Top Paying Tech Jobs in 2021

Looking for new career prospects in technology? The times are good for people who keep up-to-date with technological development and aren’t afraid to delve into emerging fields. While the pandemic slowed things down, technologic and scientific developments never stopped, and not even the worldwide chip shortage is able to prevent this.

All of the jobs described here are able to give you upwards of 100,000 dollars per year, not to mention other possible benefits. Many of them involve knowledge about newer technologies, but others are also older jobs which are in high demand. Check them out:

AI Specialist

We are in the age of artificial intelligence, thanks to the development of tools like machine learning and deep learning that make it much easier to create them. You can see that in the many efforts made to automate everyday things using those technological marvels, such as Tesla’s self-driving cars, identifying user preferences in social media and online stores, face recognition, chatbots, among many others.

And, in order to create an AI and put it to work for you, you need someone who knows their ins-and-outs and is able to lead a team to develop and train them. And there aren’t many of these people out there.

Cloud Engineer

The cloud is overtaking the computing and storage world and that is extremely understandable. Why would you invest a lot of money into computational infrastructure for your company and have to deal with the headache caused by technical failures, power outages and other problems when out there are thousands of companies specialized in doing just that?

While using the cloud can bring many technical benefits to a company, it is also no easy task. You need to able to manage systems and resources in a group of servers whose location is pretty much unknown, and you will depend a lot on the internet to make it work. That’s why you need someone with experience on the cloud – a cloud engineer.

Product Manager

This one is an already well known position in most companies, but that doesn’t make it any less important or relevant today.

The product manager is the person in charge of developing a product, leading the team that is responsible for making it a reality. It carries with it great responsibility: the right product can bring a company to the stars, the wrong product can give lasting financial impacts.

The Phrack ezine – Electronic hacking culture magazine

What is Phrack ezine?

In the 1980s and 1990s, the hacking culture was gaining momentum. Coinciding with the same era, Phrack ezine was introduced as an aid for Hackers worldwide. 

Phrack ezine is an electronically operated underground magazine written by hackers. It is specially written for computer security professionals and hackers. It holds special significance in the hacking culture and is one of the oldest and longest running hacker magazines. Since the early days of hacking culture, Phrack ezine is considered as one of the most essential sources of information for hacking professionals.

This magazine is open for contributions from writers and hackers who are eager to publish their work and share their unique ideas of the area of interest. 

Origin and founders:

The first edition of Phrack ezine was published on 17 November 1985. It was founded by two people, better known by their pen names, Taran King and Knight Lightning. Both of the founders also did most of the editing for their magazines and edited upto 30 articles. Initially these editions were published in a bulletin board called Metal shop where Taran King worked as an administrator. Later, the editions were widely copied by other board systems. The headquarters of Phrack are located in Austin, Texas. 

Sum and substance

Phrack provides insight on the following subjects and topics to the hacking community:

  • Phreaking: Phreaking is the process to hack, experiment and explore telecommunications. 
  • Software Cracking: This is the process of altering a software to disable or remove features.
  • Hacking: This is a method by which computer experts can obtain unauthorized access to another computer, software or data.
  • Computer security: It is gaining protection against theft and damage in computer networks and softwares.
  • Cryptography: It is conversion of plain or simple data into encrypted code messages to prevent third-party interventions.

With all these topics discussed in Phrack, it was considered a guideline for the hackers and was also called a handbook and manifesto for all hackers.

The regular editions of Phrack ezine also contain news and updates of the hacker community, they also featured an influential hacker from underground and testimonies of hackers all over the world.

Legal trials

Phrack ezine had to encounter a legal challenge in February 1989. The contributors and editors of Phrack reprinted some confidential data information of BellSouth computers. This document was known as E911 which was worth $80,000. Knight Lightning was arrested and charged with fraud. A legal trail occurred. However, soon it was proven the document E911 could be bought for over $13 over a phone call at BellSouth. The case collapsed and Phrack ezine continued to thrive until 2005. 

