Friday, March 6, 2020

The Apollo Guidance Computer

Wojtek Pietrusiewicz:

As you can see, the DSKY has a black keypad with white legends, yellow indicator lights, and a green electroluminescent seven-segment display. Commands were entered numerically, as two-digit numbers — called Verb and Noun. The first one represented the action being issued, while the second represented the data that would be changed.

He’s designed some keyboard kits using to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11.

One of my goals was to use the legends and values from DSKY’s various keys and indicators, in place of traditional modifier legends. This in turn led me to a decision to use stock GMK colours, to make everything easier and more affordable.

Ken Shirriff (via Maxime Chevalier-Boisvert):

The Launch Vehicle Digital Computer (LVDC) had a key role in the Apollo Moon mission, guiding and controlling the Saturn V rocket. Like most computers of the era, it used core memory, storing data in tiny magnetic cores. In this article, I take a close look at an LVDC core memory module from Steve Jurvetson’s collection. This memory module was technologically advanced for the mid-1960s, using surface-mount components, hybrid modules, and flexible connectors that made it an order of magnitude smaller and lighter than mainframe core memories. Even so, this memory stored just 4096 words of 26 bits.


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Related: The Computer that Controlled the Saturn V - Smarter Every Day

Basically 40 minutes of a Saturn V engineer going into a lot of detail on the computer. Well worth it.

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