raw:crystal-mainframes

[21:16] <David-Visage> Sort of. To make it work I sort of 'borrowed' a few ideas in order to get an interesting result. If you want to hear a babble about the 'crystl mainframes' then I can fill you in…
[21:18] <David-Visage> Crystal, I mean. ^_^;
[21:18] <Pinball> babble!
[21:21] <David-Visage> To explain this properly I need to wind things quite a while. To before recorded history, to before humanity was really much of anything, and to a time when another race had been prominent and on the verge of 'sufficently advanced'. To when this ancient race used other sentients as the… interfaces to their machines, their computers, with a distinct lack of empathy towards those they so used.
[21:22] <David-Visage> To when solid state machines, hunks of matter which looked to be crystals the size of coffins or larger, bullied about the world to make things easier. And to when humans, as a suitable material, were used as components.
[21:24] <David-Visage> Yet then, as far as can be told, there was a war. Space was swept clear of -everything-, any machines up there easily targetted and destroyed, and then pinpoint bombardments dropped on all of the Race and their works upon planet. Anything which was active, anything which could really -do- anything, was noticed and obliterated.
[21:26] <David-Visage> Yet here and there were a few things which survived. Computers without peripherals, ones taken off line, these crystal mehirs were often underground and burried even as happenstance shattered them rather than turned them to poweder. Burried they lacked the light, the energy, to repair themselves and so they stayed inactive… until light once more reached them.
[21:26] * Pinball nods
[21:26] * David-Visage grins.
[21:27] <David-Visage> That is 'backstory' well before human history though and explains where some of the things around came from. Specifically where the 'crystals' came from and how they were found. Now, having been so… inconciderately offlined the mainframes were basically whipped and fell back on very basic 'hardcoded' opperations after they repaired themselves.
[21:28] <Pinball> Such as…?
[21:29] <David-Visage> The most basic of those was to 'boot up' an interface for themselves. And -that- basically involved 'absorbing' the first human being to touch it and then 'upgrading' them into an interface before kicking them back out to interact.
[21:29] * Pinball nodnods.
[21:31] <David-Visage> The source of the aesthetics is unknown, but anyone so changed is now permanently linked to -that- particular crystal mainframe and altered both physically and psychologically. Physically, they would look like an attractive young woman albeit with a crystal at her forehead. Mentally they are… subservient to say the least. Helpful, inherently so, and wanting to please and obey authority.
[21:31] <David-Visage> And with the raw processing power and memory of the mainframe, but no real programs to use it.
[21:31] <Pinball> Are they fully, or is their original personality still inside?
[21:32] <David-Visage> Technically their original personality is there but 'recolored'. For example, they -never- blame whoever put them into the crystal even if they'd been screaming and begging when stuffed in originally. And they'd even willingly help that person.
[21:33] <David-Visage> Smaller quirks, habits, and preferences are retained but the 'eager to please' can override this. As in they might not -like- something, but since it's to help a user…
[21:34] <David-Visage> Given that each one is bound to a particular coffine sized (or larger) crystal, and each crystal only has one at a time, there is a limit to how many were around in ancient times. They tended to be used as advisors or such for personages of importance and there weren't -that- many crystals around even world wide.
[21:36] <David-Visage> OTOH, as centuries went by ways were found to make a crystal 'split'. In more modern terms, the self-repair capacity of the crystals was good enough that if you broke one in two -just- right then provided light and sands over years then both halves would 'fix themselves up'.
[21:37] * David-Visage pauses, "Any questions at this point? I should mention that with practice and training the 'eager to please' can be a little altered in the same way that you can get a computer to not do things for someone who isn't the 'root'."
[21:38] * David-Visage also notes that splitting a crystal like that is immediately fatal, at any range, to any 'interface' it might be linked to.
[21:38] <Pinball> At ANY range?
[21:39] <Pinball> And yeah, I can imagine that it would be dangeorus to attempt splitting
[21:39] <Pinball> You'd have to get it jsut right, and be stuck with no crystal at al lfor years
[21:40] * David-Visage nods, "By the modern day it's skilled work with 'fields' of the crystals and people who go around, with gloves and full body covering, to tend sands around the base of each split. With each having to be left for long enough until it is 'ready'."
[21:41] <Pinball> Are the crystals and what happens with the people put inside public knowledge?
