Originally Posted by mgeoffriau
Anyone ever noticed what color #fabbbb
I'm afraid I don't understand the significance. It's sort of pinkish. (Salmon?)
Aside from being a large hexidecimal number, what hidden meaning does fabbbb have?
Originally Posted by samnavy
I google'd the **** out of "Maude" as it pertains to computers and came up with nothing... enlighten please.
It doesn't pertain to computers. The phrase "And then there's Maude" is from the opening theme to the TV show "Maude"
, which was a spin-off from "All in the Family,"
focusing on the character of Maude, who in the original show was the cousin of Archie Bunker's wife, Edith.
If I estimate correctly, the show would have been nearing the end of its run in original syndication on CBS shortly after you were born. (You're mid-30s-ish same as me, right?)
AND NOW, because this is the Random Pictures, thread, it is time for some HARD-CORE NERD ****
There was a movie made in 2000 called "The Dish," which is a highly fictionalized account of the role played by the 64 meter Parkes Observatory Radiotelescope (in New South Wales, Australia) as a prime receiving station during the Apollo missions, and the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing in particular. (It was one of only two radiotelescopes in the southern hemisphere capable of receiving the relatively high-bandwidth television transmissions sent back from the Eagle lunar module. If you have ever seen the historic video footage of Neil Armstrong stepping off the lander and onto the moon, that signal was received at Parkes.)
Honestly, it's not nearly as dull as it sounds, though admittedly it is probably of particular interest only to space-history buffs.
Anyway, most of the film takes place inside the Parkes facility itself. In one scene, a junior engineer at the facility is making a rather ham-fisted attempt at wooing a local girl who has come to deliver sandwiches to the facility from a restaurant in town. He is describing the whole process of how the station works, and at one point (apparently grasping the concept that space is *REALLY* big, and the antenna's receiving window is *REALLY* narrow) asks "But how do you know where Apollo 11 is?"
To this, the fellow proudly responds "Computer. 20 seconds it does what took me five hours with a slide rule."
At this point, the camera pans over to show a computer. (Remember, in 1969, having a computer was a big deal.)
Here's a screencap from the movie:
Now, when I saw that scene, I remember thinking to myself "Huh, an original PDP. Is that a LINC? Nah, wrong color. Probably a 9. Cool that they dug one up for the film."
And then I forgot about it.
Recently, I happened to be reading an article about the actual Parkes facility during that time. In one section, Jasper Wall, a then-PhD student engaged in research at Parkes at the time, recalls:
"The occultation trace was made by Dave Cooke and myself. We noticed how the chart record produced this superb pattern as we tracked the spacecraft's disappearance behind the moon and its reappearance. We'd just got the PDP-9 computer system up and running and were working hard on making it sample so that we could record and analyse survey data on-line. But it was in a primitive state. We could make it sample, but not display what it was sampling. Thus for the next occultation, we set up to record it by sampling the receiver output (a novel concept) and hammering it all on to punch tape. With no display, we then had to read back hundreds of meters of punch tape, looking at numbers to find where the occultation was ... took us hours I remember, and the punch tape dripped from the control room down the gap in the stairs to the ground floor, where it piled up..."
Wait, what? Did he say PDP-9?
So I go and look up an image of an actual DEC PDP-9 computer, this one at the Monash University School of Computer Science and Software Engineering Museum and Archives:
Compare this to the image above.
Holy *****. Not only did I guess right, but it turns out that the makers of the film actually went to the trouble to figure out what type of computer Parkes was equipped with in 1969, and rather than building a prop, track down an actual, WORKING unit of the same type.
In fact, you are looking at precisely the same machine in both pictures. Not the same type, but the actual same computer. It was loaned to the film company by the university.
This specific computer actually had a rather interesting life, and it exemplifies the kind of build quality that was typical of DEC back then. This machine, which is serial number 248 (of around 450), was originally delivered to La Trobe University in Melbourne, AU in 1967. Two years later, a storm caused the computer room at La Trobe (located in the basement of the engineering building) to flood with muddy water to a depth of 18 inches above the floor. After the water receded and the basement was pumped out, technicians opened up the computer, hosed out its innards (literally, with a hose), waited for it to dry, and then turned the power back on.
The machine worked just fine.
For those who care, view a copy of DEC's extraordinarily
comprehensive marketing literature for the PDP-9 here: http://www.videointerchange.com/PDF/...Nov%201967.pdf