It was declared Phrack was coming to an end with its 63rd edition. However, the 64th issue was published in 2007. 

Famous Articles of Phrack

Some of the most notable publications of Phrack include:

  • The Hacker manifesto:

It is written by a renowned hacker and computer security professional, The Mentor, as a guide for amateur hackers.

  • Smashing The Stack For Fun And Profit:

Written by an eminent computer scientist, Aleph One, this article gives an introduction and guide to stack buffer overflow.

  • The Art of Scanning:

This article by Fydoor introduced the audience with scanning options and tools of nmap Internet. 

Phrack ezine gained popularity in the initial years. It continued to grab public eye-balls with it’s interesting issues and headlines it made everyday. Lately, it has been irregular with it’s publications yet it achieved a milestone in the history of hacking culture. In years to come, we can hope for the revival of Phrack ezine. 

How Religion Uses Technology To Influence and Control

Religion’s Relationship with Technology

A refined communication technology can be an extremely useful way of interacting and influencing people’s imagination, beliefs, habits, and even influence their actions in positive ways. However, there is also the dark side of it. As depicted in Hollywood, technology could create a complex and captivating scene within humanity’s potential that demonstrates people achieving almost unimaginable feats.

However, in certain scenes and scripts, we see massive destruction caused by the development of technology such as dangerous robots and portals to evil dimensions, priests led astray and satanic rituals etc.

The use of music, people marching and gathering people around large bonfires has been used for thousands of years to rally people together and indoctrinate them with chanting or catchy slogans to achieve the goal of a single leader of group, pushing people into one attractive ideal. Perhaps even a revolution that sways people by using covert instructions with a sweet promise of something wonderful at the end of the journey. For centuries, one of the most followed and at the same time, controversial concepts in our society were and still is, religion. Technology offers great ways to use this perfectly to influence people. What are these technology-based influencers?

The Audience

We are living in the golden age of marketing. Before television and the Internet, reaching a target audience was challenging, getting results from said audience was tougher. Imagine this scenario for a moment, if you were Jeff Bezos trying to sell books without the current technology available, you would have to go door-by-door and ask people whether they would buy books or not. It was extremely hard to find the right audience for most business ventures. With religions however, this was more problematic as the numerous beliefs often clash, finding the right location and time to influence people had to be carefully managed. Now with the use of technology and innovative strategies, reaching and developing an interested audience has become easier and a lot more efficient, now there are mobile apps dedicated to religious activities and connections to online communities that were not possible up until now.

Social Media

The most popular ‘entity’, if it can be called that, in technology is social media. More people use social media than any other public pass time on earth. It takes one tweet, one post, one simple notification to go viral. A simple controversial post that attracts young and old people through their phones. Then the poster hosts online events based on the viral subjects that can lead a percentage of them to their belief system.

Online Religious Services

Post Covid-19, many religions have gone online. Prayer workings, Zoom meetings, other gatherings are justified in the building their followers up until a certain point, religious services such as sermons are now held at times and dates that were previously only held once each week in most cases. Having the opportunity to do online religious services opens a non-intrusive way to connect with people as they get to try connecting within the comfort of their homes. What comes next and how far can we take this?

Controversy – Pushing The Limits

How easy is it for a pastor or priest to listen to a confession over a Zoom or Skype call from a person sitting at home? What are the legal implications and if hacked, can the contents of this call be used legally? Perhaps it is too easy.


Can It Actually Be Used?

The reasons to use current technology have been mostly accepted and adopted by religions. Billions of people spend most of their daily lives online, marketing techniques are more sophisticated than ever before. Technology is neutral, it can be used for ‘evil’ or for ‘good’. Religions can influence people in entertaining ways and bring positivity and joy to a person’s life experience. That sense on connectivity and being part of an interactive online community can really fill the void that people can experience.

How new technology and the internet has changed martial arts?

Innovations by Technology:

Martial arts is one of the most critical forms of sports. It doesn’t only boost your fighting and stamina capabilities but is also vital for self-defense.

