The Ultimate Apollo Guidance Computer Talk

Paul Koning paulkoning at
Tue Sep 18 12:37:42 CDT 2018

> On Sep 18, 2018, at 1:28 PM, Liam Proven via cctalk <cctalk at> wrote:
> Amazingly detailed 1hr talk about the Apollo Guidance Computer. It's
> stunning how much they got into mid-1960s technology: 1 MHz hand-made
> processor, 1 k of RAM, 4 k of ROM, and bank-switching, with a
> fault-tolerant multitasking OS with an interpreted metalanguage.
> Absolutely stunning.

Yes.  But it's actually 12 k of ROM if I remember right, and that was expanded further later on.

Another nice example of a large program on a small computer is the original ALGOL compiler, written by Dijkstra and Zonneveld in 1961, in about 6 months.  It implements the full language -- not a subset -- on a 4k machine.

Gauthier van den Hove wrote a Ph.D. thesis about it, I believe that will be published soon.  Very nice work.


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