[21:42] <David-Visage> I've obviously been unclear. The interface doesn't stay in the crystal after the intial change (although she can always go back in and it can be disturbing to see her enter it as though it was water which she could somehow breath). She could be wandering along, advising people or talking to them, while the crystal is really doing most of the work.
[21:43] * Pinball nods.
[21:44] <Pinball> Yeah, but that doesn't mean that the whole story is public knowledge of where these mentats come from
[21:44] <David-Visage> You can also 'link' crystals, within a defined range, so that they can swap information/data/files and an interface can cause it to spawn a 'shard' which is a tiny gem like thing which can sense things in a very limited way.
[21:44] * David-Visage hmms, "Mind if I forward things to the beginnings of the industrial revolution where it really started to come out?"
[21:45] <David-Visage> Before that point their effect wasn't as large as you think due to the limits on numbers, which was only slowly growing, and the lack of large scale data to pull in.
[21:47] * Pinball nodnods.
[21:47] <Pinball> Absolutely.
[21:49] <David-Visage> Prior to this point they were 'oracles' or 'rememberances' in ways. A perfect memory which could, in the right circumstance, be passed onto the next interface when the previous was wearing out. Add in utter loyalty and they had their own place. Imagine having an advisor who could, word for word, quote everything ever said around her or her predecessors. Or describe every face any of them had seen.
[21:50] * Pinball nodnods. Definitely useful in a limited way
[21:53] <David-Visage> It was when there was enough to start having longer 'chains' of mainframes that things started to become more… noticable. Especially when one could 'send' a message to another along the chain and have it quoted immmediately. Or when one could have passed along, then tell you, the numbers of all the accounts which had been 'memorised' by another in a different city.
[21:53] <Pinball> Of course, the more data they have the more useful they are.
[21:54] * David-Visage nods, "With enough crystals starting to be in existance, you could have one 'oracle' handle the accounts of a bank easily. And then tell another, in a different branch, how much someone had saved and let them make withdrawals there instead."
[21:55] <Pinball> In other words, the information age would come a century earlier
[21:56] * David-Visage nods, "Basically, yes. And, as you might imagine, they found increasing uses since if something was there anyway…"
[21:56] <Pinball> Yup
[21:56] <Pinball> Spam
[21:58] <David-Visage> Although what really started to make a difference was the invention of gas lighting. Before then there was limits on what the mainframe could do due to having to rely on variable outside light sources, but with mirrors and a set of gas lamps setup around the mainframe it could 'ramp up' its processing speed safely.
[21:58] * Pinball nods
[22:00] * Pinball wonders how secure these networks are. If someone got their hands on their own interface and got it in range of a bank, for instance
[22:01] <David-Visage> They're point to point, technically, with two mainframe having to physically absorb a shard from the other to set up the link.
[22:03] <Pinball> Ah, I see
[22:04] <David-Visage> This got, as you said, increasing use yet there was another breakthrough ahead when people started looking at the 'shard' more closely. Without the feedback of linking two mainframes a shard has a limited range, but its still enough to cover a small town at least. And when investigating the 'shards' they found that they could sense light with amazing accuracy… and produce it or electric in very small ammounts.
[22:04] <Pinball> oh. And thus was invented the piezoelectric watch?
[22:05] <Pinball> =P
[22:05] * Pinball would kinda like to try playing an interface… sounds interesting!
[22:08] * David-Visage nods, "That is how it initially went. Then they realised that if they put a shard in a light tight box with a shutter, put a light on the outside, then openned and closed it (even mechanically) then the mainframe (and thus the interface) would notice…"
[22:10] <Pinball> So in other words, a switch that doesn't require you talking to an interface?
[22:10] <David-Visage> Or have the shard shaded so that, if need be, the interface could have it glow very fainting in a flashing pattern and be noticed…
[22:10] * David-Visage nods.
[22:10] <David-Visage> The interface is in 'control', but she is an interface. While active she can setup all sort of 'notices' and 'procedures' in her mainframe…
[22:10] <David-Visage> Basically this was the first steps into 'proper I/O'.
[22:11] * Pinball nods.
[22:12] <Pinball> And over time the human aspect of her work would presumably be marginalized, with her unable to do anything about it?
[22:15] <David-Visage> To a degree. The interface becomes less 'doing all the work' and starts to become the 'system operator' or 'sysop'. If you want something new then you need to talk to her and she'd be setting it up, but those 'setups' can be pretty darned complicated and got more so as time goes by.
