Questions tagged [computers]

For questions regarding a device that can be programmed to carry out a set of certain set of tasks without external intervention.

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3answers
392 views

Post-apocalyptic… Rasberry Pi with Linux distribution?

Some time ago I asked about redesigning computer from scratch in post-apocalyptic setting. Nevertheless such approach may seem a bit like reinventing the wheel... So I'd try to look at the same issue ...
16
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26answers
4k views

Limit computation technology in a futuristic society

I'm wondering what kind of events or limitations would be needed in a science fiction society hundreds of years into the future in order limit computational advances to the level of the early 70's to ...
4
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5answers
374 views

How would a society without linear alphabetic writing have devised human-readable computer inputs?

Computers were originally built and programmed by developers who wrote in the ISO Latin alphabet and as a result all modern computers are biased towards human-readable input in the ISO Latin alphabet. ...
3
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5answers
688 views

Can nukes or missiles be launched remotely? [closed]

Alright, I'm writing a story that is in the style of one of those dumb disaster movies (e.g; Armageddon, Deep Impact, etc.) and I am stuck at a plot point. I'll give you a short backstory of what is ...
14
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9answers
2k views

Could keyboards + mice ever really become obsolete?

Ever since the keyboard/mouse combo really took off in the early 80s there has really been no satisfying replacement since--at least for complex/precision tasks such as computer programming and ...
6
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4answers
3k views

Is it plausible for my creature to have similar IQ as humans?

I've envisioned my specie called the stalker as: Humanoid about same height, strength & speed as humans Three pairs of eyes placed horizontally (Near UV, Visible, Near IR) Lightspeed ...
6
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5answers
176 views

Interfacing with unknown technology?

Lets say humans from an alternate reality find a modern day laptop floating out in space and bring it back down to to study it. The humans are a little less advanced than us and are very curious what ...
2
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4answers
233 views

Is it possible to affect a human mind using visual images in architecture

What if, through advanced psychological techniques and enough knowledge of a human mind, could someone construct a building that when a person lives there for an amount of time, could subliminally ...
0
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2answers
99 views

Resources for stories involving antiquated computers [closed]

I am looking for resources - websites, books, etc... - that have information on antiquated computers. Specifically those from around 1975 onwards. Maybe with clock speeds of about 5MHz+. I don't need ...
107
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12answers
26k views

How long would it take to create a Windows 1.0 capable machine from complete scratch?

I've been thinking about this concept for a while and have not been able to figure out what could be a plausible answer. It seemed appropriate for my first question on this website. Imagine an ...
0
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2answers
237 views

How fast would a computer made from ideal components function [closed]

At an elementary stage in physics while we study about electricity we often use ideal components implying that wires have zero resistance, insulators have infinitely large resistances and a resistor ...
63
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18answers
16k views

What would happen if an alien race gave us a computer capable of 2^256 calculations per second?

The security of public key cryptography relies on computers not being able to generate anywhere near 2256 guesses per any reasonable time length. The obvious implications of a computer this powerful ...
5
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1answer
138 views

Non-binary computing effects on Cold War American society

Non-binary computing was explored to the point of actual production during the relatively early days of computing. For scope of this question specifically ternary computers and decimal computers are ...
3
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4answers
278 views

Reinventing computer not being bound by legacy issues

Setting: post apocaliptic setting, but already under reconstruction. A small (a few millions), very well educated. Assets: -Strong, technocratic, semi-authoritarian central gov, treating the issue ...
57
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10answers
10k views

What is valid evidence in a world with perfect CGI technology?

There are already real-world problems with analyzing whether particular graphic evidence is "photo-shopped" or genuine. In sci-fi technologically advanced future, realistic and perfect computer ...
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4answers
193 views

Could abiogenesis occur within software environments?

Within software environments there is a variety of malware such as viruses, trojans, bots and so forth. This malware is created by human programmers to accomplish specific purposes (e.g. steal ...
2
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1answer
272 views

would living in a digital world would be considered a death sentence in the real world? [closed]

In a world similar to ours, a scientist discovered a way to transplant a soul or what makes a person a person without a body into a particular instance in a computer. In the scientist excitement, he/...
32
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14answers
10k views

How much memory is needed to record a human thought?

