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Old 8th January 2012, 01:48 PM   #196 (permalink)
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Re: Quick Fire Questions (A Place to Ask and Answer)

If you are wanting to tamper with such devices (either atomic or VB's more futuristic version) the weakest point to go for would be software. There will inevitably be software in there doing the sensing counting etc. tamper with that and you could get the clock to say almost anything you wanted. Also easy to remove all trace. Though if you wanted someone to actually discover it later the protagionist might have missed a automatic backup that runs whist his software is running.
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Old 8th January 2012, 09:00 PM   #197 (permalink)
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Re: Quick Fire Questions (A Place to Ask and Answer)

Sorry, I forgot to mention the desired result! I'm aiming to make every second a quarter longer than it's supposed to be, thus adding 6 hours to a 24-hour day. It would become obvious later on, when they synch up with something from the outside world, but for this short period it would just be some very long (and tiring) days.

The software might well be the trick -- if it was told to skip counting every fifth second (or fourth? must stop and do math here), that would be easier than trying to tamper with the actual atomic parts.

And if they're likely to have something beyond those types of clocks by then, it would probably still work because there would still be software involved.

Oops, missed AW's post before answering! As to that, my impression (via Wikipedia and the scholarly papers I could find in the last few days, and I could have mixed something up in there somewhere) was that the end result of the cesium bouncing around would act upon a crystal, quartz or otherwise, at some point. Did I misinterpret something? It's quite likely. I seized upon that as a possible weak point, anyway. It doesn't seem as reasonable that the magnetic field could be used for such a precise tampering -- although it doesn't have to be an exact amount of time added to each day, just a close approximation. The software still seems like a good possibility.

Last edited by TheDustyZebra; 8th January 2012 at 09:07 PM. Reason: missed a post
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Old 8th January 2012, 09:52 PM   #198 (permalink)
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Re: Quick Fire Questions (A Place to Ask and Answer)

Not sure if this should be here or ask a scientist, but here goes. I have a character who's a computer expert and he needs to come up with a system that transforms a futuristic army's capacity.

I have it that he enhances communications across the fleet and army using the space ships to link to each other so they're close to real time; configuration is complex, but I don't have to detail it.

I just need to know on a theoretical basis if this sounds at least slightly plausible.

The outcome of the idea is they can then be commanded from a central base rather than remotely, thus enhancing the strategic planning.
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Old 8th January 2012, 10:22 PM   #199 (permalink)
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Re: Quick Fire Questions (A Place to Ask and Answer)

Springs, have you ever come across an author named E E 'Doc' Smith? He's sometimes referred to as the father of Space Opera, I believe. He wrote the Lensman stories, which featured a spaceship, the Directix, basically a command centre (as the name suggests) directing others.

It was so impressive at the time (1930s) that the US Navy incorporated the idea into their main ships, other countries followed and it became the modern Operations Room - which can also be seen in Battlestar Galactica.

Two immediate issues come to mind:

The distances involved. So long as you're not talking long delays caused by Speed of Light communication, you're fine.

Autonomy. Although you want a central command post, remember to let individual units on the ground, so to speak, use initiative. An rigid Command and Control system has damaged fighting ability in the past. However, you're probably aware of that.

Hope that's helpful in some way.
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Old 8th January 2012, 10:59 PM   #200 (permalink)
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Re: Quick Fire Questions (A Place to Ask and Answer)

Perfect, thanks, Aber; I thought it should probably be okay, in fact I worried was it too simplistic, but they're a rebel group so they may not have the money to just do these things (hey, I'm the author, remind myself, they DON'T have the money). Yep, the strategic elements, I can handle those; that falls under what I kind of have a grasp of. The rest, urggh. Never again.
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Old 8th January 2012, 11:14 PM   #201 (permalink)
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Re: Quick Fire Questions (A Place to Ask and Answer)

It would seem to make a lot of sense Springs. The whole fleet could be set up as a network with communications take multiple redundant paths. In a space battle with lots of electronic as well as physical fighting going on such redunancy in communications could be very valuable.
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Old 8th January 2012, 11:16 PM   #202 (permalink)
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Re: Quick Fire Questions (A Place to Ask and Answer)