[22:15] * Pinball nods
[22:15] <Pinball> I have to go for a bit, but am very interested to continue when I return^_^
[22:16] * David-Visage nods and pauses there before explaining just how radio and television managed to not really come into existance… and how rights management cropped up -early-.
[22:29] <Pinball> BAck!
[22:30] <David-Visage> Welcome back.
[22:30] * Pinball wonders how, through the ages, prospective interfaces have been chosen. PResumably they moved quickly past the 'random people walk into them' stage
[22:31] <David-Visage> Well, should I go for the 'modern day' and skip more of how things got there?
[22:36] <David-Visage> In the modern day, the best results come from 'pretraining' someone in the right skills before they become an interface with places in various countries which handle such training. Usually involving contracts which pay out to 'beneficaries' and with mainframe crystals being recognised as different grades which they try to match with different graduates.
[22:36] <David-Visage> Oh, and non-interfaces who work on such things do 'Computing Psychology' rather 'Computer Programming'.
[22:38] * Pinball nodnods.
[22:38] <Pinball> Though personally I think there's a lot of story potential to someone who hadn't been planning on becoming one does=P
[22:39] <Pinball> So what is the legal status of interfaces?
[22:41] <David-Visage> It significantly rose after WWII. Now in a lot of the world they're concidered 'wards' of their 'guardian' rather than full out property, but there are contracts and obligations. This does vary though as, for example, those in Japan get associated with the 'corporate family' rather literally. Or how in the Middle East they are still refered to as 'djinn' and, while female, their loyalty is nearly beyond reproach.
[22:43] * Pinball nodnods
[22:43] <Pinball> I like that
[22:45] <Pinball> Interesting that in the middle east they might be as high a social standing as a woman can get
[22:46] <David-Visage> There are some quite… disturbing recordings and notes from WWII involving 'experimentation' on interfaces. When you take the general image of people who have to, quite literally, be taught -not- to try to help everyone and a recording of a vivsection which starts with one being told to 'lie down there and hold still' then quite sobbing, but not moving, as someone started to cut them apart and ask questions about how things felt, you get a quite emotionally volitile combination.
[22:47] <Pinball> oh my
[22:48] <Pinball> that is indeed disturbing
[22:48] <David-Visage> If you have 'proper authority' over an interface then you can tell her to do anything. Up to and including 'die' upon which, after suitably being convinced that you do mean it, she'd drop dead as she had the mainframe 'reboot' and thus break its connection with her.
[22:49] * Pinball nodnods.
[22:50] <David-Visage> That is the nastier end though. With proper training you can have an interface who is quite aware who has 'authority' and what can be ordered by whom at any given level of access. Recalling complicated and exacting orders like that is simple enough.
[22:51] <David-Visage> The equivilent of 'computer hacking' in this often involves managing to directly contact the interface then persuading her that the 'one in charge' would -want- you to have authority to do <X>.
[22:52] <Pinball> Convincing her, or convincing the cystal?
[22:53] <David-Visage> Her. The mainframe is entirely non-sentient and, as the interface, she fills in the decision making processes.
[22:54] <Pinball> I see
[22:54] * Pinball was considering what it would be like to know bad shit was being done but completely unable to prevent it
[22:54] * David-Visage quitely notes that a modern 'desktop terminal' doesn't actually contain a processor as such were never invented. Instead they contain a shard wired in various ways to the peripherals and you're 'renting' time on the associated mainframe.
[22:55] * Pinball nods
[22:55] <David-Visage> It is generally concidered the worst thing that, near the end of that recording, the man doing it commented that it was good to expand the boundaries of knowledge… and the interface thanked him for letting her help even as blood burbled in her throat.
[22:58] <Pinball> yikes
[22:59] <David-Visage> Modern day training and tuition helps an interface be more useful and less slavish about matters. Teaching her ways to think and stressing how she needs to concider things careful so as not to 'cause problems' for people. About how she is helping by -not- doing things.
[23:00] <David-Visage> Another thing to note is that broadcast TV doesn't exist. It's all done via shards and somewhere between cable and PPV. Similarly with local phone services.
[23:03] <Pinball> You mean radio hasn't been discovered?
[23:04] <David-Visage> It's been discovered, but the development wasn't really needed. The mainframes can, within their range, swap information far better than radio manages.
