Australia :: June 1994 - March 1995

Subject: It's a feature.
Date: September 12, 1994 01:30

21:45 Mount Elliot National Park (Townsville), Queensland :: 7 SEP 94

I had a startling experience today. One of those weird ones that makes you wonder "Just what's in this tea, anyway?" I had a bug in my program. I mean literally -- there was an actual bug. Well, literally it wasn't in the program itself, rather in the UI (uuhh, that's User Interface for those of you not chained to a PC), but nevertheless a real live, crawling six-legged bug trundling along in my MS Mail client.

It wasn't on the screen either. I've seen that plenty of times on both my Toshiba T3400 notebook and the clone desktop at home. No, this programmer's nightmare had somehow wormed its way into the display and was traipsing through overlapping windows with total disregard to the laws of MDI laid down by BillG & Co. over at Microsoft.

The Toshiba T3400 notebook computer dumps some of the heat generated by the display through two narrow exhaust vents at the top of the display flap. Seems the "feature" (for the unenlightened masses, that's programmer-speak for "bug") was attracted by the light and heat escaping from the vents and wormed its way into the display's display. You may not know this but there's a narrow space between the pixel plane and the backlighting surface in these notebook LCD displays. The critter found it.

For a minute I thought I was losing my mind.

Patrick. -- Responses Sought --