Apollo Guidance Computer Activities

AGC: Conference 4 - John Green's introduction

Apollo Guidance Computer History Project

Fourth conference

September 6, 2002

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John Green's introduction

JOHN GREEN: Okay. My name is John Green. I have a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from Renselaer Polytechnic Institute, and then I came to MIT for graduate school starting in 1958. I had an idea of getting Ph.D. in electrical engineering. I worked along on that. Finished up course work. Started thinking about a dissertation. And things didn't quite work out. So around 1962 I decided I'd take a break from that and get into something.

Apollo was starting up; it was an exciting project. So I interviewed with John and went to work for him. That was the first job I had had, other than summer jobs, when I was in college. The other people around here who were thinking up new things, advancing the state-of-the-art--I'm sort of down in the basic level of making things work. I ended up on the Apollo project being responsible for all the wiring, the harnesses, the interconnections within the pieces of equipment and worrying about how big the wire was and how many connector shells it went through and what pin it went through on, and ground loops and interference control and things like that. So, that was what I did on the Apollo, for the Apollo, both the command module and the LEM guidance systems.

As John said, it became obvious later on that that group was winding down, and Dan and Ed Copps and John and the other people went off and formed Intermetrics. I stayed around the I Lab for several months after that. I worked on a couple of other pieces of equipment down at the same level, making sure that things were--the electrons got where they were supposed to go.

And then I got a call from John one day that said they wanted some help over on a project they were bidding on at Holloman Air Force Base. So I joined Intermetrics. I'm Employee No. 12, and worked on a number of projects there, not as a computer programmer. I used to know a couple of computer languages, but I was sort of the hardware end of putting things together. When they'd get a job that involved hardware and a big component software, I'm the one that put the hardware together. Actually, I'm still working for the successor company now, Averstar.


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