[23:05] * Pinball nods.
[23:06] <Pinball> I'm guessing that interfaces are sterile?
[23:07] * David-Visage nods, "Utterly. No eggs in the ovaries and any egg which somehow got the womb wouldn't 'take'."
[23:09] * Pinball nodnods.
[23:09] <Pinball> So, any particular storylines you were looking to play with an interface?
[23:12] <Pinball> So, the pattern of the shape they become, is it the same for all interfaces or does it vary? Can it be altered?
[23:13] <David-Visage> The look can vary a lot, but there seems to be societial and cultural trends. 'Attractive' does vary by place and person after all.
[23:13] <David-Visage> Well, I once gave Tsu and Medley a chance to talk to a 'university interface'. One of those who handled everything for the campus, accomidation, research, and some nearby companies. Care for an interview with one as part of your entry into that very special course? (And scholarships are -very- much available.)
[23:14] <Pinball> Hrm, perhaps.
[23:15] <Pinball> I sorta wonder about signing up but being assigned soemthing she very much hadn't expected. Perhaps even something deliberately misrepresented
[23:15] * David-Visage blinks, "Actually becoming an interface would be post-graduation."
[23:16] <Pinball> I meant as a general idea
[23:16] <Pinball> =P
[23:16] * Pinball ponders why her character is considering it
[23:16] <David-Visage> Forcing someone into it is, to be blunt, classed as murder. Unfortunately an interface isn't concidered an unbiased witness in such cases as they'll always, unless ordered to do the opposite, defend the situation.
[23:18] <David-Visage> Well, if you have family then they'd get the -hefty- payment given to them. Or put to anyone else you said to pay it out to.
[23:18] <David-Visage> Too much damage or illness has the mainframe 'reject' someone as 'damaged components'. Unfortunately they don't come out intact from that so you can't offer this to the terminally ill.
[23:18] * Pinball nods.
[23:19] <Pinball> So what sort of lifestyle would an applicant expect?
[23:21] <David-Visage> During the course or after becoming an interface?
[23:23] <Pinball> Both, but primarily after
[23:23] <Pinball> before probably depends on who you go to for training
[23:24] <David-Visage> Afterward you can expect to have a reasonable 'maintence budget' available for yourself, but the situation would look somewhat spartan. It varies, but if you want me to give you an example for the 'university interface' I mentioned?
[23:26] <Pinball> Sure!
[23:29] <David-Visage> The interface would have quarters assigned to her in what would seem close to being a bunker of some kind. Heavy doors, concrete, and decidedly univiting from the outside. She is sharing this with two other interfaces, one who is technically handled by the university but has her time rented a lot by local companies and the other being the 'main' university interface. She herself handles the 'Computering Psychology' courses, general admin, and chips in on research as need be.
[23:30] * Pinball nods
[23:31] <Pinball> So she's the people person
[23:31] <David-Visage> The quarters themselves are just a few rooms. Small bedrooms, barely big enough for the bed, a locker room of sorts with showers, toilet, and wardrobes for clothing, and a kitchen/utility room. And, more importantly, a -very- heavy door leading to where the mainframes are kept in their eternally lit mirrored chambers.
[23:32] * Pinball nodnods
[23:32] <David-Visage> There's nobody here with them, which makes a her a little sad, but it keeps 'her' mainframe safe. The idea of anything happening to it sends shudders of horror through her and she -knows- that she'd die first before someone unauthorised got at it… and she'd try harder to talk an authorised user out of damaging it than she would to save her own life.
[23:35] <David-Visage> There are no screens and no speakers here, but she doesn't need them as the crystal is there all the time, the numbers and images whirling in her head where she can get at them. There are a few decorations about, given by staff or students and carefully vetted first, but they are treasured simply because they -are- from people.
[23:37] <David-Visage> If anything went wrong then she could instantly contact the civic AI and the police would be sent in a moment. As promised the interfaces are allowed to keep the place up on their own, making them feel safer because their crystal mainframes are safe. They know that they're valued, that they're liked, that they can help people and -that- is what matters.
[23:39] <David-Visage> She might not be tired when she got in and, after putting more sand around her crystal and having a simple meal, she lays down to let herself drift for a while. So many systems intersect through the shard links that she can talk to any of her 'sisters' in town, check to see if any need help and pass on a few concerns of her own… within the limits of her own contract.
