The Big Think

April 25, 2005

Almost Famous

Filed under: Space — jasony @ 2:53 pm

I’m a home automation geek. Someday I’ll have to post a description of my setup. I use Xtension software running on an old G3 Mac (runs just fine, thanks). I think the total uptime was something like 400+ days until I had a mysterious lockup… and this is on the “old” OS 9! Reliable as Christmas.

Anyway, the guy who writes and maintains the software, the esteemed Michael Ferguson, cut his teeth in the opening days of the shuttle program. He left Nasa several years ago, but just recently got hired back because he’s one of the few grey-hairs around who still knows the old equipment and code! Just goes to show you how the concept of “outdated” can sometimes work in your favor.

He recently announced his new employment to the Xtension user’s group list. In a description of his job, he dropped this little nugget:

I was the guy who scrubbed the first launch back in ’81 with over
a million spectators on the island…later as I saw the newsreels about the
traffic jam, I guessed that I wouldn’t have been very popular that day.
But it had about as much affect on me as a skeeter bite in July…

How cool! So good luck to Michael. If his part of the puzzle runs as well has his home automation software, we should be back on the moon in no time. Clear skies.

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