Anniversary of an amazingly enduring design

in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:


    Time to rummage around in the techno geek museums, hobbyist basements, and possibly even some third world government IT departments. - pyotr filipivich We will drink no whiskey before its nine. It's eight fifty eight. Close enough!
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Let the Record show that "Stormin Mormon"
23:50:51 -0400 did write/type or cause to appear in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:

    To use an expression "It ain't rocket science. Even rocket science isn't rocket science!"
    We're still making rockets. We still have the plans. Setting up the production lines will take some doing. Mostly it will take Will, political and otherwise. - pyotr filipivich We will drink no whiskey before its nine. It's eight fifty eight. Close enough!
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or about Tue, 06 Apr 2010 21:35:54 -0500 did write/type or cause to appear in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:

    Not reinvented, re-engineered. Crazy friend and I decided that what we wanted to do was build a Ju88 - in titanium. Okay, this was real pie in the wild sky stuff, but our main point is that it would be lighter than the original, and - the design was proven. The same goes for boosters.
    Re-engineering a set of boosters is not that hard a project. Remember, the US built a manned mission to the Moon "from the ground up" in something like 8 years. Mercury, Gemini, Apollo; Teflon, Tang and the rest - and all those lessons are learned. So it is not like we'd have to reinvent everything. Re-engineer, of course. Hells bells, the shuttle is 70s technology! has nothing been done in 40 years in materials technology which might improve upon that design? Is that the best design that was available, anyway?     With cad systems, it would not be "difficult". Get it out of the Government cost plus procurement process and it is even more feasible. Hells bells, Paul Allen spent 25 million to make a private reusable rocket, in order to win a $10 million dollar prize. Virgin Galactic is working to make a seven man passenger space ship - and they are not using Apollo technology.
    Now, that said, to make the Mars Direct project viable it will need heavy boosters. Those designs are on the books - Enregia from Russia, the Ares next generation booster for NASA. There may be more. I can also see some place like Brazil deciding to get into the business too.     And India and China both have the potential for such a project.

    In terms of delta-V (the amount of velocity you have to change) it is actually farther to the Moon's surface, than to Mars, by about a third. Going to Mars via the moon is like flying from LA to Hawaii by way of Sacramento, Mexico. Not only is it out of your way, but from what I can tell, you'll probably have to haul your fuel with you, as there doesn't seem to be an airport.
    Zubrin figures two launches a year: the first one with the on site fuel and Oxygen plant, with the Earth Return Vehicle, the second with the Habitat and exploration vehicles.
    Yeah, I'm pumped for the Mar Direct program. Yes, it will cost a lot of money. Even for the Feds, 20 billion is not insignificant. (Or it used to not be, but ... ) it can be done. - pyotr filipivich We will drink no whiskey before its nine. It's eight fifty eight. Close enough!
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$20B??
Nobama blew more than that in his first 6 months in office just on vote- buying schemes!
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rec.crafts.metalworking the following:

    Which tells you where we can hide the money. Just put it in "Extraordinary Community Organizing" and the Progressives will never question it. - pyotr filipivich We will drink no whiskey before its nine. It's eight fifty eight. Close enough!
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or about Tue, 06 Apr 2010 19:45:55 -0500 did write/type or cause to appear in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:

    We do have the capacity. Shuttle B, Ares (the next heavy booster) - not impossible. What we are losing is the human capital. Not just the engineering geeks who did Apollo, or the Shuttle, but those who wanted to see it happen. And, sad to say, the Obamacare bill means there will be no money for any such projects. The progressives are killing the dreams for the future.

    Zubrin figures he can put four people on Mars with 180 days travel time, have them work on the planet for 550 days and then return for another 180 days. Yeah it is a long assignment. So???     The Hab they worked out at about 1083 sq ft - about the size of a double wide. "Cozy" but not impossible. And remember, these are guys - give them a room and an Internet hookup, they'll be fine. B-) Coming back, they'll be reviewing the data they collected. And making plans.     To use another old saying "The world was explored by iron men and wooden ships." Now we have iron ships and wooden men.

    There's a difference between traveling to the Moon, where you have to haul everything, and going to Mars. Which does have exploitable resources. - pyotr filipivich We will drink no whiskey before its nine. It's eight fifty eight. Close enough!
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Remember they had IBM and DEC computers for some of it. Slide rule was the fast track but reams of numbers can be generated overnight to be used the next day.
Martin - knows something of the Sky Lab Nav-Comm bay... :-)
Wes wrote:

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That capability was available if needed. There were Frieden calculators, Kurta calculators, and FORTRAN became commercially available in 1957.
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Don Foreman wrote:

I beg to argue, Don.
Even through the late 1960s, the term "computer" referred to a woman who operated an "adding machine". Even at NASA.
And - even I had a handy dandy slide rule. Mine is a Decilon 8 inch. I still have it and can still do (simple!) manipulations on it.
But FORTRAN, while in the universities before late 60s, was not widely used until much later. NASA was mainly doing "machine" (not even Assembly!).
Heck, I know a guy who almost invented time sharing Visicalc - but his boss though real computer time was to valuable for any such silliness!
At least that's the way I remember it...
--

