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Low Tech Sci Fi
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Low Tech Sci Fi

We all know and love the original Alien. It features an interesting 70s interpretation of space age tech of the semi-near future with big push buttons, monochrome CRT monitors, lots of blinking lights and so on.

Now in 2014 everyday technology has obviously gone way past that particular vision of the future. All that stuff is retro now but for some odd reason it still feels right, somehow. It belongs in that setting.

My question is: How?

Is there any way to justify low resolution CRT screens on interstellar spaceships? How do you explain proper AI without voice I/O and holographic interface without resorting to "it's part of the setting, deal with it"?
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>>36109666
Nice try, Satan.

>Is there any way to justify low resolution CRT screens on interstellar spaceships? How do you explain proper AI without voice I/O and holographic interface without resorting to "it's part of the setting, deal with it"?
Sure, just tell the players it's the year 2000.
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>>36109879
Satan?
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>>36110049
You can tell it's the Dark Prince because of his post number.
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>>36109666
I'm unsure, but I kind of liked the early bits of SG-1 for that reason.

There's a certain charm to having them still run around with floppy disks trying to combat a galactic empire.
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>>36110093
I loved stargate, I wish there had been a third stargate show after Atlantis
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>>36110123
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>>36110075
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>>36109666

All that fancy holographics and such? It drains power, power you need for the long voyage. Also half that shit will break if you look at it funny, not something you want to happen when you may not stop at a repair place for months, if not years.
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>>36110187
Good one. Does this also work with CRT over LCD?
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>>36109666
Sure: Analogue technology is preferred in space travel because that means your lives are that much less is riding on the software and more on the abilities of engineers on board to keep systems functioning. Mother, after all, seemed more like a diagnostic AI than anything. CRTs would be nice for a number of reasons: they (and other such 'inefficient' technologies) provide a source of heat, which is rudimentary life support when dealing with deep-space travel. The Nostromo was also a refinery of some sort if I recall, so of course mechanical refinement calls for the aforementioned engineers to operate the sophisticated equipment, which in turn has the pleasant byproduct of releasing heat, and possibly even water vapour or other by-products which would similarly be refined for use for the ship's needs as much as the crew's (or company's) profit.

There are all sorts of ways to deal with this fun stuff, OP. It just takes a bit of gumshoe research and, as always, imagination. Some day I'll get a group to agree to a slow-paced Sci-Fi game where everyone is in deep-sea style suits of the 50s pulp. Some day...
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>>36109666
Just use some variant of the "horses don't need General Motors" arguement. Big, spread out space colonies need to be able to make their own technology. That tech needs to be easily replicatable and it's useful if it can be traded for on other worlds. Holograms and LCD monitors and shit are available, but they're harder to replace than old CRTs, which everyone reinventing the television can fix.
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>>36110263
e;f,b
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If you are asking if I want everyone to have sideburns and poofy hair in my futuristic settings, the answer is no. No, I don't.

Androids with white fluid "blood" are acceptable however.
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>>36110416

Also, the first loss of every electronic component to EMP whilst in unknown territory would likely prompt use of more robust "retro" systems featuring anachronisms like vacuum and cathode ray tubes for exploratory and deep-space craft.
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>>36111741

Yeah, you want your systems hardened against EMP and radiation, and combined with constraints on weight and size, you may end up with bulky, slow stuff on your ships.

I've considered using a variant of Virus from Traveller: The New Era to justify using clunky old tech before.
For those unfamiliar, TNE was basically a post-apocalyptic setting which Traveller fans hated for basically blowing up everything and leaving them an endless starscape of samey ruins to pick through. One of the main things that caused this was the release of Virus, a kind of doomsday weapon that infected all kinds of technology and killed humans in its path. It was ridiculously contagious and could get into almost any high powered electronics, and aggressively spread by taking over ships and going system-to-system.
Now think, what if this was instead something from a long time ago, an AI intelligence that could use super jump tech to patch itself straight into your hardware over a kilometer away, and even though it's half mythical by now, remnants might still be out there somewhere?
The young races would be all "I'm not afraid of space gremlins, old man!" and have super fast computers.
Smart racesm though, would use as little computer tech as possible, like a taboo, and their planets would put vital control systems deep underground with strong firewalls, creating lag but making it so any infected ship would have to dig deep to get close enough to infect them.

