'What's New' Issue 49: September 2012

Magdalena Getler | 06 September 2012

The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) and Digital Curation Centre (DCC) are delighted to announce a new issue of our joint newsletter ‘What’s New’.

In the September issue:

WHAT'S ON: Forthcoming events from September 2012 onwards

WHAT'S NEW: New reports and initiatives since the last issue

WHO'S HIRING: Job advertisements from DPC members

WHAT'S WHAT: One Small Step, William Kilbride, DPC

To a generation that celebrates naive celebrity, personal ambition and easy achievement, Neil Armstrong's life points in a very different direction. His achievements were astonishing at the time and they are still difficult to comprehend. Moreover his insistent self-deprecation is a master-class in humility. The Apollo 11 landing - a 'stick and rudder' descent with dwindling fuel and no landing site - remains the plucky-deed par excellence, the summa-cum-laudae of derring-do and the apogee of experimental aviation. It came to dominate his life and not always in a good way. The story goes that, during an open-top motorcade in downtown Manhattan, bundles of IBM punch cards were tossed from the 100th floor of an office block to the jubilant throng below. Instead of unwinding, this modern ticker-tape hurtled to earth like a ferocious little shower of meteors, battering the cadillacs and barely avoiding serious injury to the VIPs. Buzz and Neil were safer in Tranquility Base than on Earth.

Whatever else one thinks about Apollo, these were engineering accomplishments and they were approached as such. Armstrong was a 'White socks, pocket-protector nerdy engineer' and 'took substantial pride in the achievements of my profession'. The great mounds of component performance data, lunar reconnaissance surveys, geological analyses, cislunar navigational know-how and sheer operational geekery which resulted are first and foremost technological outputs for engineers and scientists. The great minds behind them had little time for the superstructures of politics, economy or culture in which they were wrapped..... Read more

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