Ship's Computer

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Ship’s Computer: The computer installed on a ship controls all activity within, and is especially used to enhance weapons fire and defensive activity. [1]

Almost all are designed to use lower technology repair components in most functionalities. For this reason, ship’s computers tend to be much larger and more voluminous than strictly function-based microelectronics. The simple hardiness of ship’s computers makes them extremely durable.[2]

Description (Specifications)[edit]

A Ship’s Computer controls the maneuver and jump drives, and conducts the routine operation of all ship systems. What the computer actually does is based on the programs actually installed and operating at any one time.

Selected Ship's Computer Types[edit]

  1. Model/1 Computer (including the Model/1fib and the Model/1bis)
  2. Model/2 Computer (including the Model/2fib and the Model/2bis)
  3. Model/3 Computer (including the Model/3fib)
  4. Model/4 Computer (including the Model/4fib)
  5. Model/5 Computer (including the Model/5fib)
  6. Model/6 Computer (including the Model/6fib)
  7. Model/7 Computer (including the Model/7fib)
  8. Model/8 Computer (including the Model/8fib)
  9. Model/9 Computer (including the Model/9fib)

Selected Ship's Computer Modifiers[edit]

Computer Control Standards[edit]

Computer Controls: In almost all cases where the ship's computer can control a given ship function (gravity, doors, etc.), orders fed in at the central bridge computer take precedence over those fed in at local controls. Only if the computer is inoperative will a computer override be ineffective.[3] Some ships have been known to be built with a different system set-up, but this arrangement is commonplace on most vessels within Charted Space. [4]

Computer Overview[edit]

One overall computer for the ship must be specified; the basic requirement for this computer is based on the tonnage of the ship. The catalogued computer models indicate the model number, price, tonnage, CPU, and storage minimum ship size, energy point requirement, and tech level. [5]

  • Model number is the relative size of the computer, and corresponds to the computer model numbers in earlier ship catalogues.
  • Prices are given in megacredits.
  • Tonnage is the number of interior tons required for the installation of the computer.
  • CPU and storage capacity are included for use regarding computer programming.
  • Ship size shows the hull tonnage code which requires a certain computer as a minimum. For instance, a 10,000 ton ship has hull code K, and requires at least a Model/4 computer to be installed.
  • Tech level shows the minimum expected tech level required to build the indicated computer.
  • Energy point requirement is the number of energy points which must be committed to powering the computer.

Computer model also indicates the size of the jump which the computer can safely control.[6]

  • A Model/1 computer is required on a ship which makes a Jump-1 trip, a Model/5 computer is required on a ship which makes a Jump-5 trip.
  • Computer models greater than Model/6 do not allow greater jumps, and in any case, the ship would require the appropriate jump drive.

History & Background (Dossier)[edit]

Ship’s Computers within Charted Space are intentionally built to work under a number of different operating systems, different technology levels of computers, and to be extensively toughened for use under hard vacuum and heavy exposure to cosmic radiation if necessary. [7]

Expected Computer Development Sequence[edit]

MACRO LEVEL:

MICRO LEVEL:

Technological Overview of Computers[edit]

Epochal Technological Development: Information Technology is at its earliest conceptual state and slowly grows into mechanical calculative devices to early electronics to the first true computers and beyond.

Information Age Societies[edit]

Technological Period: TL:1-9 and Tech-Name: Ur-Tech
Common Characteristics: Digital Networks, High scarcity, Prototype Nanotech, Calculative ("Calculating machines"), Automatons, Low Autonomous Robots, etc.
Tech Epoch TL-Range Remarks
Tool Making Epoch TL:1-3 COMPUTERS: The abacus and the quipu represent early calculating tech. they are simple, mechanical processors that help a sophont keep large numbers of calculations in memory. Mathematics makes great leaps forward with the development of algebra, trigonometry, and calculus.
Division of Labor Epoch TL:4-6 COMPUTERS: The first analog computers and calculators greatly enhance business and academic endeavors. Mechanical and early electronic calculators become fixtures. Electric devices, polymers, and early electronics fuel continuing progress. Designers use classic Lovelacian programming and aspire to build the first Babbage machines. Many sophont societies can build processors that meet the Imperial standards for Model/1 and Model/1 bis processors.
Processor Epoch TL:7-9 COMPUTERS: Programmable computers come into vogue as the analog is replaced by the digital. Transistors make way for microchips; desktop processors soon become a feature of home, business, and school. Massive parallel processors fill entire rooms and supersede earlier technologies. The first supercomputers can often beat even expert humans at games like chess due to phenomenal calculating abilities and vast memory banks. Photonic and gravitic energy transmission as well as bio-computing replace many of the earlier generations of electronics. Voice-activated processors are more user-friendly than ever before. Many societies can build processors that meet the Imperial standards for Model/2, Model/2 bis, and even Model/3 processors.

