During the slow news week that marks the calm before the storm of the upcoming September 21st announcement of a slew of new devices, we turn to a recent report from OSX Daily concerning another big news item- the Mars Curiosity Rover.
The proliferation of Macs in the hands of NASA engineers was already a point of discussion, but the use of Apple computers goes even further. The Curiosity Lander is apparently a PowerMac G3 at heart- ExtremeTech went so far as to label it an “Apple Airport Extreme with wheels”. The system is running a PowerPC 750 CPU operating at 200 MHz, 256 MB RAM, 2 GB of flash hard drive, and a custom VxWorks operating system to control the PC, as well as cameras and other peripherals.
It’s astounding that NASA is able to get so much performance from technology the everyday user would consider so out of date. Bear in mind, compared to the technology used to get the Apollo 11 mission to the moon the PowerMac G3 is a titan of computing muscle. So here’s a tip of the hat to the good folks at Apple- on top of the world in more was than one!