Friday, 17 July 2009

Walking on the Moon

(By Richard Holway 7.00am 17th July 09) Today is the 40th anniversary of start of the man on the moon mission. It was one of those rare ‘I remember exactly where I was when…” moments. (I was on my honeymoon with my first wife!)

The computer in Apollo 11 had just 64K of RAM. It seems amazing when we’ve now even stopped talking about megabytes in favour of gigabytes. In 1969 though, much of my programming was still in assembler code and I was expert in reading the holes in punched cards. I worried constantly about saving a bit here and a bit there. This was when dumping the ‘19’ bit from ddmmyy was common - and thus was born the Y2K bug!

My thoughts today are not about ‘Wow, look how far we have progressed in 40 years’ . It is more a wonderment that mankind could achieve a mission to the moon armed with such seemingly archaic tools. Truly incredible.

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