Computer from the Saturn V Rocket

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AJMD429
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Computer from the Saturn V Rocket

Post by AJMD429 »

Amazing how much has changed, and what they were able to do with that primitive technology...

https://youtu.be/dI-JW2UIAG0
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2ndovc
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Re: Computer from the Saturn V Rocket

Post by 2ndovc »

Pretty cool. I was at that museum in the '80s, I was 16 or so and really taken with the place. You can really appreciate the size of those rockets standing underneath one.

jb 8)
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Re: Computer from the Saturn V Rocket

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Haven't watched the video yet, but wondering if they programmed it in machine language, which was simple then, and compact, and lightning-bug fast. some coders think in it, code like musicians. blows my mind...
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Re: Computer from the Saturn V Rocket

Post by Rusty »

I was standing on the beach across the lagoon from the cape and got to watch one of those Saturn Vs take off one time. I remember when the shock waves started to hit us you could feel your chest start to vibrate. As the shock waves hit I felt tears start to run down my cheeks and don't know why. I don't know if there was something emotional that I was feeling or if it was a result of the shock waves hitting me. It was a strange feeling. I remember it made me feel rather insignificant.
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Re: Computer from the Saturn V Rocket

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Grizz wrote: Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:50 pm Haven't watched the video yet, but wondering if they programmed it in machine language, which was simple then, and compact, and lightning-bug fast. some coders think in it, code like musicians. blows my mind...
Thirty years ago I managed to learn machine or 'assembler' language for the 8088 processor [IBM] family, and man you are right....for things like sorting algorithms it sure beat anything you could compile in BASIC or Turbo Pascal, but for stuff where speed wasn't vital it was not worth the effort. That was when a 1 MHz processor was 'fast' though....now anything no matter how sloppy seems fast at a million times that.... :D A program I wrote back then had a section where parsing through a large database might take 2 or 3 minutes even with the assembler subroutines, so I put in an elaborate tallying and graphic display to make sure the user didn't think the program has crashed and to keep the user from being bored.....I ran it on a 4 GHz machine for kicks a couple years back, and you couldn't even SEE the fancy display because it came and went so fast. :lol:
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Re: Computer from the Saturn V Rocket

Post by FWiedner »

Core memory. That's the stuff that was in use in the computers I learned on in school. That was back in the days of punched tape, and we had to punch our own tapes to bootstrap. Anybody who had to program in Machine Language remember repertoire cards? The first "hard drive" I ever worked on was 4ft tall and 2ft in diameter. A drum, actually. No Integrated circuits. "Dense-packs" were the cutting edge. No plug-n-play.

It was interesting from a technical standpoint, but life is so much easier these days.

It amuses me that some chuckle-head who slaps together desktop PCs from off-the-shelf parts thinks he's a computer expert.

:lol:
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Re: Computer from the Saturn V Rocket

Post by Grizz »

NYC 1960-something. Night class in programming IBM computers. Reel to reel tape drives and punch cards. The program was fed to the computer on punch cards and the reels started reeling. Very impressive to a simple guy...
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Re: Computer from the Saturn V Rocket

Post by coyote nose »

Interesting fact. In 1965 100% of the integrated circuits produced in the world went to project Apollo. Before that they were mostly used in the Polaris missile project and in various research computers.
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Re: Computer from the Saturn V Rocket

Post by Bill in Oregon »

Wow, punch tape. When first in journalism school in the early '70s we "saved keystrokes" in early computers and printed the stories on punch tape to feed into the typesetter. That awkward technology was very short-lived in the newspaper business.
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Re: Computer from the Saturn V Rocket

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I learned Land Surveying Cad on an old 256 that only used a DOS Tree and it was fast and reliable. When the office added the first Windows to it, it couldn't go two minutes with out freezing up.
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Re: Computer from the Saturn V Rocket

Post by AJMD429 »

.
Here's a similar story on Voyager 1's computer, 46 years old and still working, sort of ..

