is a classic error message
from the guidance computer on board the LEM
of each of the Apollo missions. Along with its less feted sibling 1201
, it stood for 'Executive overflow - no core sets', and was one of twenty error codes contained with the LEM's electronic brain. Coincidentally, there was a 404
error, which stood for 'IMU orientation unknown', which sounds bloody scary.
1202 was famously displayed whilst Neil Armstrong was guiding Apollo 11 down to a landing on the lunar surface - a tense moment, to say the least. Nobody in mission control or the LEM knew what 1202 or 'Executive overflow' meant, or what was causing it; but rather than abort, all and sundry simply decided to press the reset button, a solution still employed today (although it's worth noting that the LEM computer could reboot in only a few seconds). Luckily things turned out fine, and this part of the writeup would be a good place to put a pun about the word 'crash' having a literal meaning in this case, but I won't do that because it would to too pat.
Apparently, some misconfigured switches had fooled the computer into processing rendezevous radar data which did not exist, thus filling up the computer's memory with random junk - upon rebooting, the computer was clever enough to carry on with the business of navigating and keeping the engines running in the background, because the people who designed the machine were real programmers, the kind who listened to Sly and the Family Stone.
1202 is also a year; millions of people were born, died, fell in love, gave birth, coughed, shat, spat and cried in 1202, but nobody remembers any of it. The writeup below has some names and places and things but they're meaningless, they could just as easily be from an epic fantasy novel. Will the people in 2802 think the same of 2002?
For that matter 12:02 is also a time; PM, it's a good time to go for lunch, as it's absolutely within the core lunch clocking out time - AM is a bad time to go to bed, because you won't get enough sleep. Go to bed earlier.
Sources: 'A Man on the Moon', Andrew Chaikin (book)
http://home.planet.nl/~faase009/Ha_Apollo.html, which is the manual for the guidance computer and useful if you want to build your own Apollo project - something which will allow you to see all of your opponents' cities.