How Apollo 11′s 1.024MHz guidance computer did a lot with very little

 

early 44 years ago computer hardware was in an entirely different place than it is now. The levels of performance don’t even fit on the same scale. The anniversary of the Apollo 11moon landing is upon us, and those brave space pioneers got by without a 3GHz multi-core CPU. The guidance computer used on the Apollo 11 mission ran at only 1.024 MHz.

The moon landing was the height of technological achievement at the time, and some of the rocket technology is still relevant today. That computer, though, has been left in the dust. In fact, it was well and truly obsolete a few years after the landing.

The Intel 8086 came about roughly ten years after the Apollo landing, marking the beginning of x86. Apollo 11’s computer had 4 registers — essentially slots for holding numeric values. The 8086 boosted that to eight 16-bit registers.

The IBM PC XT ran the next version of that chip, the famous 8088. This computer ran at 4.077MHz, which sounds incredibly slow by today’s standards, but is still four times faster than the Apollo 11computer. The XT also packed in eight times the memory used on Apollo 11.

The Apollo 11 guidance computer actually had some impressive software features for a system that didn’t even run a graphical interface. It could multitask up to 8 different operations, but it didn’t work the way we think of multitasking. Today’s operations use preemptive multitasking that allows the OS to distribute computing resources as needed. On Apollo 11, programs were in charge and had to give control back to the OS periodically. A kind of virtual machine was used to allow developers to mix hardware-level instructions with virtual machine commands within the same assembler code.

Inputting commands required translating the English words into “verb noun pairs,” which could be input as numbers. There was a handy sign in the cabin as a reminder. To top it all off, none of the computer’s systems were software upgradeable. All the code was stored in read-only memory. Several years after Apollo 11, Apollo 14 was forced to manually input the code to patch a system malfunction — it took 90 minutes just to type it in.

Maybe your computer is a little sluggish, and your smartphone is a couple years old, but you have it better than those astronauts

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HP Presents its Printing Solutions Qualified

JAKARTA – For those of you who are struggling in the world of photography, the image quality would be a desire. Not only in terms of technique but also capture the final result of the mold. To provide excellent print results and long lasting in all colors, HP re-introduced HP Designjet Z3200 Photo Printer.

This hardware has the advantage of producing excellent print results, durable and waterproof photo paper, fine art paper and special paper that can last up to 200 years, especially in terms of color. It has also received recognition from Willhelm Imaging Research who has given certification.

“With the HP Designjet Z3200 Photo Printer will create color prints and black and white with gallery-class quality efficiently,” said Lydia Budiarto March as the HP Designjet Development Manager-Printing and Graphic Solution Business Systems Group HP Persinal launch in Indonesia in Jakarta, Tuesday (07.02.2013).

HP Designjet Z3200 Photo Printer brings to 12 ink printing system, using HP Vivera pigment inks, and also features HP 73 Chromatic Red Ink that enables up to 95 percent PANTONE coverage. In addition, this photo printer machine also offers the features of the HP Color Center that allows users to obtain color calibration da accurate profiling.

Not only that, with the spectrophotometer and features HP DreamColor technologies that have been integrated in this device, users can also easily develop a profile of the International Color Consortium (ICC) to make documents easily and send them to devices other HP Designjet Z3200.

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HP Intros New Entry-Level Workstation, Pro Monitors

HP today released an update to its entry-level workstations along with a slew of new IPS Gen 2 professional grade displays.

The new HP Z230 Workstation, unveiled at the Siggraph show in Aneheim, Calif., brings professional quad-core workstations to the $999 price point. The new Z22i, Z23i, and Z24i IPS displays, meanwhile, bring wider viewing angles and power savings to the professional graphics, architecture, and engineering user.

The Z22i, Z23i, and Z24i IPS Gen 2 displays are professional grade, offering 95 to 99 percent coverage of the sRGB color space and increased color accuracy compared to previous LCD TN panels. IPS Gen 2 also offers wider viewing angles, both horizontally and vertically.

Sized at 21.5 inches (Z22i) and 23 inches (Z23i), the two smaller monitors feature a 1,920-by-1,080 (1080p) full HD 16:9 resolution. Both feature a wide range of brightness adjustments, DisplayPort, DVI, and VGA inputs, 4-way pivot/tilt, and a built-in USB 2.0 hub for your keyboard and tablet digitizer.

The 24-inch Z24i adds a 1,920-by-1,200 (16:10) resolution for workers who need more desktop real estate for toolbars and the like. The Z24i also has wide brightness adjustment, and extra niceties like a carry handle and cable management.

All these displays are Energy Star and EPEAT Gold compliant. They are available today for $239 (Z22i), $259 (Z23i), and $399 (Z24i)

The entry-level HP Z230 workstation comes in small and compact tower form factors, depending on how much expansion your professional users need. The Z230 is built around the latest Intel Xeon E3 v3 and 4th-generation Intel Core processors. The Xeon-powered models feature integrated Intel HD Graphics P4600 for professional applications, as well as options for 2D multi-display graphics cards from Nvidia and entry to high-end 3D graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia.

Systems with discrete graphics cards will be able to support up to six simultaneous displays. Multiple Hard drive and SSD options can give users speed, capacity, or both. Depending on configuration, Z230 workstations can fulfill various ISV certification needs, including high-end 3D professional graphics, ECC or non-ECC memory, and professional grade CPU requirements. HP has promised a two-year (2013-2015) platform life cycle, so you can be assured of buying new pre-qualified systems for the next two years.

The HP Z230 workstation starts at $999 for a quad core powered system, and will be available worldwide this August.

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