Richard Lamb
http://www.home.earthlink.net/~cavelamb /
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I was really in to computers back then. After getting extremely good with fortran, I moved on to a new subject area at that time, industrial simulation with a program called GPSS. Just a bunch of fortran programs really. Anyway, I had this huge model of an auto assembly line and got computer time at 0300 to myself. On the way there, I dropped my monster box of keypunch cards in the wind and mud and lost them all. Took days to repunch all those cards. Shortly after, I decided "to heck with this graduate degree B.S." and got a real job.
Karl
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Karl Townsend wrote:

Oh Karl! Don'cha hate when that happens!
--

Richard Lamb
http://www.home.earthlink.net/~cavelamb /
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On 3/29/2010 2:09 AM, cavelamb wrote:

Much of the design was done with the aid of real computers- analog. The moon landing simulator was 3 EAI 7800 consoles.
Kevin Gallimore
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wrote:

Your memory is faulty. <grin>
In '64 the tiny college in Kingsville, TX, was using an IBM 1620 (with an "astounding" 40K BITS of magnetic core storage) to not only keep the student records and the financial records of the institution but was providing the Celenese plant at Bishop, TX, with accounting services.
This was in addition to teaching students to program the machine in machine code, assembly language, Fortran, Fortran With Format, Fortran II, and FORGO (a compile-and-go variant of Fortran).
The "Business Schools" of the '66-'70 period often offered Fortran IV and COBOL programming "degrees" to their "students". Cobol, BTW, had already become the standard for business applications.
I signed on with the City of Houston as a beginning programmer in early '68 and envied the salaries of those at NASA in Clear Lake. (After all, 50% differential is significant.) While there was some assembler work being done (at both sites) the bulk of the activity was in COBOL with some FORTRAN activity remaining. (Most of the really cute code was already in production by then.)
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RAM wrote:

I was referring to NASA, but ok, won't make a federal case out of it.
But the NASA stuff - oh boy - orbital rendezvous, burn times and attitudes, mission stuff - once that was pretty much debugged, it became holy code.
You know that once someone got a program running it would be used forever. (witness the Y2K scare in commercial circles)
So while the new kids came in with their fancy new languages, the old geezers who wrote the original stuff kept right on banging bits together.
And if we go back to the early missions like Mercury... Rock for zero, stick for one...
--

Richard Lamb
http://www.home.earthlink.net/~cavelamb /
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wrote:

<chuckling>
Some code that I wrote in the '60s is still in production. <grin>

As an old "bit banger", myself, I learned early on to appreciate the use of assemblers/compilers as, quite simply, a faster way to handle a lot of the "housekeeping".
One nice feature of several companies' compilers was the ability to start out with an "envelope" using one language, shift into another one, pop back into the "envelope" and, then, shift into yet another one before going back to the original *all while doing in-line code*. These "hybrids" enabled functionality that, otherwise, would have proven exceptionally difficult if not impossible. [Yah, I wound up doing a lot of "unique" code over the years. <grin>]

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Every bit of code I wrote left production in 2001 on the administrative end. Some of that Clipper code was over 10 years old but was doing the job. It took a bankrupcy to kill that.
Now the Karel stuff (GMF robotics) lasted a bit longer but is surely dead by now. The robot cells were sold to other vendors and continued to run product for GM for a few years until model changeovers make them obsolete.
I suspect some St Lawrence 500 ton and 600 ton forming presses are still running my Allen Bradley SLC500 ladder code. Maybe the new owners wrote their own. I'm sure they didn't put the 26+ control relays and 6 or so cycleflex counter times back in to replace my upgrade. I *hated* changing how a relay logic forming press operated. That was never fun at all.
Seldom something that is working gets ripped out and replaced. Even wart covered crap. ( I didn't write any of that stuff but those that know, know what I mean.)
Wes
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wrote:

I'll defer to you about what NASA was doing. FORTRAN was definitely being used in universities in the early 60's, and at Honeywell Aerospace in the mid-60's. My intro, about 1967, was total immersion. My boss gave me an assignment that required writing a program to reduce some gyro test data. I told him I didn't know diddly squat about computers, I was not the guy for this assignment. I was quite happy with my slipstick. (Post Versalog, still have it) He said, "it's your assignment, we need it by end of day Friday." That was on Wednesday. I'll bet this guy was one hell of a swimming instructor. I found a book: McCracken, Daniel D. (1966), A Guide to Fortran IV Programming (1 ed.). Someone introduced me to a timeshare terminal (ASR-33 teletype) and showed me how to log on. I hurt my head for two days with not much sleep, got 'er done. The gyro data got reduced correctly and the project got caught up shortly thereafter because they could analyze a test run in minutes instead of hours.
I was intimidated by computers before that, but not afterwards. I'd been using FORTRAN for a while before I got my first engineering calculator, a used HP-35 for $150 when a decent house in a good neighborhood could be bought for $30K.
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That's a very enduring design, yes. I actually own a Beretta and love it. How does that .45 handle, is the recoil a little too much?
i
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The recoil is completely undramatic. With service loads, it's a little slower to get back on target than a full-size nine, but it doesn't feel heavy to me. I'm been shooting them for just under 40 years and they remain my favorite target pistol.
--
Ed Huntress



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On Sat, 27 Mar 2010 11:19:06 -0400, "Ed Huntress"

With hardball ammunition?
John B.
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