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Computer Core Confusion...


This is an open call for assistance from any who will likely read this post however I would like to direct it to the attention of Hunter, MJD, or anyone else involved with the development of T20 in particular as I will likely be bringing up some possible points of interest involving Errata.

To this end I will likely be cross posting this to the 'Fleet' Forum as well as the 'Errata' Forum in the hopes of getting some of the Gearheads involved whom would have a better handle on the subject matter than myself.

Now... on to the crunchy bits.

A day ago my GM informed me that he had been looking through the Computer and Starship design sections and had come to the conclusion that a model M1 computer could not support any kind of jump drive.

Upon hearing this I decided he must have been sniffing moldy cheese or some other such halucinogenic substance and promptly ignored him with a promise to 'look' into it.

Even though I'm not now, nor have I ever been, a gearhead I decided to examine the relevant design sections and figure out for myself what he was talking about and I feel I have since determined the cause of his confusion.

I first began my studies in chapter 12, beginning on page 223, and quickly discovered the same phenomenon mentioned by NDS in his 'Computer Cores' post of October 20th in the 'Errata' Forum. This being the mismatched information in the table at the top of page 224 and the text across pages 224 and 225.

I made the assumption that the Table was in error and continued from there, though here is where I started becoming confused myself...

In the second column of page 225, last paragraph, beginning with 'MAX PP' it states the following:

The Maximum Number of PP points that may be applied to any single task involving the use of a skill based program each round. This may not exceed the rated PP Capacity of the progam being run.
My first reaction upon reading this was to immediately look for a definition of exactly what a 'Skill based program' is.

I couldn't find one, though after further reading I have my suspicions. Here I will ask for clarification.

What is a skill based program?

Next I checked the entry for the Jump Program itself on page 232 second column. Here I discovered that Jump-1 requires a whopping 23 PP to run. I then referenced back to the 'Computer Type and Model' Table on page 224 and noted that only the Model 9 Type E could crank the required PP's to run Jump-1 in a standard 6 second round, remember the previous Quote. ;)

This is where I think my DM became muddled. I myself assume that Jump-1 couldn't possibly be run in a single round by anything but the Model 9 Type E, however the Model 1 Type M would probably be able to accomplish the task across multiple rounds.

Hence, it seems likely we won't be initiating Jump in a single round without a BFC. :D

Having satisfied myself that my DM was nuts. I decided on a whim to use the design rules to 'build' a Model 1/bis computer from scratch and compare my results with information presented elsewhere in the book for a 'standard design Model 1/bis' computer.

Until this moment I thought all was right with the technical world and baby bunny rabbits came from cabbage patches. :(

Starting with the vehicle data for the Scout/Courier (Type s) on page 325 we find the following information...

"Most ex-scout vessels have had their powerful computer and sensor arrays removed and replaced with a standard Model/1bis computer."
</font><blockquote>code:</font><hr /><pre style="font-size:x-small; font-family: monospace;">Scout/Courier
Main Computer: Model/1bis (5 CPU)

Design Specifications
Installed Components Tonnage Cost EP
Computer -0.1 MCr4 -
Flight Avionics -0.4 (MCr0.9) -
Sensors -0.3 (MCr0.6) -
Communications -0.2 (MCr0.5) -</pre>[/QUOTE]-----

However on the Ship's Computer table found on page 282 I found this...

"The Computers Below are built using advanced synaptic components"
</font><blockquote>code:</font><hr /><pre style="font-size:x-small; font-family: monospace;">Type TL Units Cost Volume EP CPU Model Int PP
Model/1 5 x1000 100,000 135 9 2500 (x4) M1 4 28/11
Model/2 7 x2000 200,000 270 18 5000 (x4) M2 4 35/12</pre>[/QUOTE]-----

Further information on 'another' Ship's Computer table on page 263 is as follows...

</font><blockquote>code:</font><hr /><pre style="font-size:x-small; font-family: monospace;"> Min
Type TL Size EP's Jump
Model/1 5 0.1 0 1
Model/1bis 6 0.1 0 2
Model/2 7 0.2 0 2
Model/2bis 8 0.2 0 3 </pre>[/QUOTE]-----

To top off my list of quotes from the THB is the following information from Page 225, column 1, the paragraph beginning 'Synaptic'...

An early attempt at developing a unit that mimics the inductive reasoning of a human brain. Min. TL is 11, costs Cr200, volume is 0.135vl, and EP required is 0.009 per unit installed. Each unit produces 2 CPU of output.
After all this research I concluded that I should have paid more attention to CT or MT design rules as I might have had a better understanding to fall back on to puzzle my way past what I consider my own personal Scylla and Charybdis. To think that until now I've only ever been a role player

My puzzlement arises from the apparent discontinuity between the different data sources. Ep's, Minimum TL and other such information dosn't seem to agree on a final computer type.

Since the minimum TL is 11 for Synaptic equipment according to the text then how can a Model/2 be built at TL 7 as is reported by page 282?

To further confuse myself I followed the example on page 228, first column, and applied it to the 'Synaptic' cores as quoted above... my results are as follows.

18 Synaptic Core Units produce 36 CPU's of output consuming 0.162 EP's total and ocupying 2.43vl at a minimum TL of 11 costing Cr3600. Of course this dosn't account for programs or accessories like avionics, sensors, communications, or data storage equipment.

Will the real Model 1/bis please stand up? :D

What 'really' are the statistics for a Model 1/bis computer and can those statistics be reliably determined indepentantly using the design system?

I'm not above admitting that I am in need of help...

HELP! I'm confused