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earth.google.com Wow!
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WileyWapiti
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Joined: Jan 04, 2006
Posts: 298
Location: NW Colorado

PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 3:44 pm    Post subject: Re: earth.google.com Wow! Reply with quote

Commodore 64 was where it was at....sweet machine

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DallanC
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Joined: Jan 18, 2005
Posts: 3237
Location: Utah

PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2007 3:49 pm    Post subject: Re: earth.google.com Wow! Reply with quote

Hey I still have my old TI-994A somewhere... 4k of total ram, no HD... you had an audio cable you would plug into a standard cassette recorder to save / load files.

LOL!

I just built myself a new computer this past weekend. My wife finally decided my old one was just too old. I was blown away by how much speed can by purchased so cheaply. My cost was right at 1k and the machine is a dual core screamer. It benchmarks so much higher than my old one its pathetic. It uses more power than a 1st generation microwave though Very Happy


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SwampFox
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Joined: Jul 15, 2005
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Location: Destin, Florida

PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 4:43 am    Post subject: Re: earth.google.com Wow! Reply with quote

Every time I see a reflection about how powerful, how small, or how cheap, I think about NASA and the space shuttle. Sad

You have a field where every application should be the very cutting edge of technology and the bureaucrats have it so screwed up till the computer on the shuttle is as big as the bed of a PU and has less power and speed than a common lap top.

Dallan, looks like we need to put you in charge of the computers at NASA, this site works just fine. Very Happy Very Happy

Worship

ED

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Last edited by SwampFox on Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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Bushmaster
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Joined: Jun 12, 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 7:49 am    Post subject: Re: earth.google.com Wow! Reply with quote

Dallan...Space Computer Jockey...Yeah!!! I like it...

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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:40 pm    Post subject: Re: earth.google.com Wow! Reply with quote

Swampfox,

One of the reasons Nasa and other space based computers are 5+ years out of date is because it takes them 5+ years to make sure their design and abilities will match their specifications as to be safe relying on them in space. Don't want alittle electro-magnetic interferance from the sun knocking out the Space shuttle or a multi-million dollar spy satalite that we get our Google Earth pictures from now do we ?? Smile

Dimitri

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SwampFox
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 12:54 pm    Post subject: Re: earth.google.com Wow! Reply with quote

Hey D,
I wish it were just 5 years. I also wish NASA was a bit more straightforward with the data, like what you got. The shuttle computers have been a joke and scandal here in the US for years. Please read the following from the NASA web site (copied today):

........................................................................................................
"Computers in the Space Shuttle Avionics System


[86] Computers are used more extensively on the Space Transportation System (STS) than on any previous aircraft or spacecraft. In conventional aircraft, mechanical linkages and cables connect pilot controls, such as the rudder pedals and stick, to hydraulic actuators at the control surfaces. However, the Shuttle contains a fully digital fly-by-wire avionics system. All connections are electrical and are routed through computers. To give the spacecraft more autonomy, system management functions (fuel levels, life support, etc.), handled on the ground during previous flight programs, are monitored on board. Software can be adjusted to suit increasingly complex and varied payloads. Subsystems, like the main engines, that had no computer assistance before use them for performance improvement. And, as in Gemini and Apollo, guidance and navigation tasks are accomplished on the Shuttle with computers. All these functions, especially flight control, are critical to mission success; therefore, the computers performing the tasks must be made fail-safe by using redundancy. Meeting these requirements has resulted in one of the most complex software systems ever produced and a computer network within the spacecraft with more powerful hardware than many ground-based computer centers in the mid-1960s.

The major differences between the Shuttle computer system and the systems used on Gemini and Apollo were the choice of an "off-the-shelf" main computer instead of a custom-made machine and the pervasiveness of the system within the spacecraft, since the main computers are the heart of any true avionics system. Avionics (aviation plus electronics) grew in the 1950s and 1960s as electronic devices, especially digital devices, replaced mechanical or analog equipment in aircraft. These digital devices were combined into a coherent system, rather than isolated in function and location within the aircraft. Several modem military airplanes have applied this concept to varying degrees. The FB-111, an Air Force tactical bomber, has a complex avionics system that Rockwell International built just before it was awarded the Shuttle contract1; the F-15 fighter used an AP-1 computer in its system. A repackaged version of the F-15's computer became the AP-101 used in the shuttle2. However, in no aircraft has the Shuttle's avionics system been matched as yet. For instance, its main computers have to interconnect with other computers in subsystems, such as the controllers on each main engine, whereas most aircraft systems are centered on a single set of machines.

Since the Shuttle is completely dependent on the success of its avionics system, each component must be made failure proof. The method chosen to ensure this is absolute redundancy, often to a depth of four duplicate devices. Managing this level of redundancy became a large problem in itself.

Another result of the pervasive avionics system is that the frequency and sophistication of the crew interaction with the computers exceeds any previous manned space program. A large portion of the.... "

....................................................................................................

The name of the shuttle computer system is, would you believe; HAL. The language they use is; HAL'S language.

But the telling section of this Mickey Mouse BS display of misdirection is the following sentence;

"Meeting these requirements has resulted in one of the most complex software systems ever produced and a computer network within the spacecraft with more powerful hardware than many ground-based computer centers in the mid-1960s." mid 1960s computer center

D, you are a young man and would probably not know about the mid 1960s computer centers. Do you know what the computers were in a 1960s computer center? Most of the centers, like the one at the company where I worked, were big 6 ft tall, reel to reel Honeywells. A whole floor, covering a city block, of these huge machines, all together, had less power than a modern laptop. So, considering the power and size, the shuttle computers are almost 45 years out of date, by the NASA data. That is tragic.

You must watch the public affairs folks for US Gov based programs; they will paint you a very lovely picture. It is a bucks game, with Buck Rogers.
Ed

PS: My major in college was Computer Formulization (language for computers) the only major computer center in northern New England in 1967 was owned and operated by New Hampshire Insurance Group, so that is where I went to get a part time job while in college. I had previously worked with the inventor of the FADC (Field Artillery Digital Computer) when I was an instructor at Survey Chief's school, Ft Sill, Oklahoma in 1964.

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Dimitri
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Joined: Nov 25, 2005
Posts: 5911

PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 3:49 pm    Post subject: Re: earth.google.com Wow! Reply with quote

Swampfox,

The Shuttles systems were designed and built in 1981 back then a computer with 4Mhz processor and alittle bit of RAM was a big thing, they had to even upgrade the original specification for the computer they used to get it to run the LARGE 700kb control software. Laughing

F-15's that the US military uses (was atleast might have changed) using the same IBM computers the Space shuttle uses. Shocked

Mind you they got laptops in 1982, the old Grid Compasss Laptops (the first laptops), thouse were pretty "good" for their day and age. Smile

Dimitri

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