New video recorded during the return of NASA’s Orion through Earth’s atmosphere this month provides a taste of the intense conditions the spacecraft and the astronauts it carries will endure when they return from deep space destinations on the journey to Mars.
NASA is quietly, but openly, talking about going to Mars. It means I will be over 60 years old when they finally do it. But I will be there to watch the launch, and will be cheering and crying when they land on Mars. My parents saw the first man walking on the moon, via TV, and barely understood what they say. We *will* understand what we'll see. We will.
I checked that in vol. 3 of the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary, my proudest material possession. You are right. Up to at least the 1850s, as supported by the extensive corpus of citations in the OED, "computer" meant "a person performing computations". The first solidly documented occurrence of the word as "machine performing computations" is from 1897; from 1915 on, the word is only found in this sense, i.e. the sense of "person performing computations" has then fully disappeared, in a period of only 18 years.
Interesting. You made me discover something I did not know. Thanks.
"Computer", actually, has the meaning: "Machine that performs computations". In that sense, this contraption truly is a computer. It probably only has a memory size of only a few bytes, in modern terms, and can only do a few FLopS also. Yet, it is a computer, in all senses of the word.
Funny. I always thought of Michelson as of one of the two guys involved in the "failed" mirror experiments that allowed A. Einstein to come up with the theory of Special Relativity. Not so, it turns out now: the guy was an accomplished engineer. How great.