Yet Another Reminder of How Far Computer Tech Has Come

Discussion in 'Techforge' started by Tuckerfan, Jan 21, 2021.

  1. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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  2. Bickendan

    Bickendan Custom Title Administrator Faceless Mook Writer

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    No good. It has to be strawberry pi :bailey:
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  3. Bailey

    Bailey It's always Christmas Eve Super Moderator

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    Not gonna be doing anything complex on a device like that, but it is amazing to consider that it is being sold at a price point that essentially makes it disposable, and what types of projects that makes possible.

    Also amusing that on a performance to cost ranking this is by far the most pricey device they sell. :D
  4. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    Dude, we sent people to the Moon using shittier hardware than that. I'd say that was pretty complex.
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  5. Paladin

    Paladin Overjoyed Man of Liberty

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    Complex is relative.

    256K and a CortexM0 at 133MHz are certainly enough to run many RTOSes. You could probably even run a very minimalist stripped down Linux (with a very small RAM disk).

    This is more for embedded stuff than applications, so you're not going to run a GUI or surf the Internet with it.

    But that hardware is sufficient to do a lot of things.

    My first computer was a Commodore 64, which used an 8 bit micro running at around 1 MHz and had 64K of RAM (38K with BASIC running), and I could do a lot with that.
  6. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    My first computer was an IBM 370.
  7. We Are Borg vs. USS Crazy Horse

    We Are Borg vs. USS Crazy Horse Probably a Dual

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    My first computer was an ENIAC and when we wanted to upgrade, we had to move to a new house. :sigh:
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  8. Lanzman

    Lanzman Vast, Cool and Unsympathetic Formerly Important

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    My first computer was timesharing on a PDP-11.
  9. Jenee

    Jenee Ind. Jenee of Winterfell

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    What got us to the moon was a Cray supercomputer - can't find anything specific with a preliminary search. But, I do remember fellow students absolutely geeking out at the site of their first Cray at the Goddard Space Flight Center back in the early 90s.

    And, no, your smart phone is not greater than that.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/07/underappreciated-power-apollo-computer/594121/

    Also, my first computer was a TRS-80 and didn't even have internal RAM. Had to access all programs from an external cassette tape drive.
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  10. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    Cray was founded in 1972. What got us to the moon was people doing math.

    And your TRS-80 had internal RAM, ROM, and such. Just not an internal HDD so you had to load and save to an external drive.

    the cool guys had internal floppy drives. Insert floppy joke here.
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  11. We Are Borg vs. USS Crazy Horse

    We Are Borg vs. USS Crazy Horse Probably a Dual

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    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    I'm tired of hearing the bullshit about how some teenager's iPhone is more powerful than the Apollo computer.

    Yes, in terms of memory and pretty much all other technical specs, it's more "powerful".

    But the Apollo onboard computer and guidance systems were fucking complicated. A lot more complicated than playing Plants vs. Zombies on your phone while texting dick pics to your girlfriend so you can kill time while waiting for a non-fat soy milk latte at Starbucks.

    If the iPhone is so damn great, why didn't Steve Jobs shove one up his ass and fly to the moon?
  12. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    No, the computer wasn't complicated. The things it was programmed to do determined life or death but a lot less processing than playing a video game other than pong.
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  13. Jenee

    Jenee Ind. Jenee of Winterfell

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    It was still a supercomputer. it definitely wasn't an iphone.

    If math was all that was needed to get us to the moon, we could have been there 3000 years ago. Math is important, don't get me wrong. But, we needed a supercomputer.
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  14. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    Galileo could have gotten there. Material science and engineering wasn't up to the task.
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  15. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    Sigh.

    Me again.

    Orbital mechanics is hella more simple than voice recognition and gps navigation.

    Siri: take me to the moon!
  16. Bailey

    Bailey It's always Christmas Eve Super Moderator

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    Yeah, your typical light aircraft nowadays has way more computing power than the Apollo era spacecraft.