The introduction to the latest technology and Internet has been a great initiative in martial arts. With the progress in technology and Internet usage, martial arts has taken a quantum leap upwards. Let’s sneak a peek at how technology has evolved martial arts.

The latest technology innovations have provided martial art trainers with highly advanced equipment that has helped gamers train better and made their games intense. With the newest technology, gamers get an insight into both mathematical and scientific approaches towards their competition. This provides them with an understanding view of their gaming capabilities and helps them to play better. Read more informative articles: Fungi-based Computers

These latest technological advances in martial arts include the following:

Interactive Trainer:

If you are in search of an instructor, then an Interactive trainer is here for you. Interactive Trainer is specially designed for kickboxing workouts. The machine consists of strike pads with accelerometers that give feedback on your strike counts, timing, and efficiency. It’s one of the game changers in martial arts. 

Heart rate monitor:

A heart rate monitor is a device that monitors your heartbeat while you are training. You wear this device on your chest and wrists. You can check your rate from your wrists.

This device helps you in martial arts by improving your stamina. It gives you a target to work on a specific heartbeat and improve your fighting skills. 

Grappling Dummy:

If you cannot find a partner in martial arts, a grappling Dummy is a perfect partner for you. It is similar to a human torso with arms and legs but weighs the same as a heavy bag. You can now practice intense fights with grappling Dummy without fretting about injuring anyone.

iPunch Gloves:

These gloves are designed to record the striking speed and strength. Thus, it can be a great device in practicing giving you insights into your power and intensity. 

Impact of the Internet:

The usage of the Internet in martial arts has increased interactions among the players. It has doubled the reach of gamers around the globe. Fans and Gamers can now interact on the InternetInternet through forums and social media platforms and applications specially designed for martial arts

iJudge Fighters

iJudge Fighters is one of the latest applications available on the Internet. It is still in its developing stages and hasn’t gained much popularity. However, it allows gamers to interact and compete with each other. They can share their gaming scores, judge fights, and also get updates on martial arts. 

Looking forward:

There’s more room for development and progress in Martial arts by more technological weapons to enhance the games. There’s also a scope of establishing and further working on websites and applications on the Internet, bringing jack-up martial arts.

This will open the doors of innovations and opportunities for martial arts enthusiasts and gamers. 

Making Money through Technology at home

Technology For Business

21st century technology has been inserted covertly into every part of our lives, it is growing more covert and more devious by the day. We no longer or rarely move from one place to another for purchases, or to play a song or to watch a movie or experience another form of entertainment. Since technology is everywhere in our lives, it also helps us make money. How else do we begin talking about this other than showing examples. 

Focus On Skills

With technology, learning new skills or honing already learned and developed skills, perhaps discovering how the skills we already have in other areas can be used for monetization. The acquisition of skills has become extremely efficient and is surrounded by a pressure-less ease. Learn to code in a new programming language, Learn a new spoken language, copywriting, the blockchain and create your own crypto currency. Best of all, a lot of this is offered freely. The variety and magnitude of knowledge available at little to no money is astonishing. Limitless opportunities and so little time.

Your Own Technology-Based Business

Another way of making money using technology is creating your own startup. The age of e-commerce is at its peak and may keep rising in this new Covid-19 influenced world, most people who avoided spending money online before, are now Ebay and Amazon addicts. Selling online gives the seller a freedom that brick and mortar retail stores will never have. The Internet is the storefront and technology takes care of the rest. The benefits are attractive, the greatest being the low startup cost. It is an exciting feeling being able to open a webstore and begin selling worldwide immediately. Having a mobile office is the new norm, managing your store while at the beach or in bed, the kitchen, or anywhere with an Internet connection, a perfect money making process using technology. Using digital products like eBooks and games or music allows you to sell without the need to ship any goods, digital products never run out-of-stock. Read more informative articles: Fungi-based Computers

Social Media

The hottest and most used technology for marketing currently, is social media. Billions of people are using social media daily, this unlimited market is ever growing and evolving. The online marketing of today is mainly fueled by Influencers, people with a massive following on top platforms that relate to their interests. Hard work and good fun at the same time, as an influencer, being a concierge of entertainment can lead to a lucrative lifestyle. Some have managed to remain in constant luxury, private jets, lavish villas in tropical locations while marketing services and products to keep that lifestyle going.

