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Had a line of thought 
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Rear Admiral
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Joined: 31 Dec 2008 20:59
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This morning a line of thought came together, it has been with me for some time... But hadn't completed as of yet, till now.

Computers evolve.

At some point in the ST universe, they evolved into optical(laser based) systems. They became very reliable. Very smart at some point. Then ZC, discovered the space warp. Great! But over time it was noticed as space warp generators became every more reliable and capable, that computer glitches kept occurring at greater and greater rates. These were recovered from, of course, in most instances. Bu the rate at some point (fifty plus years after), that computer systems were now crashing, before recovering - back ups saved the day. But the rate of this was now too high to be afforded. People were getting killed it was thought - ships disappeared, and were recovered, so it was an unknown event concerning what happened. This forces people to go back and research what was happened, or could be happening. But why people why not the A. I. computers????

Because they had failed. They did the job too well, and no one was paying attention till too late.

What was happening was that the space warp was setting up an effect like an EMP blast, in these optical computers. But because there weren't electronic, it wasn't looked for. Till this point was reached.

But now this led to the invention of the Transtator. For optical transistor was being interfered with, leading to its failure. So what the Transtator did, was to replace the optical transistor. But! It was bulky. Not small, it would get smaller, but that would take time. The result was a new computer, but much larger than what had been before. This led to a far cruder computer system that was far more reliable, but far simpler. Such that the elaborate A. I.s could no longer function.


The reason this was applied to all computer systems, was that since the discovery of the space warp, some fifty years before, that space warp uses had grown to encompass everything.

What the Transtator permitted was FTL computing of a sorts. So the disadvantage was off set. To a point.

What this meant however was that ships had to be simpler, less capable overall, in nature. Which meant things were missed, that should have, would have, if the older systems were still in place.


23 Apr 2013 11:09
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So what is a Transtator? In essence, it is a switching device. Or something like a transistor. But not quite. It is a power hungry device, and therefore, generates a great deal of waste heat.

This is but one of the reasons that the Horizon class had to be so large, to accommodate, the needs of the computer. Keeping in mind that this was a bare minimal computer system, its only real advantage was being reliable.

So in effect, there a total system's crash... And back to the drawing board for computers. But with the Horizon class, a new thought entered in. Why hold to the old 8,16,32... formula? Do something different. And thus the Vigontillion B Monotronic system was born. A 210 bit wide system, quite slow in some respects to what had gone before, but its affect, was to drastically increase starship survival rates. The 'B' meant that it could handle up to warp two safely.

In terms of internal design, all components were 3375 times the size of what one would expect for such a computer - in other words, just about the size of a FSQ-7... And there had to be two of them, just to be safe.

But 210 bits per word? They had to settle on something, but there was also something important to this decision. The FSQ-7 they knew from history, had never had to face a hostile environment. So features had to be added to the base level design to correct for this weakness. By the time the Constitution class was launched, the best system available was a D series system. Able to handle warp speeds up to warp four safely, it was being pushed beyond its limits, with the Constitution Class. By the time Daystrom came around, computer development was at a near stand still. His Comptronic system, was the forst real change to computers in quite some time. It packed far more Transtators into a given space than the previous system. Eight thousand versus 3375.... But before it was released to the public, he took the next step... 27,000.

What this meant was that the first real affective computers in quite some time had come into existence.


24 Apr 2013 19:16
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So here is where I am going with this idea. That the Transtator was indeed a switching element. That it permitted FTL computation, due to the fact that it made use of space warp technology. That because of this, Transtator based computers, were huge in comparison to conventional computers. But to make them stable, the early ones were so bulky in nature, that even transmitting FTL signals across them, was nearly pointless, if not for there reason in the first place. Conventional computers, as time went on, suffered more and more glitches, almost always at the exact wrong time. What this meant was that, they were next to useless, in warp, and that this carried through at some point, in the computer's life, into normal space usage as well. These glitches would start out to be minor, and over time, eventually burn out the machine.
Transtators on the other hand because of their dual nature, required an old fashioned optical signal to work, but due to their inefficiencies the power in the laser light source was such that the heat build up especially over prolonged use, presented problems with radiating it away in a timely fashion. That is, cooling was a major problem.
The twin events of the Transtator - that of the space warp, and the laser source, presented obstacles, that had to be dealt with. But having a computer that you knew worked, to some degree, was far better than having one you couldn't trust. But due to he interaction of the space warp fields, placed severe limits upon the computers in the early days. This meant, if looked at from a certain point of view, that Federation computers were a joke. Further more, having people on roller skates going through and replacing second level modules, as they burned out, was a sight to behold.
The warp fifteen transmission speed with in a typical core, was the only thing that made the system. But higher transmission speed had to wait till Daystrom. By the time of Daystrom D series Monotronic systems had gotten quite advanced.
Daystrom's Comptronic systems were the first to have any kind of breakthrough, in terms of warp speed communication, and compactness, at warp twenty. But he realized that he could take the next step, almost as soon as he had built the first one. This system which became the Duotronic systems, was truly revolutionary, at warp thirty, it was like going from vacuum tubes to solid state over night. Duotronic system at first however weren't designed quite right - they worked and worked well, but a subtle rearrangement by a later competitor, made the day(TOS version) .
The Multitronic M-5 was the Federation finally back on course, so they thought. Till it went wrong, very wrong.
So on the early Transtator based computer run ships, what was it like? You had to be on your toes at all times. The crews had to be the best, just to run the ships, and were therefore labor intensive, very much so. For the computers could only handle the most basic of current ship based applications. This was dangerous.


25 Apr 2013 11:59
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Commander
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Joined: 05 Mar 2010 15:44
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Quantum computing a bit nearer: http://bigthink.com/ideafeed/diamond-cr ... r-internet


O/T
At about the 8:07 minute mark on this video featuring sarin gas:
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/21134540/vp/51669331#51669331

You see shells hitting a dome looking like Reliants megaphaser blasts
Now play it backward and wrap this into a computer generated graphix.


26 Apr 2013 18:01
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