Computers

From IBWiki

Jump to: navigation, search

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.

Contents

Architecture

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.

Origins

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 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.

Usage

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.

Keyboards

The Asdui Keyboard Layout

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.

Text

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.


Binary Oct Dec Hex Name
010 0000 040 32 20 Underscore
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 0110 046 38 26 Ampersand
010 0111 047 39 27 Backslash
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 1101 055 45 2D Comma/Cedilla
010 1110 056 46 2E Full stop
010 1111 057 47 2F Slash
011 0000 060 48 30 0
011 0001 061 49 31 1
011 0010 062 50 32 2
011 0011 063 51 33 3
011 0100 064 52 34 4
011 0101 065 53 35 5
011 0110 066 54 36 6
011 0111 067 55 37 7
011 1000 070 56 38 8
011 1001 071 57 39 9
011 1010 072 58 3A Open square bracket
011 1011 073 59 3B Closed square bracket
011 1100 074 60 3C Exclamation mark
011 1101 075 61 3D Semicolon
011 1110 076 62 3E Colon
011 1111 077 63 3F Question mark
Binary Oct Dec Hex Glyph
100 0000 100 64 40 Cue
100 0001 101 65 41 A
100 0010 102 66 42 B
100 0011 103 67 43 C
100 0100 104 68 44 D
100 0101 105 69 45 E
100 0110 106 70 46 F
100 0111 107 71 47 G
100 1000 110 72 48 H
100 1001 111 73 49 I
100 1010 112 74 4A J
100 1011 113 75 4B K
100 1100 114 76 4C L
100 1101 115 77 4D M
100 1110 116 78 4E N
100 1111 117 79 4F O
101 0000 120 80 50 P
101 0001 121 81 51 Q
101 0010 122 82 52 R
101 0011 123 83 53 S
101 0100 124 84 54 T
101 0101 125 85 55 U
101 0110 126 86 56 V
101 0111 127 87 57 W
101 1000 130 88 58 X
101 1001 131 89 59 Y
101 1010 132 90 5A Z
101 1011 133 91 5B Double Quote/Umlaut
101 1100 134 92 5C Trema
101 1101 135 93 5D Vertical Bar
101 1110 136 94 5E Plus sign
101 1111 137 95 5F Space
Binary Oct Dec Hex Glyph
110 0000 140 96 60 Asterisk
110 0001 141 97 61 a
110 0010 142 98 62 b
110 0011 143 99 63 c
110 0100 144 100 64 d
110 0101 145 101 65 e
110 0110 146 102 66 f
110 0111 147 103 67 g
110 1000 150 104 68 h
110 1001 151 105 69 i
110 1010 152 106 6A j
110 1011 153 107 6B k
110 1100 154 108 6C l
110 1101 155 109 6D m
110 1110 156 110 6E n
110 1111 157 111 6F o
111 0000 160 112 70 p
111 0001 161 113 71 q
111 0010 162 114 72 r
111 0011 163 115 73 s
111 0100 164 116 74 t
111 0101 165 117 75 u
111 0110 166 118 76 v
111 0111 167 119 77 w
111 1000 170 120 78 x
111 1001 171 121 79 y
111 1010 172 122 7A z
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
111 1110 176 126 7E Dash


Personal tools
discussion