Is it Possible?

Technology can be amazing, the limits are dependent on the will to persist or laziness. For the strong and devoted, the experience can be legendary. Whatever the focus, ensure the principles of business success are allies: Ask empowering questions that map the way forward. How scalable is this venture and will it be worth pursuing long-term? If not, What is the exit strategy once the short-term goal is reached? How can technology be used in the most efficient way for the business?

Create a method that works, stay flexible and be open to new technology that could increase business potential. 

Ancient Technology & History

Ancient examples of technology

Archeologists have discovered ancient technologies which have left scientists awestruck with their precision and efficiency. A few of these inventions are groundbreaking to an extent that they seem impossible to be recreated in modern times with modern technologies. These technologies shed light on the previous socio-cultural aspects of our ancestral societies. 

Antikythera mechanism

This ancient technology was discovered on the Greek island, Antikythera in 1901 by divers who were in search of sponges. The Antikythera mechanism, a 2000-year-old analog computer, had functional gears and it resembled a clock. It is discovered that the ancient invention was also utilized for transportation as it could “replicate the motions of the heavens.” This technology was not any larger in size than mantel clocks at our homes. Unlike displaying time like our modern-day clocks, the Antikythera mechanism used to display “celestial time” by using celestial bodies are guides.

Automatic doors

Automated doors came under the spotlight in 1931 and were considered as symbols of the “modern age”. However, this invention had already been made by the Greeks in 1 AD.

Brass vessels were used as a place to light a fire which generated enough heat to create a buildup of atmospheric pressure to open the door. This vessel used to simultaneously pump water in attached containers which would then act as weights to ensure that the door was kept open. These doors had a functioning similar to that of a hydraulic system.

These ancient doors, however, were not efficient in terms of time, rigid in use, and not user-friendly. Hence were not as popular as automated doors in modern times.  

Houfeng Didong Yi: The earthquake detector in ancient times 

2,000 years ago, the Houfeng Didong Yi, a seismoscope was discovered in ancient China. It was the first effective earthquake detector discovered in history. It was invented by Zhang Heng who was an engineer, scholar, astronomer, artist, and scientist.

The Houfeng Didong Yi could detect earthquakes as far away as hundreds of kilometers. The device was shaped in the form of a jar and consisted of eight tube-like projections on the exterior, with eight corresponding toad-shaped projections at the base. Each of these toad-shaped projections represented a direction taken by the seismic wave while traveling. To demonstrate the direction of the earthquake, the Houfeng Didong would drop a ball in a toad according to the direction of the seismic wave.

Aeolipile: The ancient steam turbine

The Aeolipile was invented by the engineer and mathematician, Heron of Alexandria. This technology functioned like a steam turbine in ancient times. It was a hollow sphere that was mounted in a manner that enabled it to turn on tubes that provided the sphere with steam from a cauldron. The steam would then evaporate from hollow tubes resulting in the device revolving at high speeds.

Although it was an efficient device, it did not progress any further from being a novelty device. It was difficult to obtain fuel for keeping the device operational over long periods of time.

Zimbabwe’s digital economy

Zimbabwe’s digital economy

It is no news to anyone that Zimbabwe has a money problem. From the late 90s until 2009, the Zimbabwe dollar reached a state of hyperinflation, which reached its peak in 2008 at 11,200,000%. This episode became infamous for the printing of notes with huge numerical values, such as the 100 trillion Zimbabwe dollars note.

In order to try to solve this problem, in 2009 the Zimbabwe government abolished the Zimbabwe dollar and announced that multiple foreign currencies would take its place in the country, including the US dollar, the British pound, the euro, the South African rand, and the Botswana pula.

