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Science Forum

Science Forum

  1. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    26 Oct '16 10:28 / 3 edits
    https://www.wired.com/2015/10/margaret-hamilton-nasa-apollo/

    I would have loved to have met her, this piece means a lot to me, brings back memories of my time on Apollo. But she was at MIT and I was at Goddard, could never have met anyway. She is an unsung hero.

    I remember those core memories, I watched the 'little old ladies' repair them, the magnetic cores, the size of indian beads, would break in two sometimes from the inrush of reading and writing currents and in the middle of a thousand or more beads in a one square inch area, it was the job of these women to find the broken bead, and under a microscope, with micro picks, pull out the bad bead by cutting the wiring to that individual bead, take out the broken bits, replace it with a working bead, then solder the wires together again in a micro splicing job I was just amazed at, watching them work. Literally micro surgery on a memory board.

    I remember a time, even earlier than my days at Goddard, working on a radar site on a sand bar in Florida where they had these magenetic core memories but there the beads were the size of mini donuts, about an inch across and they had their bevy of supporting electron tube running that core, a single bit. There were 16 of these stages, 2 bytes of memory, in slots of 8, two racks high. Imagine that, 16 tube chassis boxes, 8 in a row and 2 deep just for 2 bytes of memory. That was a job I had on Santa Rosa Island where a radar dome stood, maybe still there, don't know.
  2. Standard member apathist
    looking for loot
    29 Oct '16 08:25
    Okay for Margaret. I mean, who can hear the story and not learn about an awesome person.