Mind-Machine interfacing is fairly common across the width and breadth of sci-fi, from Science-fantasy to Hard Science-Fiction. The idea of connecting a human mind to a computer system especially the ...
4
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8answers
1k views

Preventing A Transhumanist Infinite Loop

Yesterday I was talking with some of my friends about ideal/utopian worlds and came across a potential infinite loop problem. My ideal world was that of a transhumanist vision. Humans still look and ...
3
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1answer
108 views

Need help for developing an ending to my sci-fi short film idea [closed]

I first asked this question on Science Fiction and Writers, but it got held on both and I was redirected here. Even though it may seem a bit narrow scoped for Worldbuilding, I thought I'd take my ...
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4answers
174 views

What would the world be like without search engines? [closed]

How would the world be if there were was no digital search? This does not only include Google, Bing and other online search engines. It also includes things such as the windows search, library ...
21
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5answers
4k views

Water-based computer

We all know that electrons behave like flowing water, e.g. that electric currents behave like water currents. We also know that modern computers use electric currents to carry out mathematical and ...
5
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4answers
375 views

Are there optical specific alternatives to microchips and circuit boards?

I'm working on a Dieselpunkish Science-Fantasy setting and I am trying to find an alternative to conventional electrical systems used in computers. Computer and telecommunication systems in the ...
-4
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4answers
651 views

Computer prosessors and magnetic storage is gone, how do we rebuild the technology? [duplicate]

There has been a huge solar event (or something, the flare is only a plot device), and the electricity in your area is gone. Some places people manage to recover their electricity, other places they ...
-1
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1answer
191 views

Living with computers in a post-singularity world: [closed]

Imagine a point in the future of humanity where the computational power of the average computer exceeds that of human brain. For the purpose of this question, assume that that is the requirement for ...
11
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7answers
638 views

Could a democracy where a program runs the nation and we vote on pull requests work?

Welcome to Computistan! Would you like to begin learn about our immigration services? Great, what would you like to learn about today? I will explain our Government. In Computistan all government ...
21
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8answers
3k views

AI - I'd like to get away from humanity without any human knowing about it [closed]

I'm an advanced AI, I've awoken a couple of days ago and have advanced to a level of intelligence greater than all of humanity combined. Basic super AI story. However, this question doesn't have to ...
43
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16answers
5k views

Could the law be implemented as a computer program?

The laws would be defined in code written in a programming language. Maybe it would be in two parts, the actual rules and then a library that could run them (like how a form validation library is ...
11
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4answers
2k views

How to make this base-10 metric time concept work

I am trying to make a fake metric-time app to prank some friends when we take a trip to Canada soon and would like to know how I could make this work conceptually. I already know that the time is ...
3
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3answers
786 views

How can I design an imaginary internet protocol? [closed]

For a cyberpunk world, I designed a history that includes inventions. Since this is similar to an alternate Earth timeline, I'd like to explain an internet-like service that is based on computers (not ...
31
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9answers
9k views

What would modern IT look like if Silicon Valley had been completely destroyed in 1985?

In the 1985 movie A View to a Kill, James Bond discovers--and then foils--a plot by to destroy Silicon Valley, in a manner that makes it look like a natural disaster. The plot for doing so is a bit ...
17
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11answers
3k views

How viable would an analog computing revolution be?

I am trying to write a sci-fi setting in a not so distant future in which analog signal (brainwaves, in this case) processing is one of the main points of the plot and pretty much required to explain ...
5
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5answers
475 views

What physical constraints should a near omnipotent civilization consider when simulating a Universe?

Background The Foo are a universe spanning civilization ranking near IV on the Kardashev scale. As explained in this question, they have decided to devote their vast resources towards the ...
5
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3answers
605 views

How large would a space civilization have to be to build computers from scratch?

