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anders lager February 11th, 2007 05:05 AM

Does anyone know if there's been any articles or forum threads about Traveller computer technology? I'm thinking of how computer networks are thought to work in the T universe. I can imagine planetary networks like the internet, and maybe these can be expanded to in-system networks using maser or some other tightbeam technology, maybe using relay stations to extend the range.

Malenfant February 11th, 2007 05:16 AM

Ooo, I dunno if the valves and vacuum tubes on those skyscraper-sized Model 9/bis computers can handle a planetary internet... think of the punch cards you'd need too! ;) [img]graemlins/file_23.gif[/img]

epicenter00 February 11th, 2007 05:25 AM

There's plenty of mentions of them, Doctor. Computer technology is one of those running jokes amongst Traveller players that never really gets old.

As Malenfant obliquely pointed out to you, computers are a joke in Traveller. If you look at their size, weight, cost, and power consumption as compared to what they can do, one can only conclude they're still using COLOSSUS, ENIAC, and UNIVAC in the 57th century. Case in point, according to the TNE rulebook (that I happen to have in front of me) a Suleiman-class Scout ship (the infamous flying wedge ship) has three TL15 (oooh ahhh) computers to handle flying. Each of these require 0.55 Megawatts of power each.

0.55 Megawatts. Holy cow.

Obviously, Grandfather pinched off a pocket universe to develop the Commodore PET, a vast computing milestone that humans in the 57th century couldn't even imagine. Grandfather's children never had a chance, still using those Altairs...

In other words, if you're making or fleshing out the Traveller Universe, feel free to plug in whatever computer technology you wish.

TheEngineer February 11th, 2007 05:59 AM

Hi !

MTs referees sourcebooks provides a little bit more detailed information about computers/technology.

But whats the problem with 0,55 MW ?
Take a look ....



Jame February 11th, 2007 08:40 AM

I asked something similar a good while ago.

Linky for the thread, see if there's anything you like.

atpollard February 11th, 2007 08:46 AM

IMTU I "fixed" computers by deciding that the model numbers represented vastly different processing powers. Model 1 = kiloflops(10^3); Model 2 = megaflops(10^6); Model 3 = gigaflops(10^9); etc.

I also moved the basic model 1 computer from the vacuum tube TL 5 to the microchip TL 7 and changed the program number to the minimum computer that will run it (evade 2 requires a model 2 computer or higher).

But this is just MY solution.

Malenfant February 11th, 2007 01:10 PM

TE - that's an earth-based supercomputer. You don't need one to run a spaceship (even a jump-capable one). Keep in mind also that the computer you currently have sitting on your desktop today would have taken up at least a room about 10 or 20 years ago. ;)

As it is, Apollo's guidance computer only required 70W of power (see ). The shuttle apparently has four computers for redundancy - while I haven't found their actual power requirements I'm fairly certainly they're going to be using a few hundred watts at most.

Even though Traveller spacecraft have fusion plants that are pumping out power in the megawatt range, I think the computers are going to be taking the least amount of that - 550,000 W is a ridiculous amount for even a four-computer system that you'd run on a spacecraft.

It all really depends on what the computers are used for, and the technology. If quantum computers get off the ground (apparently one is going to be demonstrated next month) then that will drastically change computer technology. QCs currently can only be used for specific tasks, but if you need to say calculate jump parameters b between point A and point B then that sounds like something a QC is ideal for. It sounds like you'd need much smaller computers (and less power) to do calcaulations with those - a QC desktop would have the same processing power as a massive supercomputer.

anders lager February 11th, 2007 03:43 PM

Well, the issue of the massive 70's ship's computers has been debated a lot, I know that.
What I meant was how are communication networks thought to function.
OK, we have the X-boat system, but surely some other means of shorter range data communication must exist...or?

anders lager February 11th, 2007 03:45 PM

By the way, thanks for your comments. This is a really nice forum, with tons of ideas for Travellers.

flykiller February 11th, 2007 04:00 PM

in a game, unless you're trying to work out some kind of detail sometimes it's better not to specify how something works. I always just talk about "comm links" - you comm link to the port authority, you have a link request, the link breaks, a one-time-use link authorization number. if I must describe anything I talk about it like it's the internet.

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