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2016-09-02
2016-09-01
  • I've been doing a lot of reworking of the descriptive material on the Block 1 AGC and DSKY.  The page formerly intended to be cover Block 1 assembly language has now been reorganized as a page for "all things Block 1".  I think this is important now that there is valid Block 1 code (Solarium), a Block 1  assembler, prospects for eventually obtaining the Block 1 Corona core rope, and so on, and so have been moving Block 1 material from other pages (like the yaYUL page) onto the Block 1 page.  There is much more to come along those lines in future days.
  • There is now a Block 1 simulator at our GitHub repository, based on John Pultorak's design, and there's a lot more discussion of that on the Block 1 page and the Physical Implementations page than previously.  I don't claim that it works very well for the purpose of supplementing the Block 2 simulation at the present time, but it's something as opposed to nothing ... which is something.
2016-08-26
  • At least for a temporary trial, our web-pages at ibiblio.org are mirrored to github.  There's more explanation at the top of the FAQ page, if you're interested.
  • Fixed a number of broken hyperlinks and incorrect character encodings on the web-pages.
2016-08-24
Well, this has been an interesting day.  I expected to have one significant announcement today, and instead have two of them.  First,

The Apollo 6 CM AGC Block 1 code is now fully available in source and binary form, as well as syntax-highlighted, colorized form, and the assembler (yaYUL) has been updated to assemble Block 1 source code.

It is, unfortunately, unclear if the code can ever be run in the AGC simulator or not, but I'll think about it for a while before saying "no".

