NASA Deep Space Network

1 minute read.
View of the Canberra Complex showing the 70m (230 ft.) antenna and the 34m (110 ft.) antennas. The Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex, located outside Canberra, Australia, is one of the three complexes which comprise NASA’s Deep Space Network. Credit: Nasa

The Deep Space Network, or DSN, is much more than a collection of big antennas. It is a powerful system for commanding, tracking and monitoring the health and safety of spacecraft at many distant planetary locales. About – Deep Space Network

Voyager 2 fun facts:

  • Data rates upto 115.2 kilobits at Jupiter.
  • I huge 64 kilobytes of tape backed storage, and 70 kilobytes program memory.
  • Built in 1970s – expected to keep transmitting to 2025 (The RTG is now degrading).
  • Software built on Fortran and COBOL.
  • In flight software updates made in 1990.

Links
What Is the Oldest Computer Program Still in Use?
Why NASA Needs a Programmer Fluent In 60-Year-Old Languages
Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG)
Wiki: NASA Deep Space Network
Wiki: Voyager 2
See current activities on DSN.

The Six Goals of Every Programming Project

1 minute read.

The list:

  1. The end user got what they needed, or what they wanted.
  2. The end user was able to easily make use of what you made.
  3. The quality, performance, security or other attributes of what you made were acceptable to the end user.
  4. You utilized a reasonable amount of resources in building it.
  5. You completed the work in a reasonable amount of time.
  6. The work was built to be maintained or updated or expanded.

http://thecodist.com/article/the-six-goals-of-every-programming-project

The little-known iPhone feature that lets blind people see with their fingers.

1 minute read.

A few years ago, backstage at a conference, I spotted a blind woman using her phone. The phone was speaking everything her finger touched on the screen, allowing her to tear through her apps. My jaw hit the floor. After years of practice, she had cranked the voice’s speed so high, I couldn’t understand a word it was saying.

And here’s the kicker: She could do all of this with the screen turned off. Her phone’s battery lasted forever.

The little-known iPhone feature that lets blind people see with their fingers

Apple Accessibility