How-To Geek

Grace Hopper’s Awesome Presentation about Nanoseconds [Historical Video]

This terrific historical video shows Grace Hopper’s talk about nanoseconds where she literally told it like it was. Another interesting part about her presentation was the batch of 11.8 inch “physical nanoseconds” she brought to give away after the talk.

You can learn more about Grace, her illustrious career, and contributions to computing here:

Grace Hopper [Wikipedia]

Grace Hopper – Nanoseconds [via Geeks are Sexy]

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 02/28/12

Comments (10)

  1. Little John

    She is credited with popularizing the term “debugging” for fixing computer glitches (motivated by an actual moth removed from the computer). The moth was caught between to contact points in a relay.

  2. r

    very cool !!

  3. The Unspoken

    This woman is amazing, she is also the first female Admiral in the Navy (Commodore then). I am an IT in the Navy and if you don’t know who she is we tend to smack you :).

    The Unspoken

  4. Robert

    I’ve seen this video several times. Admiral Hoper was a funny lady.

  5. Jerrold Schiff

    Working on an IBM 1130 in High School, we used punch cards.

    The cards were placed in the HOPPER. Named in respect for Grace Hopper.

    The other neat thing about an IBM 1130 (costing over $400,000 back in the late 60’s) was that you could take a radio, tune it to a blank AM spot on the radio dial. Place it beside the disk drive (a platter the size of two long playing records) and hear the Arm Seek every time the “hard drive” moved. [ Making these words readable to someone in the 2010’s is just about impossible! ] We wrote in FORTRAN and our programs yielded printouts. There were no monitors or graphics until TexTonic came out in the 70’s

  6. pbug56

    Nice to know I’m not the only one around here who remembers the Admiral. But I’ve never seen this video before; amazingly funny and informative. Today if she were alive she could use it to explain why the spacing in microprocessors needs to be so small.

    For anyone here who doesn’t know, she was one of the creators of COBOL – Common Business Oriented Language. And the story is that she created the term ‘computer bug’ – based on an actual flying insect that got caught up in a tube based computer, got fried, and then made the computer fail.

    She was a huge force in the early days of computing. And she had an ability to talk in plain English, unlike a lot of ‘computer scientists’.

  7. RISC_Taker

    I walk past the Grace Murray Hopper museum at work every day. She was an amazing woman.

  8. Terry

    Being an old geezer who never had the honor of serving in the Armed Forces, I had never heard of Admiral Hopper until just now. My loss.

    After reading her bio on Wikipedia, the words, “Remarkable, extraordinary, and distinguished ”, DO NOT do her justice.

  9. Jon R

    My previous command was NETWARCOM @ JEB Little Creek, VA. We had all our picnics and barbeques out back under the Grace Hopper Pavilion. She is well known in the Cryptologic Community. (IDC)

  10. Keith Badeau

    I would love to see the full video of her talk. Does anyone know where it can be found? I’ve tried google but there was so much information on her and events named after her it was all but impossible to weed through.

    Actually, any footage of her talks would be great–it is too bad that video cameras weren’t as ubiquitous in her day as they are now. She was such a great mind that she was appreciated and honored in her lifetime and after not just post-mortem like other great minds.

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