Second, and perhaps more importantly even though I haven't chosen to color it red, I was wrong in one very significant way about Francois Rautenbach's extractions of the rope-memory contents, and that is that it was not from Apollo 6 (Solarium 055) as I said, but rather is the Corona program from the AS-202 ("Apollo 3") mission, which we do not have already, and have no other prospects for acquiring.  Moreover, it is simply in the form of stored electrical waveforms rather than a file of numbers representing the values stored at various memory locations.  But perhaps it could be converted, and perhaps the Corona binary can be reverse-engineered back into the form of source code, which we will do if at all possible and present it here.  So stay tuned.
2016-08-23
  • A YouTube link to Francois Rautenbach's video of himself extracting the rope memory contents from the actual, physical Apollo 6 AGC (namely the binary for the program Solarium 055) has been added to on our Colossus page, under the Solarium 055 entry, naturally.  Of course, as I mentioned a couple of days ago, the full binary (derived from the assembly listing rather than from the physical ropes) is available at our GitHub repository.  It would be interesting to compare the contents of the two sometime, and if that happens, I'll let you know the results.
  • Began adding a Block 1 language manual, to complement the existing Block 2 language manual.  It's not very useful as of yet.
2016-08-22
  • The assembly language manual description of the CPU's L register has been changed slightly to reflect an updated understanding of its behavior, and the changes in the yaAGC simulated CPU's treatment of it which have lately been committed to our GitHub repository.  (Thanks to Mike Stewart.)
  • Because the tables of existing AGC software we have on the Colossus and Luminary pages have grown so huge and unwieldy, listing everything I've ever found out about every software version, I've added a very short summary table in front of each of them, listing simply the software versions we have in our possession right now.
2016-08-19
The discussion of CPU utilization in the Raspberry Pi build instructions has been updated to include the Pi 3, which has a much-lower utilization than the Pi B+, which was the only model previously discussed.
2016-08-18
A number of goofy hyperlinks fixed.
2016-08-17
  • Found a reference which actually lists most of the software version codes up to Apollo 11 inclusive, and therefore made minor changes to the corresponding missions on the Luminary and Colossus pages.  Most-significantly, it said that Solarium 055 was for Apollo 6 and Solarium 054 was for Apollo 4, which means that I have been in error for the last 7 years in saying that Solarium 055 was for Apollo 4.  This has entailed numerous website changes (I don't guarantee I've caught all of them yet), as well as in the source code for Solarium 055 on GitHub (and again, I don't guarantee I got them all).
  • Status of Solarium055:  The Solarium055 was originally made available as page images in 2009, then as source-code files and independently-generated binary files in 2010.  However, proofing of the source-code files and of the binary were never completed at that time, though the binary was proofed to the extent that all checksums ("bugger words") were correct.  As of today, a completely-proofed binary, Solarium055.binsource, is in the GitHub repository; it is actually identical to the 2010 binary, in the sense no octal values needed to be corrected, but can now be regarded as "correct".  The next step is to add the capability of assembling Block I assembly-language source-code to yaYUL, but that has barely been started.
  • Descriptive material about the interpretation of card-column #1 in the original AGC assembly language, and the facilities provided by YUL or GAP for formatting the assembly listing, have been supplied by Hugh Blair-Smith.
  • This change log now has the ability to hide or view the notes from any given year.  The default is to view the current year, but hide all the others.  Opening or closing them is a javascript feature, so I guess if you don't have javascript enabled, you're out of luck viewing previous years.  On the other hand, both this feature and the Google Search bar updated yesterday are both completely self-contained (i.e., they don't load additional files of javascript), so it's a pretty safe feature!
2016-08-16
  • A somewhat-whimsical description of the AGC software naming convention that was apparently edited out of Hugh Blair-Smith's book has been added to the "kindler, simpler introduction".
  • Added a description of the AURORA software to the Luminary page, because I'm starting to become optimistic that we might be able to actually get a copy of it, perhaps even in the near future.  But don't hold your breath.
  • Apparently, the custom search bar hasn't been working, perhaps in a long time!  Well, it does now, at least in Chrome and SeaMonkey.
  • Updated more out-of-date Google Code links to GitHub links.
  • Fixed various out-of-date projects for which help was requested on the volunteering page.
2016-08-15
2016-08-14
The Apollo 8 CM AGC code is now fully available in source and binary form, is provided by the development snapshot and installer programs, and can be run in the simulation using the VirtualAGC GUI.
  • (The Apollo 8 CM source code (Colossus 237) has been available on this site for a number of years, but only as page images, and was never fully proofed and corrected prior to now.) 
  • Bruno Muller has constructed a physical DSKY for yaAGC/NASSP, and I've added a link on the Physical Implementations page to the charming YouTube video he made of it.
2016-08-13
The download page now has Raspberry Pi pre-built binaries on it, as well as installation instructions and build instructions for Raspberry Pi, contributed by Laszlo Morocz and Scott Sumner.  Thanks, Laszlo and Scott!
2016-08-07
The download page has been updated so that it now provides not only the old Linux installer (which is known not to work with some newer Linux versions like Linux Mint 17.3 and Ubuntu 14.04), but also a newer installer, specifically built for Linux Mint 17.3, and therefore hopefully working for Ubuntu 14.04 or later as well.  Sadly, I'm not set up to test it as thoroughly as I used to be on every platform under the sun!  There are also updated build-instructions.  The code reflects corresponding updates to the GitHub repository.
2016-07-31
Well ... anyone who has looked at this will notice that this website hasn't been updated in 4 years!  The updates today are more to see if I still can update the site after all this time, rather than anything substantive.  Perhaps more will follow.  I apologize to everyone who has sent me to-do's in the meantime.  They haven't been forgotten, merely neglected, if that's of any consolation to anybody.  Today's changes are simply:
  • Updates to the Gemini page which I made back in 2012 and never got around to posting.  Unfortunately, I no longer know quite how to summarize what those changes were.
  • On the download page, the Google Code source-code repository, which no longer exists except in archival form, has been replaced by our current GitHub repository.
  • On the FAQ page, Hugh Blair-Smith's book, Left Brains for the Right Stuff, now gets the well-deserved recommendation it should have had when Hugh brought the book to my attention before Christmas last year.  Sorry, Hugh!
  • There's also mention there now of Chris Garry's GitHub repository, which has been getting a lot of attention lately.

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Last modified by Ronald Burkey

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