Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 27th Sep 2010 16:55 UTC
Geek stuff, sci-fi... "Watch a Nasa shuttle burning a path into space or a video of Saturn's rings taken by the Cassini satellite and it's hard not to marvel at man's technological prowess. But the surprising truth is that space exploration is built on IT which lags many years behind that found in today's consumer gadgets and corporate PCs. To this day, Nasa still uses elements of technology that powered the moon landings of the 1960s and 1970s, while the International Space Station - the manned station circling the Earth 250 miles above our heads - relies on processors dating back more than two decades."
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RE[2]: Comment by cb88
by DigitalAxis on Mon 27th Sep 2010 21:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by cb88"
DigitalAxis
Member since:
2005-08-28

This, and it also demonstrates the generational effects of computing... I'm in the sciences and MANY of our programs are written in FORTRAN-77 (and many of the professors only know FORTRAN-77, and possibly RSI IDL) simply because FORTRAN-77 was far and away the most useful language for computational science back when computers became massively available to scientists (much in the way COBOL attracted the business community).

Times have changed and languages have improved, but FORTRAN-77 continues to be used because that's what people know, and as we're in a business where your answers matter more than the programming language you used, there's not much incentive to retrain everyone to use C/C++/Java/Python/IDL/etc. The fact that GCC deprecated its G77 compiler has caused a bit of grief, though... That and I have a hard time because I don't know FORTRAN-77.

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