May 2012 Archives

extreme Programmers

If you ever wanted to consider some bad@$$ programmers consider the developers that wrote the software for the apollo guidance computer.

I recently found a claim that my new favorite microcontroller is faster than the Apollo computers.

It turns out they are not lying. The arduino runs at 8 or 16 MHZ, which is faster than apollo's 2.048 MHZ.

However I got to thinking, what are the differences between the two?

arduino_uno.jpgapollo_guidance_computer.jpg

Arduino VS Apollo Guidance Computer
RAM:
2K vs 4K
ROM:(flash on Arduino)
32K vs 72K
PROCESSOR:
16MHZ vs 2MHZ

The Arduino is only better in the speed department than the apollo computers. The Arduino falls short in both RAM and ROM by about 1/2 the capacity of the Apollo computers.

However I did not compare the BEST arduino's available on the market.

It would scare the pants off of me to try to build a guidance computer with this little processing power. I frequently run out of RAM when reading GPS coordinates, or trying to build a little robot that doesn't run into walls that has a single sensor. The apollo engineers are people who deserve our respect. Landing on the moon was no small task.

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