Female accomplishments are too often overlooked in our history books, but this photo looks to change that by celebrating one of history's coolest ladies.
Margaret Hamilton was the lead software engineer for NASA's Project Apollo and created the code that let Apollo 11 land on the moon. As this Medium article points out, “The engineers weren’t all boys with crewcuts, short sleeve oxford shirts, and narrow black ties. That’s just a fairy tale they told for a while.”
It’s not an exaggeration to say that Hamilton was directly responsible for some of NASA’s most impressive achievements. In 1971 she shared this story in an issue of Datamation about a tense moment in the Apollo 11 moon landing and how the software she designed was able to handle it:
Due to an error in the checklist manual, the rendezvous radar switch was placed in the wrong position. This caused it to send erroneous signals to the computer. The result was that the computer was being asked to perform all of its normal functions for landing while receiving an extra load of spurious data which used up 15% of its time. The computer (or rather the software in it) was smart enough to recognize that it was being asked to perform more tasks than it should be performing. It then sent out an alarm, which meant to the astronaut, I'm overloaded with more tasks than I should be doing at this time and I'm going to keep only the more important tasks; i.e., the ones needed for landing ... Actually, the computer was programmed to do more than recognize error conditions. A complete set of recovery programs was incorporated into the software. The software's action, in this case, was to eliminate lower priority tasks and re-establish the more important ones ... If the computer hadn't recognized this problem and taken recovery action, I doubt if Apollo 11 would have been the successful moon landing it was.
You can read more about Hamilton on Wired and check out an interview with her over on Medium.
A clip from director Hugues Nancy’s “Paris 1900, the City of Lights,” featuring restored and colorized film footage from the fin de siècle. From C21Media: Thanks to incredible archives restored and fully colorized, this film presents a previously unseen journey through time and space. Discover, Paris in 1900 at the time of the Exposition Universelle […]
My latest Locus Magazine column is Jeannette Ng Was Right: John W. Campbell Was a Fascist, which revisits Jeannette Ng's Campbell Awards speech from this summer's World Science Fiction convention.
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Got some aches that a lazy rubdown won’t put a dent in? Give your muscles an early Christmas with these massage guns. If you’ve never tried one, they’re all designed to bring deep tissue relief, and they’re all at Black Friday prices now. JAWKU Muscle Blaster V2 Cordless Percussion Massage Gun This cordless massager exerts […]
Just about everybody from small-time app developers to big database administrators loves Linux. But just because it’s open-source doesn’t mean its secrets are open to everybody. For that, you need a comprehensive training program like the Complete Linux System Administrator Bundle. If you’re chasing any kind of career in coding, this is the online regimen […]
If you want to be an app developer for Android, there’s never been a better time. Languages like Kotlin are tailor-made for functionality, and the Jetpack suite of tools makes the whole process easier. The only hurdle is learning your way around these tools, and that’s where the Android Jetpack & App Development Certification Bundle […]