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Comment old school visualization (Score 5, Interesting) 68 68

Back in the day, working at an instrumentation company as a mechanical guy, I stopped to watch the senior electronic design engineer who was doing something that looked interesting. He had an old persistence-type storage oscilloscope hooked up to the rack-mount computer for a new instrument system and was watching the scope display, which was producing some fascinating patterns. Knowing f'all about this stuff but intrigued, I asked him to explain what was happening. He explained (and I'll butcher the explanation with layman's terms) that he was using d/a converters on the high and low bytes of the program address? to drive the x and y axes of the scope, and watching to see where, in the software, that the processor was spending much of it's time. He pointed to a hot spot on the scope display and said that this was where he would concentrate on optimizing his code. Fwiw, I thought that was pretty cool.

Comment Hubble Reentry skid ?! (Score 2, Insightful) 66 66

Check out this photo of parts for a Hubble Telescope Reentry Skid at http://cstcomposites.com/images/NASA.JPG . No doubt a brainchild of those greedy scheming curators at the Smithsonian. Sending it into the sun would be cool too, but pushing it into the ocean would be cheapest.

In these matters the only certainty is that there is nothing certain. -- Pliny the Elder

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