Columbia stood ready for her first trip to the sky:
America's first shuttle, with the whole world standing by,
But with thirty seconds left to go a warning flag unfurled
And it took them all next week to find the Bug Heard Round the World.
They were heading for the tropics on a long range testing flight
The crew on board the brand-new jet thought things were working right
'Til they went past the Equator and the plane flipped upside down,
They damn near took the software team and ran them out of town.
A tapeworm laid the network low; it spread itself around
Through loopholes in the system code its programmer had found;
But not all of the bugs it found were relics from the past:
One more bug made the tapeworm spread a thousand times too fast.
And when the final program's run and all its data saved
They'll take the last dead programmer and lay him in his grave
And the very last bug left in sight, a cockroach passing by
Will walk across his coffin there, as if to say, ``Nice try.''
Inspired by the poem, ``The Last Bug'', published in
Datamation in the late 60's. All verses except the last are
more-or-less based on true stories, though I'm told that the problem
with the F15 (a sign change caused by arithmetic overflow) was
actually found in simulation.
The Bug Heard Round the World was the title of the article about the
incident in IEEE Spectrum; the ``tapeworm'' verse refers to the infamous
Morris Internet Worm. The ``chad'' verse refers (in case you've just gotten
off a spaceship from Mars) to the iterated vote-counting in Florida after
the 2000 US presidential election.