Making Core Memory: Crafting Legacies of Women in Innovation

Samantha Shorey, University of Texas Austin;
Daniela K. Rosner, University of Washington

Posted: August 14, 2019

The software code for the Apollo moon missions was stored in core rope memory, handmade by operators in Massachusetts. NASA engineers called this process the LOL method for the Little Old Ladies who did the work. During this Making & Doing session, each participant will be given a core memory kit that contains yarn and beads—symbolic of the wires and ferrite cores used in actual core memory production. Participants will follow step-by-step instructions to encode a word into 8-bit binary code. These engagements entangle computing, craft work, and the stories of women in histories of technology innovation.