https://arstechnica.com/space/2024/02/h ... er-glitch/

We are used to 140 1-year-old GUNS working, 100-year-old tractors working, and 40-year-old cars working (sometimes more reliably than new ones), but it is rare to see a ten-year-old electronic gadget still work.
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Re: Computer from the Saturn V Rocket

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AJMD429 wrote: Wed Feb 07, 2024 8:26 am .
Here's a similar story on Voyager 1's computer, 46 years old and still working, sort of ..

https://arstechnica.com/space/2024/02/h ... er-glitch/

We are used to 140 1-year-old GUNS working, 100-year-old tractors working, and 40-year-old cars working (sometimes more reliably than new ones), but it is rare to see a ten-year-old electronic gadget still work.
https://www.grc.com/pdp-8/pdp-8.htm this is a dinosaur of a computer. these have been sold as kits, don't know if they still are. the article describing it is worth a read. there were kits to build these, IDK if any are available. But this early tech is being conserved by engineer types. some people are still thrilled when lights blink on purpose :)
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Re: Computer from the Saturn V Rocket

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Grizz wrote: Wed Feb 07, 2024 9:21 am https://www.grc.com/pdp-8/pdp-8.htm this is a dinosaur of a computer. these have been sold as kits, don't know if they still are. the article describing it is worth a read. there were kits to build these, IDK if any are available. But this early tech is being conserved by engineer types. some people are still thrilled when lights blink on purpose :)
The author of that post commented he learned assembler language on that machine. I learned it on an HP-41C, and even learned the 'back-door' hacks where you could get the CPU to process 'undocumented' commands by creating the program in a binary format in the 'data' area of the memory, then 'shifting' it to the 'program' area.

https://www.hpmuseum.org/hp41.htm

Then when the pseudo-estrogen in plastic labware ruined my summer job by throwing off the growth of the breast cancer cells the med school faculty member who hired me was researching, he hired me instead to write some software, so although I knew assembler language, at the time I only knew PASCAL as far as a compiled language, but he wanted things written in BASIC, so I got some game-programs and dissected them to learn BASIC. Kinda cool to get paid all summer to teach myself another computer language, and just write a couple really 'basic' programs for him.

More on the 'Synthetic Programming' you might find interesting -

https://www.hpmuseum.org/prog/synth41.htm

"No discussion of the HP-41C would be complete without a discussion of synthetic programming. The HP-41C had RPN instruction sequences of one to three (or more) bytes. Some of the possible codes were not documented and couldn't be entered from the keyboard but some clever users found ways around these limitations. Writing programs using these codes was called Synthetic Programming.

A variety of programs were written to support synthetic programming. To use the simplest, the user exploited a bug in the HP-41C to enter a small program that extracted the next byte in memory from the instruction that followed. (The extracted byte could then be deleted as a separate instruction.) The HP-41C would then interpret the next byte of the instruction as the first byte of some other instruction. The instruction(s) that followed might be interpreted as part of a multi-byte sequence. Obviously, programming in this way, took some forethought and care.


The scary thing is that in 1981 I was 'fluent' in this stuff, and now I'm sure if I tried to do it again I'd have to start learning from the beginning... :|
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Grizz
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Re: Computer from the Saturn V Rocket

Post by Grizz »

Kudos on all that Doc, that's way far ahead of my learning curve, which flat lined when I hit the pavement head first. I guess. I never made any headway with programming. I can modify some programs, like linux utilities, to stop doing something. Or hack the windows registry. But "hello world" is a momentous achievement in python! ! ! I crack myself up sometimes. :lol:

p.s. my brother was a black box maintenance guy in the cic of a destroyer escort. he learned some low level shortcuts that got him to the head of his class. then he spent his entire career declining the "invitation" to advance in rank. didn't want to do paperwork! just give him the busted thing and stay out of the way, he was happy with that. btw, in port in desert shield he stood guard watches with a 1911 AND NO AMMO! He had a bowie and figured if he saw any fingers appearing on the rail he could chop them off. And he would have done! Funny stuff.

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Re: Computer from the Saturn V Rocket

Post by Bob Hatfield »

68 now but back in the day it was key punch cards and Fortran for me.

Bob
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