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The Apollo Guidance Computer: Architecture And Operation (Springer Praxis Books / Space Exploration)

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  86 ratings  ·  10 reviews
The technological marvel that facilitated the Apollo missions to the Moon was the on-board computer. In the 1960s most computers filled an entire room, but the spacecraft's computer was required to be compact and low power. Although people today find it difficult to accept that it was possible to control a spacecraft using such a 'primitive' computer, it nevertheless had c ...more
Paperback, 439 pages
Published July 1st 2010 by Praxis Publications Inc
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Torben Koch
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very exciting :)
Brian Page
Aug 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’ll begin with the obvious: The Apollo Guidance Computer: Architecture and Operation by Frank O’Brien is not an easy read. But for the reader who comes to this book properly prepared, it is wonderful. The detail is nearly mind-boggling and thus, by properly prepared, I believe that for a reader to fully appreciate the content, they ought to have a significant understanding of computer architecture and operating system design. The Apollo program in its entirety was an enormously, almost unimagin ...more
Peter Caron
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I guess I never considered the obvious fact that rockets can be steered! This is a tough read but I found it worth the effort. The development of the navigation computers was as much about creative problem solving as it was about technology so, there is relevance for such work even today.
Andy Cromer
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Frank O'Brien is a gifted engineer who introduces the Apollo Guidance Computer step by step or should I say register by register.

After the core knowledge of the processing system the book switches to an overview of the program sequence and basics to guidance and navigation of the Apollo spacecraft. Overall a great book about the Apollo missions.
Nikky
Jan 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: default
If you've read books like Digital Apollo and wanted more information about the hardware and software that went into the Apollo Guidance Computer, this is the book for you. Thick with nuanced details about the inner workings of the AGC, you'll learn a lot about how a highly resilient and capable system was made in the late 1960s.

What you won't learn, however, is the design process or the writing of the software. It reads much like a technical manual for the AGC rather than a detailed history.
Greg Parrott
Jul 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Though at times very dry, and a bit surprising at the number of typos, this book is a must read for engineers of all types. Before there were very many integrated circuit chips floating around, NASA took a gamble on them to meet the size, weight, and power requirements for getting men to the moon and back. Even back in the 1960's, engineers were having to more with less. A situation we still find today when "COGs" is often waved around by the bean counters.
Matthew Wilson
Aug 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating look, from both a computer engineering and computer science perspective, at the details of the computer that made the moon missions possible. Amazing what the engineers came up with, both working within the constraints of the available technology while also pushing the boundary of technology.
Peter Joseph
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A towering master work on what, admittedly is a fairly niche subject but if you want the real details on the computers that played a vital role in putting humans on the moon then read this. This book is more of a computer science text than a general historical book however, so beware of this.
Neal Aggarwal
Sep 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic trip down memory lane.
Neal W
Nov 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Bit esoteric for my taste. While I enjoy a technical read this one went a bit far over my head. Later chapters more of what I hoped for but a little short on analysis
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