Things Haven't Gotten Any Easier

Reading John D. Clark’s classic volume on rocket propellent research, Ignition! [1] [2], I found the following interesting note.

Here he discusses the difficulties they faced in the 60’s and 70’s getting their expensive computers to do what they wanted.

Predating robotics and the GoPiGo by decades, his comments still ring true!



  2. This, along with Max Gergel’s memoir, Excuse me sir, would you like to buy a kilo of isopropyl bromide?, (
    is an excellent read if you have any interest in the history of chemical research in the mid to late 20th century.


I love this term - have never seen it before.

I only did a little FORTRAN in a class I took. But I guess enough stuck that I never understood why people thought Python was too fussy with using spacing as a feature of the language. :slight_smile:

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John D. Clark has the distinction of not only being a Ph.D. rocket chemist of no small repute; he has the additional distinction of being a science fiction writer and, (as noted by no less a luminary than Isaac Asimov himself), was one of the first SF writers who actually put hard science into his fiction.