To say that the technology industry has had a rough couple of months would be a huge understatement. The economic crisis has devastated the industry, sending finances through the floor and leading to tens of thousands of lost jobs in the past few months alone.
It is no fun for the people involved, and writing about it every day has dampened the environment in the vnunet.com offices as well.
But crisis also leads to reflection. Not just on better times, but on those who emerged from seemingly dire circumstances to accomplish the 'impossible'.
So this week, we take a look at some of those uplifting stories. Our hope is that they not only help raise spirits, but prompt some reflection on how success stories can emerge from the current crisis.
The moon landing
Shaun Nichols: No list of great science stories would be complete without what may be mankind's greatest achievement.
It was arguably an engineering feat, and the computing technology used in the project was roughly the equivalent of a pocket calculator compared to today's hardware, but the 1969 moon landing showed the general public just what a nascent technology industry could accomplish.
The event also sparked an interest in science for millions of children, many of whom would help to change the industry over the next 10 years.
Iain Thomson: The Apollo flight control computer was arguably the first embedded computer system to use integrated circuits. But, more importantly, it served to ignite interest in computers among the general public.
Watch some of the early coverage of the Apollo missions and you find constant mentions of the onboard computer systems. To the general public it was a taste of what computers could actually do for mankind, and established the idea of their utility.
To be sure, the bulk of the success of the Apollo missions was down to good engineering rather than computer technology, but it gets a spot on the list not so much for its power, but for its effect.
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