A week in review, 2019-W24

Wrote

  1. Landing on the moon: three visions attained (2019-06-10).
  2. Now reading: Moon Lander: How We Developed the Apollo Lunar Module (2019-06-11).
  3. Now reading: Digital Apollo (2019-06-15).

Read

  1. Robert McMillan, Her Code Got Humans on the Moon—And Invented Software Itself, Wired (2015-10-13). For Hamilton, programming meant punching holes in stacks of punch cards, which would be processed overnight in batches on a giant Honeywell mainframe computer that simulated the Apollo lander’s work. “We had to simulate everything before it flew,” Hamilton remembers. Once the code was solid, it would be shipped off to a nearby Raytheon facility where a group of women, expert seamstresses known to the Apollo program as the “Little Old Ladies,” threaded copper wires through magnetic rings (a wire going through a core was a 1; a wire going around the core was a 0). Forget about RAM or disk drives; on Apollo, memory was literally hardwired and very nearly indestructible.
  2. Dick Day, Training Considerations of the X-15 Development, NSIA Meeting (1959-11-17). In: Gene Waltman, Black Magic and Gremlins: Analog Flight Simulations at NASA's Flight Research Center, NASA SP-2000-4520 (2000).To train the pilots for the X-15 landing phase, several methods were considered. First, an analog computer was used with an oscilloscope presentation to indicate approach attitude. This gave the pilots and engineers an understanding of the relative importance of the factors affecting the landing flare, but definitely lacked the in-flight realism afforded by the rapid approach of the ground.
  3. Margaret Hamilton, Computer Got Loaded, Datamation (1971-03-01). To blame the computer for the Apollo 11 problem is like blaming the person who spots a fire and calls the fire department. Actually, the computer was programmed to do more than recognize error conditions. A complete set of recovery programs was incorporated into the software. The software's action, in this case, was to eliminate lower priority tasks and re-establish the more important ones. The computer, rather than almost forcing an abort, prevented an abort. If the computer hadn't recognized this problem and taken recovery action, I doubt if Apollo 11 would have been the successful moon landing it was.
  4. Patrick Burke, When the River Took John Squyres, Outside Magazine (2019-02-28).
  5. James Scott, Aftermath: How the Doolittle Raid Shook Japan, World War II Magazine (2015-06-01).

Listened

  1. 676: Here’s Looking at You, Kid, This American Life (2019-06-02).
  2. The Inca, In Our Time (2019-06-13).
  3. A student leader 30 years after Tiananmen: Wu’er Kaixi reflects on the movement, Sinica Podcast (2019-06-13).

Watched

Murder Mystery (2019)

Upcoming


There might be additional links that didn't make the cut at notes.kirkkittell.com

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