The Moon Landing Was Not Ray Traced

Source: The Inquirer The Moon Landing Was Not Ray Traced

At 2.048Mhz It Would Take A Long Time

The old trope that Apollo 11 made it to the moon using a computer less powerful than your cellphone is one of those rare cases where the story is true.  The main processor ran at a mere 2.048Mhz with 15-bit RAM and a magnetic core which could store 2048 words entered numerically with the DSKY interface.  There was also some ROM which held 36,384 words and was programmed before launch, to whuch no updates could be done.

That would not be anywhere near enough to play NVIDIA’s remastered and ray traced video, though thankfully the cameras were quite capable of capturing the spectacle.  If you are curious about what was on the core-rope memory, The Inquirer posted a link to the source code, in its entirety, in this recent post commemorating one of humanity’s greatest accomplishments.

The first thing to say is that, yes, the facts are true, the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) was indeed less powerful than a mobile. In fact, it has about the same compute power as an Apple II, which would go on sale in 1977 for a cool $1298, boasting just 4KB of RAM.

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About The Author

Jeremy Hellstrom

Call it,, or PC Perspective, Jeremy has been hanging out and then working with the gang here for years. Apart from the front page you might find him on the BOINC Forums or possibly the Fraggin' Frogs if he has the time.

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