Computing technology in Ill Bethisad differs quite a bit from the mainstream *here*. This page is an overview of some of the technical aspects behind it. They are protected by the curious Inventor's Licence.
Whereas computing technology *here* concentrated on making fast serial computers, *there* the aim was to produce small, low-power devices that could easily be networked parallelised. The typical microprocessor in IB has more in common with microcontrollers, Chuck Moore's MISC stack machines, and the Transputer, or IBM's Cell processor.
Each processor is a simple stack machine with a communications port, fast stack, and a chunk of onboard memory. The processing capacity of these computers there compared to here depends on how many of them you throw together. However, one of the most commonly-used low-cost, low-power units has about the same processing power as your typical 68000 *here*, maybe slightly faster.
The size of an IB processor is about that of a fingernail. The average computer contains quite a few of them, and they are typically also used for things you'd use custom chipsets for here. Think of it: a fully programmable video subsystem!
Transistors and CMOS fabrication are the standard. Vaccum tubes? That's 30 year old technology! While IB's technological level was somewhere equivalent to 20 years ago (1980s) in 2005, it has been catching up. It is expected that IB and *here* will reach parity in another 20 years as of 2005.
The origin of IB's contemporary computer technology has its origins in the development of the vacuum tube-powered "Colossus" computer and other efforts to crack the infamous German "Enigma" code. Contributing scientists included Neumann János and Alan Turing, who developed the modern foundations of computer technology. The efforts proved a success, and soon vacuum-tube computers such as ENIAC in Philadelphia spread to laboratories and research institutions across the Western world. Although vacuum tubes enjoyed a brief vogue as the primary devices used in computer technology, they were soon replaced by the transistor in 1948, and the last vacuum tube computer was built in 1963 at Osage University in Louisianne. However, despite the massive advance in technology and increased stability offered by the transistor, it was largely unable to solve the problem of size in computers, as transistors and other components still had to be wired together in complicated discrete circuits. As a result, computers remained large, clunky devices confined to universities and research laboratories--that is, until the invention of the integrated circuit.
This design originated in AÉ during the late 1960s, primarily through the work of Evan Ó Ceallaigh and other members of General Instruments' Irish branch, who hold the primary inventor's licence for it. The integrated circuit allowed for computers to finally become reasonably sized devices, and soon various technology companies were performing their own elaborations on General Instruments' original design in order to allow for use under the Inventor's Licence. By the 1980s, several companies had developed processor systems based on GI's basic design; the most successful of these would be Solas Teoranta's system, which hit markets in the 1990s. Owing to the flexibility of their basic design, and how widely it is used and licensed throughout the world, Solas has become quite wealthy and is one of the world's most important research labs and IT companies. Alternative computer processor designs have been developed in countries like Japan (which is not bound to the distinctively Hiberno-European Inventor's Licence) and elsewhere, in order to circumvent the cut of profits that Solas gets under the Inventor's Licence.
Computers are critical in space exploration and in Particle Physics, and are one of the largest use of computers in the world to date. Solas Teoranta maintains close ties with the major particle physics laboratories, and many of the innovations seen in computers are due to the efforts of Solas Teoranta in giving the particle physics labs the computing power they feel they need.
In IB, while the QWERTY, QWERTZ or AZERTY keyboards are prominent, a hybrid keyboard between the QWERTY and Dvorak keyboards dubbed "ASDUI" has formed as a happy medium between the two. Some analaysts suspect that the ASDUI keyboard will actually rise to prominence over the Dvorak or QWERTY keyboards, given time, as it increases typing speed and data entry and is not as difficult a change as from QWERTY to Dvorak. Japanese and Corean keyboards are based on cana and Hangul, respectively.
Like *here*, the most common text encoding is 8-bit. Where it differs from Latin1 and it's ilk *here* is in how it copes with diacritics.
Unlike *here*, the big countries in the computing industry happen to be ones with languages whose orthographies that make heavy use of diacritics. Like ASCII, the IB text encoding has control characters in the bottom 32 slots. One of these characters is called combining character (actually the code for a backspace but as with the linefeed character here, its meaning altered with time), and is followed by two more codes: the base character and the diacritic character. Diacritics form a parallel character set to the base character set, so the the sequence "A" CC ACUTE might have the codes 21 01 21 (in hex). There are five diacritics that are historical exceptions to this rule: GRAVE, ACUTE, TREMA, CIRCUMFLEX, and PUNCTUS DELENS. This is owed to their presence in Brithenig, Kerno, Gaeilg (a variant orthography is sometimes used in Scotland and Uladh where a GRAVE accent is used in place of the standard ACUTE accent).
The base character set covers the latin, greek, and cyrillic alphabets.
Parallel systems here are ISO 5427 and ISO 6937.
Owing to the difficulty involved in writing languages that don't use the latin, greek or cyrillic alphabets, there is an effort to produce a character encoding better suited to dealing with the likes of Arabic, Devangari, and others.
|010 0001||041||33||21||Less than sign|
|010 0010||042||34||22||Greater than sign|
|010 0011||043||35||23||Number sign|
|010 0100||044||36||24||Currency mark|
|010 0101||045||37||25||Percent sign|
|010 1000||050||40||28||Open Bracket|
|010 1001||051||41||29||Closed Bracket|
|010 1010||052||42||2A||Open Brace|
|010 1011||053||43||2B||Closed Brace|
|010 1100||054||44||2C||At sign|
|010 1110||056||46||2E||Full stop|
|011 1010||072||58||3A||Open square bracket|
|011 1011||073||59||3B||Closed square bracket|
|011 1100||074||60||3C||Exclamation mark|
|011 1111||077||63||3F||Question mark|
|101 1011||133||91||5B||Double Quote/Umlaut|
|101 1101||135||93||5D||Vertical Bar|
|101 1110||136||94||5E||Plus sign|
|111 1011||173||123||7B||Acute accent/close quote|
|111 1100||174||124||7C||Grave accent/open quote|
|111 1101||175||125||7D||Circumflex accent|