However, the crisis had taken its toll, and loss of faith in financial institutions led people to hoard cash instead of storing their money in bank accounts, and the economic crisis strongly damaged their economy, leading to more imports than exports, along with other problems. Read more articles: Cloud Engineer

As a result, it didn’t take long for cash to dry out in the country. The government tried to counteract that by issuing bond notes linked to the US dollar, but it also went short. And in time, inflation started to return.

So, how could they deal with this shortage of cash? By going cashless.

Cashless?

Having no cash is different from having no money. Financial insecurity and economic instability, along with the use of the more stable US dollar, led people to hoard cash, that is, physically store their money, when having the option.

However, banks don’t really keep all of the money they store in cash format, especially when it is in a foreign currency. As people desperately tried to take their money off banks, the reserves drained. So now it is very difficult to get cash, but many people still keep money in their balance in bank accounts, and some even in foreign banks, while others store the cash they have in their houses and in safes.

As such, there isn’t a lot of cash circulating, and electronic payment became the dominant form of payment, both by bank cards and mobile phones.

The app EcoCash became the main payment service, used by individuals and companies alike. But not without its disadvantages: there are many tariffs involved in using money with it. As a result, it is common to see places using different prices for different methods of payment, with US dollar cash still being the favored option.

Does it work?

Zimbabwe is definitely not the best example of how a cashless society could work. The transition to mostly digital payments was very quick and violent, a result of a years-long economic crisis which still isn’t over. It does, however, show that it can work, and can work virtually anywhere.

Of course, Zimbabwe is not the only country that is going cashless. Sweden, for example, has been rapidly transitioning to fully cashless transactions during the last few years, and has now been relying mostly on the app Swish, the result of a cooperation between major Swedish banks and the Central Bank of Sweden. A much more orderly transition.

In Sweden, however, what is preventing them from becoming fully cashless is that cash is still available. Older people, especially the ones from rural regions of the country, are more resistant to the change, especially if they aren’t used to smartphones, and as such still prefer to use cash.

Also, being a government-backed project really helps the transition process. Zimbabweans do not have a lot of choice regarding the method of payment: it is either EcoCash, which is the most requested method, bank cards, or foreign cash. And all of them have really high drawbacks: high tariffs, insecurity, and scarcity.

Even if other similar fintechs were to appear, it would have to face the lack of economic security in the country, a steep competition with EcoCash, and difficulty getting people to adopt it, considering the low confidence in this sector of the economy.

Still, it had one fortunate, surprising side-effect: using less cash means there is one less form of transmitting the COVID-19 during the pandemic. Not to say the country isn’t struggling with it, considering its economic crisis, but it could possibly have been much worse otherwise.

Digital Life in Estonia’s unique use of Technology: e-banking & i-voting

Meet Estonia’s digital life

Since the fall of the Soviet Union and Estonia’s independence, the Estonian government has been heavily investing into the digital world, in order to not only make their citizen’s lives easier and faster, but also to attract foreign investment and improve the country’s economy.

Although, from the outside, that may seem like nothing new, Estonia’s approach to it is very innovative. The country has been moving out from “pen and paper” bureaucracy into streamlined digital processes based on the internet, through a governmental program called e-Estonia. At the time of this writing, the official e-Estonia website states that 99% of state services are now online.

Let’s see what this is all about.

Digital bureaucracy

One of the main advantages that that initiative gives to citizens is the ability to deal with governmental and private bureaucratic procedures much more rapidly and without the need to leave your home. Everything can be done using the internet.

This began in 1996 with the creation of the first e-Banking system, which is now much more widespread worldwide thanks to financial technology startups, which was then followed by systems for the government decision process (e-Cabinet meeting), tax declarations (e-Tax board), mobile parking payment (m-Parking), digitization of healthcare systems and medical history (e-Health and e-Prescription), ID card (e-ID), among many others. Everything is working everyday, 24h per day.

