian, a murder mystery to suit Downton Abbey fans and lastly, a pop-sci romp through computing history that soon takes a turn for the sci-fi... The Strange Library Haruki Murakami has …

  1. Cipher

    If the grand revelations are...

    ... the moth and Monty Python, then this book is for the masses, not the IT wizard. Any Usenet denizen knows that originally spam was a definition of repetitive Usenet postings, unrelated to email, and had its own formula for determination.

    Breidbart Index

    I am surprised that a writer for el reg never heard of the skit and what it means...

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: If the grand revelations are...

      I still remember the original Siegel and Canter massive spamvertisement usenet butthurt. It's probably up there with dead people at Rolling Stones performances in historical significance.

  2. gizmo23

    Not the same

    Silicon and silicone and wildly differing substances. Would be quite interesting if we could make CPUs out of silicone though.

    1. GitMeMyShootinIrons

      Re: Not the same

      Silicone chips -

      elastic compute resources!

  3. Chris Miller
    Headmaster

    Bugs

    Please put a stop to this idea that the use of the word 'bug' comes from a problem caused by an insect trapped in the workings of an early computer. It's a nice story, and may even be true, but the use of the word 'bug' in the context of a glitch or problem is far earlier than this. Thomas Edison used the word in its later sense and it was well-established (in the US) during the 19th century. It probably derives from the original meaning of 'bug' (Welsh bwg) as a euphemism for a goblin or the devil (cf 'bugbear') - the use of bug to describe a class of insect is also a derivative of this form, after it became popular the archaic use gradually faded away.

    1. James Anderson Silver badge

      Re: Bugs

      Hear hear -- the urban legend comes from the misinterpretation of an entry in Admiral Grace Hoppers diary where a moth was pinned to the page and labelled "the first real bug".

      The moth in question had indeed managed to get itself fried by a relay and caused a long running program to crash. It was labelled a real bug to differentiate from all the previously encountered bugs which did not involve a real insect.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Bugs

        ...which would make those unreal bugs, and thus hard to debug.

  4. KBeee
    Happy

    In that picture..

    Lord Lucan looks strangely modern now... must be the 'tache

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