Wednesday, June 3, 2015

25 Year Old Hubble Telescope Shows That Old Tech Isn't Bad Tech

The Hubble Telescope recently celebrated its 25th anniversary.  During that time, it's completely changed our understanding of the universe and, with the latest camera upgrade, it's better than ever and taking great photos.

The Chicago Tribune had an article on this and mentioned how the Hubble "was conceived in the 1940s, designed in the 1970s and 1980s" and it still has old computer hardware from that time.

I'm not surprised that the 1980s computer hardware still functions very well because, in those days, they used simple and robust designs based on unix.

Today's computers and software are much more complex, but not necessarily any better.  A lot of the complexity, storage, and space is taken up because of the graphical user interface (GUI) and object-oriented, inefficient programming.

In the old days, programmers were better engineers, and they used simple, elegant command line commands.  Today, hardware and memory are cheaper than programming talent, so software is bloated with large object libraries, so that mediocre programmers can just slap together modules.