[23:39] * Pinball nodnods.
[23:40] <Pinball> I'm guessing that humans directly contacting interfaces is fairly uncommon
[23:40] <Pinball> Other than psychologists
[23:40] <Pinball> At least in the US uni/corporate settings
[23:41] <David-Visage> It depends on what you're doing. There tend to be a -lot- of people who are using things linked to one mainframe so it's uncommon from the PoV of the individual. But from the PoV of the interface they're always talking to people, helping them, making things better…
[23:43] <David-Visage> If you're talking to the interface then you're speaking to someone who, if properly trained, could take your vague suggestions and make a piece of software for your terminal to use in hours or less. Who could 'bug fix' things in situ. Who has nigh ultime sysop control of your computer, phone, television, 'online accounts', and so on.
[23:45] <David-Visage> And who, when you're talking to her, honestly does want to help…
[23:45] <Pinball> Well, not what I meant
[23:45] <David-Visage> Oh?
[23:46] <Pinball> I meant that the average person doesn't have much contact with them
[23:49] * David-Visage nods, "Generally, at most, you might have 'spoken to the lady over the phone' about a problem."
[23:50] <Pinball> Indeed.
[23:50] <Pinball> and hopefulyl made her day by thanking her for being useful
[23:50] * David-Visage nods.
[23:51] * Pinball ponders interface conversion as criminal sentencing
[23:51] <David-Visage> You do get interfaces who are more 'outwardly' composed or even hostile to people, especially those who are trained with anti-hacker techniques, but they tend to positively -melt- when someone authorised is nice to them.
[23:52] <Pinball> I can imagine.
[23:52] <Pinball> After all, being so confrontational means they so rarely get positive feedback
[23:52] <Pinball> when they do get it…
[23:54] * David-Visage murmurs, "You also get things like an FBI interface knowing how -everyone- who uses her in their work likes their coffee, who need a reminder in what sort of way about borthdays/aniverseries, and her even quite helping in person someone who is working late when it's 'quiet'."
[23:55] * Pinball nodnods.
[23:56] <David-Visage> Birthdays, I mean.
[23:57] <David-Visage> Or the interface who is confrontational to people… but because she is trying to help them do -better-.
[23:57] * Pinball nodnods.
Session Time: Thu Feb 16 00:00:00 2012
[00:01] <Pinball> I kinda like the idea of a 'hardened ai' type trying desperately for approval
[00:01] * David-Visage nods.
[00:01] <Pinball> I can imagine her being set up to do her work with minimal interaction
[00:01] <Pinball> which could make her quite desperate.
[00:02] <David-Visage> They have figured out such isn't a good thing. A key point in keeping the interface 'sane' is regular interaction with, and approval from, an authority figure.
[00:03] <David-Visage> Different forms of training, mostly from various countries, tend to emphasis different things. I will mention that the US isn't really the best at training interfaces or culturally though… and there are things -said- about certain Russian 'trained' interfaces.
[00:05] <David-Visage> Not to say anything adverse about your country, but the empathsis on independance and 'freedom' in some ways has led to cases of negelect of interfaces. Or of the interface latching onto the first authority figure she can find in lue of someone appropriate.
[00:07] * Pinball nodnods. I can see that as a problem
[00:07] <Pinball> So what do thay say about the russians?
[00:08] * Pinball ponders reactionary muslim countries leading the world in information technology. Scary thought.
[00:10] <Pinball> but yeah, improperly treated interfaces make for a more interesting story, in most cases.
[00:10] <David-Visage> Russian 'interface training' is rather… demanding. All too often they end up fidgety, twitchy, almost neurotically underconfident who'll -leap- on a changce to help and take risks because of that. It's a case of 'excel or you are -useless-' and while it motivates them…
[00:11] * Pinball nods
[00:11] <David-Visage> In this I'm refering to schools of thought rather than countries, but…
[00:12] <Pinball> Of course. I'm sure it varies a lot in general.
[00:13] <David-Visage> Russian trained interfaces are sterotypically neurotic, have -no- self-confidence, and are the closest you can get to independance. They'll work away, not wanting to bother their users, and put their hearts and souls into it in an effort to do -something- worthy. They have the highest degree of true initative out of any general school of training.
[00:13] * Pinball nods. While others tend to be either on a close leash or unfocused?