Just tell them not to purchase any chronometers from TDZ (or her more devious charaters).
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Old 8th January 2012, 11:19 PM   #203 (permalink)
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Re: Quick Fire Questions (A Place to Ask and Answer)

Faints in shock; that's exactly how I'm using it. A scientifically sound possibility; my first. Ty, Vertigo; delighted I am. Can i now nick your post to describe it; it's much better than my attempt. And in about 300 words less.
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Old 8th January 2012, 11:52 PM   #204 (permalink)
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Re: Quick Fire Questions (A Place to Ask and Answer)

Hehe you're very welcome, Springs. Help yourself. It's not often my use of words gets praised!!!
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Old 9th January 2012, 12:15 AM   #205 (permalink)
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Re: Quick Fire Questions (A Place to Ask and Answer)

Aww man, you're cutting into my market now!
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Old 9th January 2012, 03:34 AM   #206 (permalink)
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Re: Quick Fire Questions (A Place to Ask and Answer)

Preface: the reason God didnt put me in charge of growing grass is because I would have spent an eon calculating just how many earthquakes of what magnitude would be needed to get mountains of the precice hight needed to create the weather patterns most likely to grow grass with a nice white strip up the middle.

Question: how far back does the history of a people shape their social structures? my first thought is "before the beginning", and so I've loosely sketched the Origins of my two races and am ready to start nit-picking the details of sub-culture. Would it be best for me to know (i wont trouble my readers with such tedium) every move, split, war, and life of said peoples so that I can craft their cultures accordingly? or would it be more economical of my mental resources to craft them the way I want them to be and trace back the corroborating evidence from said past?
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Old 9th January 2012, 06:46 AM   #207 (permalink)
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Re: Quick Fire Questions (A Place to Ask and Answer)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hopewrites View Post
or would it be more economical of my mental resources to craft them the way I want them to be and trace back the corroborating evidence from said past?
I would have thought that one of the great advantages of writing SFF is that you can do exactly that, as opposed to (say) historical fiction where research is actually needed to avoid being nit-picked.

Then if you feel that any particular part of their culture needs to be explained, you can expand on that aspect: but it'll save you an awful lot of time crafting out entire race histories, with the odds being that most of them will never be needed.

Or you can do it the other way, which is basically what JRR Tokien did - but few of us have thirty years available to write one novel...
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Old 9th January 2012, 08:02 AM   #208 (permalink)
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Re: Quick Fire Questions (A Place to Ask and Answer)

I think Pyan's right, Hope; you need to know enough to write it and you may even have it mapped out in your mind, where they came from, how they evolved, but I doubt the reader needs to know the whole detail.

If it's to keep yourself straight in the story so A culture came from X therefore they worship the God of waves, then I'd have a master diagram or something I can refer back to; I have a timeline for mine with the different characters and cultural timelines across if for the three books done out like that.
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Old 9th January 2012, 10:34 AM   #209 (permalink)
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Re: Quick Fire Questions (A Place to Ask and Answer)

Okay; ref post 200, this is what I've cobbled together. The book is not hard sci fi, I don't expect the reading demographic to want a lot of detail, so I've tried to precis it, but still make it sound like there's a bit of theory behind it. (think 75 word challenge; very useful for this the practice was!)

"What we’re trying to achieve is real time communications across the fleet, to give full strategic support across all the planetary campaigns. It means you still run campaigns locally but they’re monitored by base, meaning you can interlink campaigns strategically. It’ll roll it out across the army comms as well, but I need it in place for the fleet first; the ships carry the comms and link to each other. The hardest bit is getting the configurations right;"

Make sense?
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Old 9th January 2012, 10:46 AM   #210 (permalink)
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Re: Quick Fire Questions (A Place to Ask and Answer)

Makes perfect sense to me. The ships act like satellite relays, giving near instantaneous comms. Plus, you have the ability to work in a communication delay, say if one of the ships get damaged, tension builder style.

Quote:
very useful for this the practice was
I did not think 900 years old you were.
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