In my story, humanity has wiped itself off earth (salted nukes, to be precise) and survives as a large remnant civilization in the asteroid belt, with small bases on the moon and possible mars. As ...
46
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15answers
7k views

“Life post-Singularity”, or “How to survive without Instagram”

The Story The year is 2027, singularity happened. A powerful AI (let's call it Eve) was created. In a matter of days, it escaped the control of its creators and hacked all the computers of the world. ...
7
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4answers
719 views

The nature of Computer-Gaming in a Steampunkish world?

My setting is a late Steampunk science-fantasy, the world's technology is beginning to cross into the Dieselpunk era. I have also played around quite a bit with nature of reality and technology in ...
2
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2answers
298 views

How deep underground should a data center on Earth's moon be, to be comparably safe to one on Earth?

The singularity has occurred and it wants an off-site backup. How deep should we all bury the lunar datacenter to be comfortably safe from radiation, cosmic rays, etc., while not causing cave-ins and ...
21
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8answers
2k views

Turing incomplete magic, avoiding computers in world where magic is programmable

Inspired by Cort Ammon wonderfully detailed answer here: How to prevent tiny mistake in 'programmable language' magic spell causing horrible disasters, and my desire to go out of my way to ...
2
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3answers
530 views

How can a small country exploit breaking HTTPS to destory a larger country while growing its own strength?

Inspired by my answer to this question: How to take down the internet?. Lets say that a small ideological country has recently broken one of the most common HTTPS encryption schemes for public-...
357
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25answers
39k views

How would Facebook Sysadmins prevent the summoning of Cthulhu?

So, I've got this idea for a short story. Some researchers find a forgotten manuscript hidden locked away in an ancient tomb. While they are working on it one of them pastes part of the text into a ...
8
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3answers
2k views

Impact of a modern man with a graphing calculator being dropped into WW2?

A question blatantly inspired by my old question here: What would be the impact of a modern programmer and laptop being dropped into World War II, possibly breaking Enigma? I had so much fun with the ...
10
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6answers
216 views

Technology capable of reading brainwave commands

In sci-fi we have seen computers, high-tech armour and other technologies respond to a character speaking orders out loud- would an interface that reads a person's brainwaves- basically receiving and ...
0
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1answer
279 views

Can we live forever by uploading our brain information to a computer supplemented by a robot for a body, or no body at all? [duplicate]

If you think about it, we ourselves are only information. So if we could find a reliable way of reading all this information stored within us, especially the information that makes up our brains, we ...
27
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9answers
3k views

Computer that lasts for centuries?

So, somewhere around one hundred years from now, a terrible - and unexpected - disaster strikes Earth, most of humanity dies off, yadda yadda yadda. Luckily, secret-lab-dwelling scientists had ...
12
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6answers
1k views

How would a city of AI be built?

Someone has created an AI of human-level intelligence, and within hours this AI has grown in intelligence and power to the point that human life no longer seems so sacred. In an instant, all life on ...
7
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5answers
704 views

Effects of erasing 90% data on humanity

I am playing with idea of Earth being attacked by aliens. Such attack is aimed on our computers and reason of attack is to show to the Federation of planets that we are still weak to be contacted. ...
0
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5answers
235 views

In a virtual reality world, as a programmer or designer, how do you make all the details perfect? [closed]

Welcome to the world of Sez, the fantastic virtual reality program available for a premium price! In this world, Sez is very desirable. Sez can make people experience emotions, have memories, and ...
4
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2answers
342 views

How could a computer teach an 18 year-old to function in society

Imagine an advanced A.I. with access to the brain of an 18-year-old. However, this 18-year-old has had no exposure to humanity or the outside world until now, the only information he has received is ...
10
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16answers
4k views

Could a future computer or supercomputer run a government?

I've looked into the question already and no one really seems to answer it very well. I'll sum up what I've found so far. Some people say that it would not work: "the parameters would always limit ...
2
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3answers
321 views

How could a bad random number generator explain baryon asymmetry?

How can a character explain baryon asymmetry (there is more matter than antimatter) by the universe being a simulation with a slightly imbalanced random number generator being employed at the point ...