So Long Shuttle

Shuttle Atlantis Landing Final Flight

I’m still young enough to say the shuttle program is older than me, yet I’m old enough to say I’ve lived through the vast majority of it’s 30 year run. I suspect it will be many years before we’re able to create something of nearly that quality again.

There is a very reasonable chance that nobody of my generation will every enter earths orbit on a NASA spacecraft. By the time NASA gets funding, develops a program and gets to the point of manned flight, they may be too old. Kennedy in 1961 challenged the US to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. By 1969 they were strolling on the moon. That was the entire programs length. It’s unlikely that NASA’s current roadmap to Mars by the mid-2030’s won’t be modified/scrapped by a future president. Even 2015 to start construction of a new heavy-lift vehicle is somewhat unlikely.

An amazing program despite it’s failures. Hopefully at some point we’ll get a successor together. 30 years is a long time. Technology has come a long way. If applied correctly, space exploration could be light years ahead of where it is today.

Mork And Casey Anthony

Jamie Zawinski linked to a very interesting blog post about the forensics problem in the recent Casey Anthony trial. To summarize, she was using an older version of Firefox, which stores its history in a Mork DB. For those not familiar with Mozilla internals, Mork is (I’m quoting JWZ here):

…the single most braindamaged file format that I have ever seen in my nineteen year career”.

That bug was actually one of two times where I brushed with Mork, that time learning, and another time shortly afterwards where I learned first hand how impossible it really is to work with as part of a hack I was trying to build and later abandoned. Perhaps it was my experience at the time that just made it impossible, perhaps it really was Mork.

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