    Fun fact, you can even emulate the Apollo Guidance Computer in a browser window (works on mobile/desktop): Online Apollo Guidance Computer Simulator (svtsim.com)

    A modern smartphone absolutely runs rings around a Cray, it's not even a competition.
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  17. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    For $3K, you can build the Apollo Guidance Computer. Check out the specs on that puppy:
    To put that into perspective, you could overfill the RAM of that baby with a text message. Not even one with a pic attached to it. Depending upon which NASA computers from the era that you're talking about, they had RAM that looked like window screens or spools of wire. Hardly the dense microchips of today.

    As a reminder, the chips in a phone charger are more powerful than the Apollo guidance computer.
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  18. Bickendan

    Bickendan Custom Title Administrator Faceless Mook Writer

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    Cause Frank Sinatra was already dead and only he can Fly Me to the Moon :diacanu:
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  19. Jenee

    Jenee Ind. Jenee of Winterfell

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  20. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    The ones on the ground were pretty dumb too.

    Laptops today run rings around mainframes as late as the 80s.

    Mathematicians and clever programmers did amazing things with the machines they had, but these were primitive compared to even the 1st PCs and mac's back in the 80s.
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  21. Bickendan

    Bickendan Custom Title Administrator Faceless Mook Writer

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    10 If ship in space
    20 Keep crew alive to get home
    30 Else
    40 Pray this works
    50 End
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  22. Jenee

    Jenee Ind. Jenee of Winterfell

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    No one is saying computers and technology hasn't advanced. We're just saying it's disingenuous to say your smartphone is better than the team at NASA that put men on the moon in 1969.
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  23. Lanzman

    Lanzman Vast, Cool and Unsympathetic Formerly Important

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    No-one is saying that. The argument is that the smartphone in your pocket is far more powerful than the Apollo guidance computer or the mainframes on the ground that did the calculations.
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  24. tafkats

    tafkats That'll put marzipan in your pie plate, bingo! Moderator

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    The team is very different from the team's computer equipment. If the Apollo team had a smartphone and the appropriate software, a lot of the things they had to do by hand or that took hours would have taken minutes or seconds.
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  25. ed629

    ed629 Morally Inept Banned

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    The calculation for the Apollo 11 were computed not by machine, but by hand. Using math, by Katherine Johnson. John Glenn requested her to verify the trajectory calculations by hand.

    Also, the Apollo computers were made for a specific task, so they were suited specifically for the calculations needed to get to the moon and back. But they were not but any means more powerful than smart phones of today. I use a cheap cell phone at home as a control for my smart devices. I ran an app on it a while back, and then again today. It runs 16500 times faster than the Cray-1 and 400 times the memory.

    And again, Jenee proves how badly informed she is. The Cray-1 wasn't released until 1975, the last moon landing took place in 1972. So yeah, Jenee is talking shit out of her ass again.
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  26. Paladin

    Paladin Overjoyed Man of Liberty

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    giphy (2).gif
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  27. Paladin

    Paladin Overjoyed Man of Liberty

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    Cray 1 Supercomputer (several years after Apollo): 150 MFLOPS.
    Google Pixel 4XL: 954.7 GFLOPS.

    This means a modern smartphone can do about 6,000 times as many computations per second as a state of the art supercomputer could in 1973.

    The Apollo guidance computer was a single processor running at 43 kilohertz. The Pixel 4XL has 4 cores running at nearly 3 gigahertz. That's tens of thousands of times faster, and the performance is even greater as modern processors have other advantages besides raw speed.

    A smartphone could run a simulation of the Apollo guidance computer in the background and the smartphone user wouldn't even notice.
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  28. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    Wait, what? I thought the goal was that way..
  29. Jenee

    Jenee Ind. Jenee of Winterfell

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    Not in the red room. But, you are badly misinformed as this information was already discussed up thread. You're too late, so who's talking shit out of their ass?
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  30. Jenee

    Jenee Ind. Jenee of Winterfell

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    Actually, that isn't the argument.

    Just because your smartphone has a faster processing and a bigger hard drive does not mean it has the programming and platforms necessary that was required to put a human on the moon. You are downplaying the intellect of everyone involved by suggesting a $4 piece of shit is better than the equipment used to by NASA in 1969.
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