As a result, you get an extremely fast and transparent system which centralizes all information about you, and you can both check it out or allow companies to access it with just a few clicks. All of this powered by e-Estonia’s x-Road (a distributed data system) and blockchain technology (for cybersecurity).

i-Voting

One of the most revolutionary services they provide is probably i-Voting. The i-voting service gives Estonian citizens the ability to cast votes in Estonian parliamentary elections from anywhere in the world. The person just has to be an Estonian citizen. The Estonian government states that votes have already been cast from over 110 countries, for both national and local parliamentary elections (as they have a parliamentary government). 

This doesn’t mean that they have scrapped in-person voting. It is still available and many people use it. They estimate that only about 44% of citizens use i-Voting. But the voting process is anonymous in both cases.

The i-Voting system also comes with some advantages. Other than being able to vote anywhere you are, you are also free to change your mind at any time you want. If you decided that you no longer want to vote for the candidate you voted, you can just vote again, and the system will overwrite your previous vote, as long as you do so within the election period.

Although the system still isn’t used to institute some form of direct democracy, it already showcases the power of technology to aid governments and to make everything quicker and easier.

e-Residency

However, the most revolutionary technology implemented by e-Estonia is definitely e-Residency. If you don’t have citizenship in a European country and want your business to enter the European market, then this is the solution for you. Read more articles: Cloud Engineer

The e-Residency service is a government-backed solution that allows any person from outside of Estonia to become a “digital citizen” of Estonia, that is, an e-Resident. Although this isn’t exactly full citizenship (meaning it doesn’t come with political rights and such), it gives you the right to start and run a company in Estonia, meaning it gives you access to the entire European market.

Even better, e-Residency is fully integrated with other services from e-Estonia and follows the same philosophy: you can do everything online. You can run your entire business, open bank accounts, pay taxes and more without ever setting foot on Europe, while also enjoying an entire ecosystem of people and companies which developed around this niche.

Although Estonia is the first country to take this huge step towards being 100% digital, we can expect that, following their success, other countries will probably follow their steps in the near future, allowing our lives to become much quicker, efficient and interconnected.

Robotics & Technology in Modern Surgery

Robotics in surgery

While humanoid autonomous robots will take a while to become a part of our lives, the other parts of the field of robotics are already becoming a reality. Even better: they are helping to save lives.

There is a special kind of surgery called “minimally invasive procedure”, which are surgeries that, instead of opening large sections of your body, use incisions of smaller size, being more localized and useful for specific problems, such as removing tissue, catheterization, fixing eye problems such as myopia, among others.

However, doing such precise procedures can be challenging even for the most experienced surgeons, exactly due to the precision they need. Depending on what is being done, a mistake may lead to the need to make open surgery.

That’s where the robots come in.

The robot itself

Machines can be very precise, and scientists and engineers are always working to make them ever more precise. The field of machining, for example, which handles machines designed to cut metal following blueprints, has some experience with dealing with precision.

The average milling machine has a precision of about 0.005 inches (0.1 mm), but there are much more precise machines available in case a project needs one. In this case, however, if the milling process does not make the product close enough to specification, there may be some other techniques to solve that.

With robotic surgery it is not so simple. So the robot must be made to be as precise as possible, within the realm of possibility. Every machine can have problems with misalignment, so the engineers involved must work to minimize it. Software and hardware bugs can be deadly, so safety measures must be in place.

A lot can go wrong, so it must be really well made. Meaning these robots can be pretty costly.

Controlling the robot

However, don’t think that these kinds of robots are a kind of “auto-doc”. They are always manually controlled by the surgeon, who is normally in the same room as the robot or close to it (but that may change with investments in remote surgery).

However, the robot’s precision isn’t tied only to its own movements. So much precision would actually be detrimental if the robot actually reproduced every movement the surgeon did on a one-to-one ratio. Instead, there are a series of filters that prevent it from reproducing movements that are too small or too quick, such as tremors.

