[time-nuts] metric / English

Robert Darlington rdarlington at gmail.com
Sun Dec 18 03:05:54 EST 2011

Up till three or so years ago the VLA (Very Large Array radio telescope)
was using a PDP 11/70.  Most of the workstations were Sun Ultra 1 systems
that were horribly outdated to a point where I had already sent mine to
land fill a few years before.   Now they have a spiffy Linux cluster on
modern hardware, but the old system was as old as me.


On Sat, Dec 17, 2011 at 6:44 PM, Jim Lux <jimlux at earthlink.net> wrote:

> On 12/17/11 9:14 AM, J. Forster wrote:
>> I suspect turret lathes are still used for shortish runs of some of the
>> simpler parts, like bushings and similar parts.
>> Not every shop looks like a NASA facility.
> Oddly, NASA facilities aren't necessarily the most modern or sophisticated.
> It takes an act of Congress to build a new building or make non-repair
> improvements.  My office and lab at JPL is in an 3600 square meter 2 story
> semi-temporary building (161) built in 1954 (before NASA even existed). The
> frequency and timing lab is in building 298, an 1800 square meter building
> built in and was built in the 70s. Our big highbay spacecraft assembly
> building was built in 1961. (To be fair, there is a general plan to
> demolish a bunch of small buildings and replace them with larger buildings
> sometime in 2020-2030 time frame, if Congress approves).  Much of the
> infrastructure at Johnson Spaceflight Center (and KSC, as well) was built
> for Apollo and followons in the 60s and early 70s
> We don't depreciate equipment, it's bought with capital expenditure or
> project funds, and then we pay for maintenance and calibration. A big
> project might buy a whole bunch of some piece of gear (e.g. HP8663A) which
> we will then use for the next 20-30 years (I just counted about 30 HP8663As
> in inventory.).  I think we bought a whole pile of those 8663s in
> connection with upgrades for Voyager or maybe Cassini.
> As a result, we tend to keep gear forever..
> Students coming on interviews are always amazed (and not necessarily in a
> good way).
> At least we've moved beyond slotted lines for the most part.
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