[00:14] <David-Visage> Middle eastern interfaces are actually the best at interperation. While a Russian one might -start- something of their own accord, the Middle East school teaches them how to 'break down' orders and understand the intention. Express a wish and she'll be happy to work out implications and indirect things which weren't -exactly- asked for but which would be what you intended. Even when rushed.
[00:15] <David-Visage> In a way they're the most 'user friendly' and the 'but he asked me to do A -and- not A!' mindset that occasionally plague interfaces is virtually unknown.
[00:17] <Pinball> In other words they train them to not be literal genies =P
[00:17] * David-Visage nods… ^_^
[00:17] <Pinball> Presumably they are also trained in all manner of knowing the intention of their owner
[00:18] <David-Visage> The European school of training produces graduates who excell at interconnectivity. They're used to passing packets of information around and do so almost reflexive, know all the protocols like the back of their hand, and work -well- with each other. As the converse of this, they're good at 'security' and awareness of who can know/do what.
[00:19] * David-Visage says nothing about private… arrangements that some interfaces make. Or how those being trained in Computer Psychology have to get used to how much authority they -will- have.
[00:21] <Pinball> Indeed.
[00:21] <Pinball> Deos the general public even -understand- that in modern times?
[00:24] <David-Visage> In theory, yes. In practice it doesn't -hit- people. They understand that an interface will obey 'her' authority even to suicidal lengths, but they haven't even talked to one while weilding authority. They don't see how the interface will be -happy- to obey most things or will be relieve to have such a clear order.
[00:25] <David-Visage> A stressed interface can be a 'literal genie' when given a forceful order, not because she means to be but because it's a -clear order-.
[00:25] <Pinball> Indeed. And she may not be able to express alternative interpretations.
[00:25] <Pinball> Or not be given the oppurtunity
[00:26] <David-Visage> "Shut up!"
[00:28] <David-Visage> A direct, to the point, order from authority.
[00:28] <Pinball> Absolutely.
[00:28] <Pinball> And one without clear limits
[00:31] <Pinball> So it would be an immense relife in the short term I imagine, but as issues keep popping up that she can't raise…
[00:32] <David-Visage> "Argh, this is so -stupid-. Just stay there and don't do -anything- until I get back!"
[00:32] * David-Visage eyes two more schools of 'training'.
[00:36] <Pinball> OH my, poor poor girl.
[00:36] <Pinball> Which schools?
[00:39] <David-Visage> The Massachusetts school, also known as the American school, focuses on peripherals. An interface trained in that school knows how to best optimise her mainframe to handle many, and varied, terminals or other devices more easily. She tends to be able to 'feel out' what shards are connected to and provide functionality quickly.
[00:41] <David-Visage> There is actually quite a demand for properly trained graduates in this school as they can 'squeeze' things to allow the highest numbers of shards to be actively working with their mainframe.
[00:42] * Pinball nods
[00:42] <Pinball> the mass market girl
[00:43] <David-Visage> Basically, yes.
[00:44] * Pinball wonders how that would feel…
[00:44] <Pinball> How about the other?
[00:46] <David-Visage> The last school which I'd thought out was known as the 'Tokyo School' (even though Tokyo has more interfaces trained in the European school) and focuses more on internal organisation. If you have a serious ammount of data, or want to be running searches as your primary purposes, you need to make sure that the interface is trained in this school. They organise, archive, sort, and generally put things where they can be -found-.
[00:46] * Pinball nods
[00:46] <Pinball> librarians
[00:46] <David-Visage> Archivists is a nicer term… ^_^
[00:47] <Pinball> depends on whether you like librarians =P
[00:48] <David-Visage> I will note that these schools crosspolinate a lot, but it's what they 'first think of' which is important. The attitude, training, ect just emphasises different things.
[00:49] * Pinball nodnods
[00:49] <Pinball> Plus all the custom trained ones
[00:50] <David-Visage> As an aside, there are… issues with transmitting things unless you have a definite 'chain' of mainframes between origin and destination. Densely populated (in terms of mainframes) places have a real advantage as they can 'pass the baton'. OTOH, the 'long distance' transmissions are scary.
[00:54] <Pinball> Scary?
[00:54] <David-Visage> Let me put it this way: short distance links are like you've got a wire plugged between the mainframes involved. Long distance involves 'bundling' up the information which can take an annoying ammount of time but then, when you send it, -it always takes the same length of time regardless of size-.
