Space Age Bitcoin mining on an Apollo AGC
An Apollo Guidance Computer, which helped in guiding Man to take his first steps onto the moon 50 years ago may come in handy once again! The working AGC has been repaired and restored to its former glory by Ken Shirrif and his team, and is now ready to work as a mining rig for Bitcoin!
The restored AGC could previously perform only 40,000 operations every second, but its speed was not more important than its ability to be useful and an abundance of IO which is needed when a crewed spacecraft is being guided. The success of the Apollo missions relied on it but turning it into a rig for bitcoin may still prove a task.
While overviewing the mining of Bitcoin, with one of the best explanations of the hashtag algorithm, the AGC may be repurposed. Limitations persist regarding the memory addressing scheme of the contraption, and machine instructions which would translate the commands to the machine. However, with some coaxing, the machine seems to have begun its work, and now mines 10.3 seconds per every Bitcoin hash. Ken has estimated that within 400 zettaseconds, one Bitcoin may be mined which is a billion times older than the universe. With 12 quadrillion years to the mining of the very first Bitcoin, interested customers will be able to analyze the situation and educate themselves about it very soon.
This, it seems is not the first time that an attempt has been made to mine Bitcoin to almost no avail. The Xerox Alto mine was considered faster than the AGC. But, the IBM mainframe and punchcards are yet to be beaten!