Instead of using controllers such as “joysticks”, the robot’s controllers aims to simulate the way the surgeon would hold any usual tool, such as a scalpel, meaning the robot’s arm and tools can be gently moved using only two or three fingers, allowing the surgeons to also apply their muscle memory and surgical experience into the procedure. The system also gives access to a full 3D view of the site where the surgery will be done along with any other information that may be needed. You may also know: Crime Syndicates

Safety

Robotic surgery involves many of the risks of other minimally invasive procedures, namely a small risk of infection, aside from the small risk of malfunctions. However, it is still a rather new technology, and surgeons haven’t completely adapted to it. It has a bit of a steep learning curve and some machines do not have haptic feedback, that is, the surgeon may not feel he touched the patient when doing so.

As with any surgery, it comes with its risks involved, but with the disadvantage that manual surgery is already much more widespread and easier to get experienced in. As robotic surgery can be much more expensive, surgeons will have more problems to get used to it, along with the learning curve that the hardware comes with.

Fortunately, we can be sure that those problems won’t remain for long. Companies and universities are always working to improve the state of the art, and with robotic surgery it is no exception. We can expect the technology to become cheaper and safer in the near future, and maybe even automated.

The technology astronauts used to land on the Moon

The technology behind the moon landing

The moon landing was pretty much the most important feat of the last century. After years into the Space Race, the technological war that marked the Cold War and brought us some nice tech such as the internet and the GPS, the US managed to land the lunar module on the moon and allow two humans to step on it for the first time in our history, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, as part of the Apollo 11 mission.

That feat was peak rocket science, and so it was pretty complicated even for today’s standards. That doesn’t mean, though, that all the tech they used aged well. Indeed, we have progressed way beyond it in such a short time, and now even private companies have got their hands on it – something that would seem unthinkable at the time.

Let’s take a look into how things were.

Engineering

The Apollo program itself was a collection of amazing engineering feats. Being able to exit the atmosphere and follow the exact trajectory to reach the moon, land on it and come back to Earth, all in the 60s, when computers and supercomputers weren’t nearly as powerful as they are today, is simply incredible.

Even more if you consider the such extreme conditions they were subject to: extremely powerful and hot ascension engines (just remember the Challenger incident), the vacuum of space, the velocities they had to get to reach the moon and return from it, and the temperatures and speed they got during reentry.

And, well, let’s just say engineering isn’t a totally exact science: materials and machine parts can have imperfections and sometimes things can just go unpredictably wrong. The technical aspects had a good bit of help from just plain old luck. You may also know: Crime Syndicates

Computing

Surprisingly, the average smartphone today has much more processing power than the Apollo Guidance Computer. More surprisingly yet, the CPU used by the Apollo 11 wasn’t even the most powerful one of the time, considering comparable CPUs were used for the Apple II and Commodore PET a few years afterwards, although it was the first one made of silicon integrated circuit. And it had only about 80 kilobytes of memory, most of it read-only.

Of course, as the AGC didn’t have to keep the Facebook app running in the background, it didn’t have too much problem with processing power. 

Moreover, the threat of cosmic rays impacting the Apollo’s navigation programs was very real. Even though the computer’s memory was heavily shielded from them, radiation in space is still much greater than on Earth, so they had to take every possible precaution. Because of that, many parts of the code consisted of redundant subroutines and error-checking processes to ensure things went smoothly.

Still, do not be surprised if you hear about obsolete processors being used in modern military technology: for critical missions, mistakes are unacceptable, so you need to ensure that you know everything about the technology you are using – especially the hardware bugs.

Navigation

Even though the programming and processing power did their best to make sure everything went smoothly, it wasn’t enough. Nearing the moon, it reached its limits, and could not help them land on the moon properly anymore. So they turned off autopilot, and Neil Armstrong took the helm.

Armstrong is an experienced naval aviator – meaning he flew planes for the US Navy. He fought in the Korean war and flew in and out of an aircraft carrier. Carriers are one of the hardest things to land on, as their runways are much smaller than usual land runways, and you have to land just right to catch the landing cable that will prevent you from rolling straight to the other side of the runway and into the water.

So he had a lot of experience with difficult landings.

And in the end, it was experience and skill that allowed Armstrong to correct the landing trajectory and safely land the lunar module on the lunar soil. Sometimes those are the best technologies that one can have on their side.