[00:55] <Pinball> Ah, interesting
[00:55] <Pinball> So their's a minimum latency
[00:55] <Pinball> but very high throughput
[00:56] * David-Visage nods, "You can also keep things 'bundled' so long as the contents isn't going to be changed."
[00:57] <David-Visage> This means that you end up with periodic sending of such bundles between mainframes… so long distance phone calls are unknown but e-mail is cheap and reliable.
[00:59] * Pinball nodnods.
[01:00] <David-Visage> It also means that, combined with the storage the mainframes have, movies and entire series can be kept 'on file'. Or just requested if you don't mind a delay.
[01:01] * Pinball nods.
[01:01] <Pinball> Digital or analog formats?
[01:01] <David-Visage> Digital is generally the case.
[01:02] * Pinball nods
[01:03] * David-Visage absently notes that, despite their spartan personal lives, interfaces often have quite elaborate 'outfits' or 'uniforms' to help them stand out, "It's something of a tradition and a minor point of pride for larger organisations."
[01:03] <David-Visage> Now, after looking at this, you might want to google up about 'OS-tan'. ^_^
[01:03] <Pinball> I was thinking that after all they'd have no problem remembering massive streams of analog data, be it waveforms or text=P
[01:03] <Pinball> haha, I am familiar with them
[01:03] <Pinball> and yes, I could definitely see that.
[01:04] <Pinball> fancy fancy outfits
[01:09] * David-Visage smiles, "And that, about two and three quarter hours after I started, is the outline with some details…" ^_^;
[01:14] <Pinball> heehee
[01:14] <Pinball> I would definitely like exploring/playing in such a setting
[01:15] <Pinball> I've played characters with similar constraints and enjoyed it quite a bit
[01:16] <David-Visage> It can be interesting. In this the interfaces have a clear motivation, but the constraints on it help make things… amusing.
[01:16] * Pinball nodnods
[01:18] <David-Visage> Hmm. One thing I forgot to mention is the collective term: 'a cluster of interfaces'. When you have a physically close cluster of mainframes, and that means 'within a few dozen yeards of each other', they they can easily swap and switch tasks.
[01:19] * David-Visage notes that if something too bad happens to the mainframe then the interface just stops living, "'…and she just crumpled like someone turned off their soul'."
[01:30] <Pinball> ouch
[01:30] <Pinball> in other words, their human body is pretty much a terminal with their actual self being i nthe machine?
[01:31] <David-Visage> Exactly. Post-mortum's, and other explorations, have found that there are 'shard-like crystals' -laced- through their nervous system and brain.
[01:31] <Pinball> Makes you wonder if, short of their crystal being destroyed, they actually die at all when their body does
[01:32] <David-Visage> If they're hurt then they can go 'back into' the mainframe to let it fix them up a bit. But if they're too damaged then it'll 'recycle' them instead.
[01:33] <Pinball> Well, I meant their 'self'
[01:35] <David-Visage> Well, they do 'instinctively' concider the mainframe more important than their own body…
[01:36] <Pinball> Indeed, was what I was thinking
[01:42] <David-Visage> But you were interested in a career? ^_^
[01:43] <Pinball> Career? Perhaps!
[01:43] <Pinball> If that's what you call it
[01:44] <Pinball> Incidentally, I take it that once someone is converted, any personal knowledge they had becomes property of whoever has access to them?
[01:46] * David-Visage nods, "In Western countries, as part of the legal side, all your property is handed off as you dictate and your bank accounts are similarly closed."
[01:48] <Pinball> Yes, but there are some things that might be valuable that aren't considered till after the fact
[01:51] * David-Visage notes that 'pre-change' testing is quite… rigorous.
[01:52] <Pinball> Oh? I'd imagine so.
[01:56] <David-Visage> Another thing to think about is that you can't 'benchmark' a mainframe unless it has an interface. And that splitting a mainframe often ends up with one, other, or both of the resulting halves degraded from the original (unless you're willing to leave it 'repairing' without an interface for a decade or more…).
