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Old 07-01-2005, 10:39 PM   #1
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Default So you think you know programming and system building...

On the morning of July 4th at 1:52am EDT a marvel of modern technology will hopefully reveal the secrets of the universe. Out in deep space we are the strangers. Our quest for the secrets of how it all began may be answered in the wee hours of the morning of the 4th of July. Good luck to all of the JPL and NASA personell.


Now to the matter at hand. To make this happen they needed the package to be simple and very very smart. You think they chose a AMD or Intel cpu to run the show? Nope guys and gals. Instead the chose a simple little old IBM cpu made in its space/milatary form for the PowerPC line of IBM computers. Ain't that something? The RAD750 is onboard the space probe headed to impact with a comet 83 million miles away at time of impact. Do you have any idea how complex the software is? It has to figure where it is and where the comet is and get there to hit it. The cpu chip has onboard inside it 48megs of ram. That's all. The program is so smart it can make all the navagation calulations and do it on its own. And that's traveling at 23,000 mph or roughly 6 miles per second. Those programmers have to pack in as much as possible to make it work. The JPL/NASA programmers write software that has instructions that go down to the kernal level.
So next time you think you're having a problem writting some code or you're building a system and things are not going well, think of how much pressure these guys were/are under to build and program something that cost 333 million US and has to survive the rigors of deep space and do the job right. Cause they don't get a second chance...
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Old 07-01-2005, 10:53 PM   #2
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Here's the concept video they showed on OZ tv last from NASA...

http://cc.jpl.nasa.gov/deepimpact/050630-simulation.qtl

http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/new...005/16/video/b
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Old 07-01-2005, 11:06 PM   #3
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Default JPL site...

This link will take you to the JPL site. Under the useful links it has> Encounter Animation(Quicktime). I would suggest you right click the link and use> save target as. Dialup warning> It's a big file.

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/index.cfm
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Old 07-01-2005, 11:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: So you think you know programming and system building...

How many MIT grads does it take to program a space probe?


Anywho I wonder what languages they used?
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Old 07-01-2005, 11:52 PM   #5
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Default Re: So you think you know programming and system building...

Prolly international... I bet there were quite a few asians... freakin geniuses, but of course, us american's we're at the top.

Edit: asains to asians.
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Old 07-02-2005, 12:31 AM   #6
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Default Starr ...

You're closer to the truth than you think. MIT does have a hot room where programmers and system experts are ready, willing, and able to lend a hand if needed. Same at Cal Tech and other places around the world. When not doing things like that you can find the MIT guys putting cars on the top of the dome at the admin building. <looks at sky while walking away whistling>...
Oh if you want to find out what programming language they use, drop them an e-mail.
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Old 07-02-2005, 03:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: So you think you know programming and system building...

My comp I heard is about 1000 times stronger then the one that they sent man to the moon with.
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Old 07-02-2005, 03:43 PM   #8
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Default Re: So you think you know programming and system building...

yeah, they sent a man to the moon with a computer consisting of 3 NAND gates, thats very simple, you can buy a NAND gate from a highstreet shop for less than £10....incredible how technology has advanced. The origional Cray computer cost $8 million:
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The first Cray-1® system was installed at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1976 for $8.8 million. It boasted a world-record speed of 133 million floating-point operations per second (133 megaflops) and an 8 megabyte (1 million word) main memory.
That is worse than my ancient laptop that cost me nothing, most modern computers are much better than that. Its amazing how they survived.
48mgs of RAM eh, thats amazing, at first i woulda thought they'd pack an amazing computer in there..but no, its not needed
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Old 07-02-2005, 05:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: So you think you know programming and system building...

I think Blue Gene (IBMs Super Computer) can do 327 teraflops. Man Technology advances fast......
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Old 07-02-2005, 05:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: So you think you know programming and system building...

Wow, talk about preasure!! That must be some achievement if they pull it off
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