“When programmers at the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory set out to develop the flight software for the Apollo 11 space program in the mid-1960s, the necessary technology did not exist. They had to invent it,” according to Quartz.
“They came up with a new way to store computer programs, called ‘rope memory,’ and created a special version of the assembly programming language. Assembly itself is obscure to many of today’s programmers—it’s very difficult to read, intended to be easily understood by computers, not humans. For the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC), MIT programmers wrote thousands of lines of that esoteric code.
“Here’s a very 1960s data visualization of just how much code they wrote—this is Margaret Hamilton, director of software engineering for the project, standing next to a stack of paper containing the software (see photo).
“As enormous and successful as Burkey’s project has been, however, the code itself remained somewhat obscure to many of today’s software developers. That was until last Thursday (July 7), when former NASA intern Chris Garry uploaded the software in its entirety to GitHub, the code-sharing site where millions of programmers hang out these days.”
The rest of the article is here.