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A newer thought upon how difficult things might be 
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Rear Admiral
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Joined: 31 Dec 2008 20:59
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Early yesterday, I tried to post this, but the site needed some anti-depressants. Very sad.

Anyway, I had a thought along these lines. That are computers don't always perform as well as they should. That even fault tolerant computers don't either. This results in pixels falling out, and worse. That a computer that can't behave as perfectly as possible, is worse than useless, onboard a starship.

So recalling my old friend the Star Trek Space Flight Chronology, to use, as I usually do as a jumping off point. I got to thinking. What happens if to guarantee as much computer availability as possible, that the computers had to take up a great deal of the volume of the ship? The figure I am using for this, for the sake of argument, is ten percent of the total volume of the ship per warp factor. Such that a ship that can attain warp factor one, will require 10 percent of its volume to hold the computer. This allows for a great deal of redundancy - enough to have a 50% reliability rating. Which means that a human pilot must be monitoring the ship's performance at all times. Why fifty percent? Because of the inherent risk involved. That is having the main computer do two things; warp engine/nacelle control an navigational hazard detection and avoidance, will consume a great deal of computer time.

What this would mean is, that using our computer technology to run the Enterprise (TOS version) at warp six, would require that the computer take up some sixty percent of the ship. Just to attain that fifty percent safety rating. That is how redundant it would have to be.

Now for the UNSS Bonaventure, twenty percent of he volume, taken up with the required computer power. This is a general purpose A. I./ computer system.
UNSS Verne 25%
USS Mesier 27.5%
USS Horizon 30%.
Then the Transtator gets invented. Things begin to change. At this point all star ship primary computers are now specialized systems. Why? To reduce power usage - a specialized system, not using Transtators, will consume 100 times less power, but be totally inflexible for anything else. Meaning that they Horizon and later ships, become totally reliant upon their secondary computers. It goes down hill from there. The Transtator revolutionizes star flight. Even in its early versions. It permits an additional factor to be computed for in known space, which permits higher apparent warp speeds, but only under certain conditions. It is not stable enough yet for much beyond this due to lack of computer power.
There is another limitation ship size: a small warp drive ship, such as the interplanetary yacht, can't have a large enough computer system onboard to be anything other than a very fast interplanetary yacht. Not at the degree of safety required.
The first full up Transtator based computer systems, permit warp four cruising speeds in 2147. If there was a ship available for this(2154). With the old style pre Transtator computers, the volume taken up by the computer systems, would be forty percent. But with them twenty percent. Further more, these advanced computer systems permit the secondary computers to make for the first time effective analysis of data.

16 Mar 2013 09:28
Rear Admiral
Rear Admiral

Joined: 31 Dec 2008 20:59
Posts: 3361
So just to make sure that starships are as reliable as possible, imposes some minimum size for successful operation of a star ship. So where do we see the proof? I t in the time for the year 2129 - where small warp driven craft finally become available. It is only at this point where computers are powerful enough to handle a civilian crew 'errors'. "Errors"? Civilians for the most part aren't going to know too much of how to operate a starship, due to the fact that they aren't trained, or rather highly trained. Unlike star ship crews would be.. But there are other signs along the path, here. Like why now? As in 2129? And why a warp drive yacht, that is only good for interplanetary travel, especially when a warp drive from this era, would take over a hour to reach the onset of critical momentum? Because if you haven't done the math yet, in most cases the inner system, wouldn't need warp drive to go from Earth to Mars, or from Mars to Mercury. Jupiter? maybe. Pluto?? Most likely, Tourist attraction Pluto??? Then what? At warp two, Alpha Century is months away, do you see a typical person who has one of these taking months to get some where? Some might, but most??

Then we now flash forward to the 2164 for the Very Expensive Interstellar Pleasure Craft. So from going put-put around the system in a glorified day sailor, to something that has real teeth. She is obviously, a down sized version of the Marshall class warp 3.8 Destroyer.

So what do we know about this time? A Mann class takes 3.4 minutes to get up to speed... That the Medical Tricorder, was invented nearly twenty years before(2147), so this means that there was a great change in computers, such that a larger ship, could do the interstellar circuit, without being an inconvenience... Going by my reasoning(do we have to??? :lol: ), 17.5 percent of the volume of the craft would be taken up, by the massively redundant computer system and memory systems...

Now think of it this way.

In 2147 the Medical Tricorder is invented. In other words this is the first time that an A. I. can be shrunk down to handheld size.... So just what kind of A. I. - most likely implemented in a hardwired form, is truly required for a Medical Tricorder? Why not before? Why would it take Transtator Circuitry to do the job? What is going on here???

23 Mar 2013 07:02
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