Well, I wasn't going to mention it but now that I see Armageddon in the mix, I loved Space Cowboys. A great cast, Clint Eastwood plays a retired engineer that is the only one who can repair an archaic computer onboard a Soviet satellite (hey, what is American technology doing onboard a Soviet satellite – the plot thickens...) along with Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland and James Garner, all retired test pilots that train to go on the shuttle as part of a deal Clint makes with his old nemesis at NASA. A comedy drama with a few sub plots that add interest, it may not get very technical but it is an enjoyable watch.
Yes that is amazing. I would assume there was mainframe help in the Houston facility. Technology has advanced incredibly since the 1960s, Even so, our most impressive technological feat -- getting to the moon -- occurred with technology that looks relatively primitive now.
Rob: What's equally amazing about the 1960s space missions was the incredible lack of computing power. In retrospect, it's amazing to think that the engineering teams back then would have been ecstatic to have 286-level computing capability on board.
You're right, Chuck. The whole point of that movie was the engineering problem and solution. What I found fascinating about Apollo 13 was the bubble gum and scotch tape aspects to the original engineering as well as the solution. By today's standards, the early spacecrafts were made out of household items.
Rob: Everyone has their favorite engineering movies, but I agree with you about Apollo 13. That movie is one of the rare few that actually IS about engineering. And it shows the engineers as the heroes.
Some good ones brought up. worthy mention- though over-simplisitc goes to "The Arrow"; "The Dambusters" had some good background onn the early parts of the story. Goodyear released a great fifty minute film on airships, nowadays re titled "The Zeppelin" with a new and much poorer commentary. "Ocotber Sky" and "The world's fastest Indian" are probably the ones to beat, but relating to the latter's subject, "Bluebirds" should get an honourable mention. I hope to see a film from "Raising the Kursk", since that's the best book I've seen covering an engineering project of manageable proportions.
At the Design News webinar on June 27, learn all about aluminum extrusion: designing the right shape so it costs the least, is simplest to manufacture, and best fits the application's structural requirements.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.