Bright Age Societies[edit]

Technological Period: TL:10-18 and Tech-Name: Stell-Tech
Common Characteristics: Intelligent Networks, Low Scarcity, Weak nanotech, Synaptic processors, Positronic Brains, Cognitive ("Thinking machines"), High Autonomous Robots, etc.
Tech Epoch TL-Range Remarks
Gravitics Epoch TL:10-12 COMPUTERS: Synaptic processors and positronic brains are vastly more capable than earlier generations of processor technology. Some advanced robots can fool inexpert humans. Expert roboticists call these low autonomous robots. Still, a well-trained expert sophont can often outthink and outperform advanced thinking machines from this epoch. Fluidic and magnetic energy transmission increase processing speed. Semi-organic facility and early ship brains become common. Many societies can build processors that meet the Imperial standards for Model/4, Model/5, and Model/6 processors.
Biologicals Epoch TL:13-15 COMPUTERS: High autonomous robots outperform many educated experts across many fields. They still can’t match the apex professors, but they can perform perfectly well at the professional level. Holocrystals and advanced bio-compumetrics are increasing functioning to billions of actions per nanosecond. Computer brain implants allow complete rehabilitation and restoration of function to almost all individuals who were formerly handicapped. Infomorphs and downloadable brains supplement wafertech. Pseudoreality simulators show amazing promise. Many societies can build processors that meet the Imperial standards for Model/7, Model/8, and Model/9 processors.
Artificials Epoch TL:16-18 COMPUTERS: High autonomous robots outperform many educated experts across many fields. They still can’t match the apex professors, but they can perform perfectly well at the professional level. Holocrystals and advanced bio-compumetrics are increasing functioning to billions of actions per nanosecond. Computer brain implants allow complete rehabilitation and restoration of function to almost all individuals who were formerly handicapped. Infomorphs and downloadable brains supplement wafertech. Pseudoreality simulators show amazing promise. Many societies can build processors that meet the Imperial standards for Model/7, Model/8, and Model/9 processors. Hop Drives begin to use more advanced Ship's Computers.

Brilliant Age Societies[edit]

Technological Period: TL:19-27 and Tech-Name: Ultra-Tech
Common Characteristics: Delegative Rule (AI), Post-Scarcity, Strong nanotech, Emotive ("Dreaming or Feeling machines"), Self-Aware Robots, etc.
Tech Period TL-Range Remarks
Ultra Period TL:19-21, TL:22-24, and TL:25-27 It is projected that greater capacity drives will require greater processors. Additionally, ship's computers are projected to become self-repairing at this point requiring only minimal input from the crew. Many technologists believe that these ships will be able to be managed almost entirely by voice command or psionics.
  • It is projected that true Artificial Intelligence will be achieved by this tech epoch, meaning thinking, feeling computers that can match or exceed human or other organic sophont intelligence.

See also[edit]

Cybertechnology[edit]

Education[edit]

Information Technology[edit]

References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

This list of sources was used by the Traveller Wiki Editorial Team and individual contributors to compose this article. Copyrighted material is used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author. The page history lists all of the contributions.
  1. Marc Miller. Starships (Game Designers Workshop, 1977), 38.
  2. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak
  3. Jordan Weisman. "Book 2." Adventure Class Ships Volume 1 (1982): 6.
  4. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak
  5. Marc MillerFrank ChadwickJohn Harshman. High Guard (Game Designers Workshop, 1980), 28.
  6. Marc MillerFrank ChadwickJohn Harshman. High Guard (Game Designers Workshop, 1980), 28.
  7. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak