October 31, 2015

A Want Ad: If Fortran is Your Thing, Your Time is Now

One of Dr. Pournelle's correspondent's passed this along. 

Voyager needs a programmer

Dear Dr. Pournelle, 
Perhaps someone in your reading audience would like to take up the challenge. It seems the current engineer for Voyager 1/2 is retiring.  
http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/a17991/voyager-1-voyager-2-retiring-engineer/
So they need someone who is greatly skilled with Fortran and Assembly languages to step in and keep the probe running.    This is old-school programming at its finest; there are only 64kb of memory to work with, and this will be real-time programming , I suspect, with hard constraints. 
I’m a little disappointed. Voyager is the reason I got into computers in the first place, but now after years of writing database and object-oriented programs I don’t have anywhere near the experience required to do this kind of work. I’d be willing to learn ..  but I suspect "willing’ isn’t enough.   "Willing” doesn’t instantly make you an expert in real time software. 
Respectfully,

Brian

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 04:33 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
Post contains 165 words, total size 2 kb.

1 Hey, I know Fortran ... but not the real-time assembly stuff. Darn. :/

I'm too used to having "effectively infinite" memory.

Posted by: MadrocketSci at Sun Nov 1 09:59:38 2015 (GtPd7)

2 I worked with Fortran 77 and assembly on a 64 KB, and I think I could pick up the maintenance of that code base. But I don't think the government would pay me enough to offset a dead-end job in the twilight of my career. It is even more imperative for me to track the bleeding edge than it was ever before. Besides, who the heck cares? Voyagers are far outside of the Solar system by now.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Mon Nov 2 19:17:26 2015 (XOPVE)

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