Mind of the Creator

Now that Voyager 1 has conveniently passed the region of space where the aliens observing us are parked, it is back to sending a full complement of measurements. It first stopped streaming data in November, but by March they determined what was wrong. Since then, they have gradually brought each of four science instruments back online.

It’s fascinating to imagine the engineers working on diagnosis and recovery from the memory failure. Having to build a mental model of the system, built by someone else. It has brought back memories of reading through the 6502 code Steve Wozniack wrote for driving the Disk II from the CPU. I had to reverse engineer this as a 13-yr-old learning to copy Apple II games that didn’t want to be copied. Understanding it all was beyond my abilities, but I felt very close. There were many incremental insights into how it all flowed, granting me enough understanding to experiment and hack around. Each improvement in my understanding of the system felt like a step into the mind of its creator.

When I think back to that time I remember Woz like someone I knew, as if he was one of my teachers.

I posted this in June 2024 during week 2624.

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