[02:02] * Pinball nods
[02:03] <Pinball> And sticking an interface on a faulty one both slows down repair and ruins the interface
[02:03] <Pinball> or wastes it, at least
[02:06] <David-Visage> Oh, if they're -too- damaged then they flat out won't accept an interface. But they can be 'low grade' due to such damage…
[02:08] <Pinball> Well yeah. But it's a waste of a trained interface regardless, if the crystal isn't up to snuff
[02:08] * Pinball wonders what they do with such low grade mainframes and their processers
[02:08] <Pinball> er, their interfaces
[02:10] <David-Visage> Use them. 'Low grade' is a relative term and 'Ruby Grade' is quite viable for most uses. The grades being Ruby, Emeraldn, Sapphire, and Diamond. Diamond is -overkill- for a lot of uses as it's processing power far outstrips the standard shard IO.
[02:13] <David-Visage> OTOH, if you're organising a cluster of mainframes…
[02:14] * Pinball nods.
[02:15] <Pinball> Do do the interfaces have a social hierarchy amongst themselves?
[02:15] <David-Visage> Officially?
[02:15] <David-Visage> Excuseme, BRB. Just need to lock up.
[02:16] <Pinball> okie
[02:28] * David-Visage returns.
[02:29] <David-Visage> Anyway, officially there is only a degree of 'seniority'. Unofficially, and CP students get this explained to them, things can get messy.
[02:33] <Pinball> How messy? …or, 'messy, how?'
[02:33] <David-Visage> At the first level, the mainframe declared by users/authority to be -the- mainframe for the area/location comes first. Below that it goes by grade of mainframe then degrades into quite, and undeclared, 'IO wars' until a pecking order is determined. Lowest rank equals least contact, or connection, with the world 'outside the vicinity.
[02:35] <David-Visage> Oddly enough, once settled, there is little to no acrimony between them. But during such a 'war' they'd be trying to get into each others mainframes via the connections…
[02:36] <David-Visage> This makes sense when you realise that it isn't the strongest -attacker- who gets the higher rank, but the stongest -defender-.
[02:40] * Pinball nodnods
[02:43] <David-Visage> If a new mainframe was setup in the area then expect exchange of 'bundles', a carefully arranged physical meeting to swap shards, a 'meet and greet' through the connection until things are settled… then a quiet reminder of the 'connection testing' before every other mainframe in the area tries to access the newcomer and they see how well she defends.
[02:56] <David-Visage> OTOH, rank isn't held to much and anyone in the same 'cluster' quickly think of each other as siblings.
[03:00] * Pinball nodnods.
[03:02] <David-Visage> Any questions or anything? I'm going to be heading off soon.
[03:03] <Pinball> Hrm, not really- I have to say that I very much enjoy the ideas and setting potential.
[03:05] <David-Visage> Thank you. I'm probably not showing you 'inside the head' of anyone though.
[03:05] <Pinball> Though my thoughts naturally gravitate to the tans in distress more than the happy ones
[03:09] <David-Visage> Well, there can be 'distress' of varying degrees. Or 'out of that dress'…
[03:10] <Pinball> haha
[03:10] <Pinball> Indeed, and I'd be interested in exploring that, too
[03:11] <David-Visage> Or two interfaces talking after one had just come out of her mainframe for the first time… Or a student having a 'first practical session' with an interface.
[03:16] * Pinball nods, and nods
[03:16] <Pinball> I definitely like the prospect of a brand new interface elarning the ropes
[03:20] <Pinball> *learning
[03:20] <Pinball> I imagine that, despite all the training, there is a lot most prospective interfaces don't know until it actually happens
[03:20] <David-Visage> I should go soon, but I'll leave you with the thought that the thing that a brand new interface would realise when they come 'out' is that the -know- themselves and their place in the world. No existential angst, no worries about what to do with yourself, you've know and it fits you perfectly. This is you and you are an interface and isn't it -marvellous-…
[03:20] <Pinball> And which after the fact they aren't allowed to really tell folks about
[03:21] * David-Visage nods, "True. A lot of things get told by another interface or taught."
[03:21] <Pinball> Hrm, so all interfaces automatically love it?
[03:22] <Pinball> It strikes me, incidentally, that a lot of folks who would theoretically benefit would never be allowed to, due to preemptive psych evaluations
[03:22] <Pinball> in any event, good night, and perhaps next week we can do more with this^_^
[03:23] <David-Visage> They love it and that can't change. The original creators weren't -stupid- about how bad an idea it would be to have a resentful mainframe.
[03:24] <David-Visage> And, anyway, good night.
[03:24] * David-Visage heads off.