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Quando iniziai questo blog decisi di utilizzare Ipernity come servizio di hosting per le immagini: l'interfaccia era gradevole, il servizio gratuito e chiunque poteva scaricare le immagini nel formato che più gli piaceva. Nell'aprile del 2013 le condizioni di servizio sono cambiate all'improvviso e senza preavviso: nessuno può più scaricare immagini gratuitamente, neppure io. Il mio lavoro di anni è rimasto in possesso di Ipernity e le mie immagini sono ostaggio del loro sito: o pago o non posso né riprendermele né consentire ai visitatori di queste pagine di scaricarle. Sto, faticosamente, recuperando i file da fortunosi backup, facendo di nuovo le scansioni mancanti e sostituendo le immagini sui post; piano, piano tutto sarà sul mio Google Drive e di nuovo liberamente scaricabile.
Meditate, gente.

mercoledì 9 gennaio 2013

HP-65 (1975)

The American astronauts calculated critical course-correction maneuvers on their HP-65 programmable hand-held during the rendezvous of the U.S. and Russian spacecraft.
Twenty-four minutes before the rendezvous in space, when the Apollo and Soyuz were 12 miles apart, the American astronauts corrected their course to place their spacecraft into the same orbit as the Russian craft. Twelve minutes later, they made a second positioning maneuver just prior to braking, and coasted in to linkup.
In both cases, the Apollo astronauts made the course-correction calculations on their HP-65. Had the on-board computer failed, the spacecraft not being in communication with ground stations at the time, the HP-65 would have been the only way to make all the critical calculations. Using complex programs of nearly 1000 steps written by NASA scientists and pre-recorded on magnetic program cards, the astronauts made the calculations automatically, quickly, and with ten-digit accuracy.
The HP-65 also served as a backup for Apollo’s on-board computer for two earlier maneuvers. Its answers provided a confidence-boosting double- check on the coelliptic (85 mile) maneuver, and the terminal phase initiation (22 mile) maneuver, which placed Apollo on an intercept trajectory with the Russian craft.
Periodically throughout their joint mission, the Apollo astronauts also used the HP-65 to calculate  how to point a high-gain antenna precisely at an orbiting satellite to assure the best possible ground communications.
The first fully programmable hand-held calculator, the HP-65 automatically steps through lengthy or repetitive calculations. This advanced instrument relieves the user of the need to remember and execute the correct sequence of keystrokes, using programs recorded 100 steps at a time on tiny magnetic cards.
Each program consists of any combination ofthe calculator’s 51 key-stroke functions with branching, logical comparison, and conditional skip instructions.
The HP-65 is priced at $795*. See it, and the rest of the HP family of professional hand-helds at quality department stores or campus bookstores. Call 800-538-7922 [in California, 800-662-9862] for the name of the retailer nearest you.

*Domestic USA prices only.

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