Grace Hopper’s Log Book
Computer moth.jpg


Grace Hopper


Log Book


Translation of core computer functions into purely linguistic information


Rampant system application evolves semi-aware data


Proximity to computers

Collected by

Warehouse 13







Date of Collection

May 25, 1995



Mother of modern computer science, Grace Hopper put her math and physics degrees to good work by developing the first compiler software to translate different computer languages. While off assignment from the Navy Reserve, she refined her studies into the program COBOL. Its usage of English as a base language before turning into data allowed for easier transcription.

When Commander Hopper retired from the Reserve in ’66, the Navy recalled her into active service a year later to install and coordinate COBOL into their systems. Finally retired as an admiral during ’86, Hopper served a total of 42 years with the Navy.

A pioneer for the growth of computer science as an engineering field and the inclusion of women, many instances captured her hardworking nature. For example, to quickly explain to busy captains why satellite communications were slow, Hopper would have each hold a foot of wire. That distance was roughly the maximum a transmission of light could travel within a nanosecond. Another time, Hopper and her students ran into a stray moth in one of their computers, the first recorded debugging incident.


Extracts sections of a mainframe’s core operational code and translates it directly into non-technical terms. The purpose of each function is explained in the most succinct manner possible, and the user can write questions to issues for a direct solution. Any answer provided will only affect the chosen system, allowing them to type a few short commands instead of miles of code.

Repeatedly using it will cause the affected computers to become somewhat sentient. The data pulled off will increasingly resemble personal experiences and opinions of the software. Power outages, electric shocks, deletion of files and release of private data become common if a user does not comply with the program’s settings.

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