Awesome, right?
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>>36110278
Take my love, take my land, take me where I cannot stand...
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>>36109666
>>36109666
>>36109666
>>36109666
You're not fooling me with your talk of "future" and "science" you creature of hell
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>>36112140
Orthodox Losers pls
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Alternate Future
Getting humanity off of Earth became a high priority earlier than developing fancy schmancy interfaces.
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>>36109666
>any way to justify

no. there is none. CRTs are heavier, take up more space and have more parts and pieces that can break and require replacing.

they bode poorly for space allocation, weight and spare parts.

there is no justification outside of stylization and setting.
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>>36112301

What if the ship was a chimera? Many parts, most of which are behind the scenes, are advanced, but a lot of others, stuff that doesn't need to be advanced, is taken down a tech level or two?

The ship itself might have this because it's designed for long voyages outside the populated space lanes, and stuff needs to be more durable, built to last and easy to fix with analog systems as opposed to microcircuitry and matrices of diodes. Ships which travels the lanes might look more advanced, but a ship that can't patch a system with a soudering iron and paperclips might find itself ill-suited to operations for months out in space.
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>>36109666
manufacturing advanced semiconductors is really, really hard (unless you have self-replicating magic nanotechnology or something) and requires a large industrial base, lots of hazardous chemicals, ludicrously high precision and a large quantity of precious volatiles.

Crappy, primitive chips, however, can be produced with colonist technology much more easily. As such, everything on the ships runs on analog computing, primitive ICs, and (on newly-settled interstellar colonies where chips are more precious than platinum) occasionally slide rules.
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>>36112425
>more durable

They're not though. they're just bulkier and filled with shit that breaks super easy.
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So is a person in that room supposed to know what every single one of those lights indicates or what
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>>36112639

Welp, nevermind.
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>>36109666
You're going to go in the desert. People will shoot you, stab you, beat you and throw you off ancient ruins, dunes and trains.
Do you want to take your I Phone six or this old Nokia?
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>>36112779
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>>36112639
Depends. Using older technology that's better understood is often a way to make technology that's much tougher - The reason many analog devices have reputations for being tougher and more sturdily built is because they're using older technology that is better understood, and the flaws that cause them to break are already well-known so there are more countermeasures.

Hence why Game Boys are inde-fucking-structible while most Game Gear systems didn't make it to the end of their battery life.
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>>36110263
>Metroid and Samus redone to be more like its Alien origins with dirty lo-fi tech and heavy ugly armor suits

Take all 20,000 of these boners.
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>>36109666

ICs are expensive and difficult to create. They are also finnicky as fuck when it comes to radiation. Spaceship processors are usually a few decades behind other processors because they need to use larger circuits, need to be rad hardened, etc.

By using simple transistor logic like they do on old PDP systems where processors span over several boards using transistors and small scale ICs, they can heavily simplify the technological complexity and robustness of the tech. It ends up becoming extremely hard to break and has low interference from radiation. And when it does break, you can fix it with a volt meter and a soldering iron.

What modern computers can you diagnose and fix with nothing but a volt meter and soldering iron?

None.

As for the CRT problem, no idea. They're not exactly simple to drive. Maybe because they're also kinda hard to break and they are much more simple to make than TFT or plasma displays?

Besides, you don't need more than 192KB of RAM to run most industrial and navagational applications. Submarines ran high detail sonar programs with less RAM.
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This was actually lampshaded in one of the '80s-era Star Trek books.

Going from memory, here, but some grunt from another ship snarks at Uhura while she slots circuit boards into her console, remarking that a destroyer's whole comm suite takes up less space than a footlocker. She snarks back, asking if a destroyer can take a hit to the nacelle that drops it to sublight out of Warp 8--"...because this ship can, mister!"
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>>36112639

They are much, much easier to produce and require a much lower level of industrial technology and processes to make. This means they can be made off world in colonies and other points out in the middle of nowhere easily. And they actually are more durable than CRTs. Both systems will stop working correctly if dropped from 1m. Go ahead. Drop your LCD or your laptop on its screen. I dare you.
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>>36112823
>while most Game Gear systems didn't make it to the end of their battery life.
Oh come on that was like 20 minutes.

I do recall a guy whose NeoGeo Pocket Color's initial battery life outlasted the company though.
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>>36113084

>ICs are expensive and difficult to create.

Sorry, I meant VLSI ICs. Not Transistor-Transistor Logic ICs as I did later.
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>>36109666
I'm reminded of Red Dwarf. Specifically when kryton and rimmer discover that the people of the 20th century use DVDs instead of the VHS of the future. Kryton's logic was that the damn things were so hard to break and obnoxiously huge that it was impossible for people to lose them. Thus the switch from DVDs to VHS was the most logical thing to do.

You could probably run something to the effect of, yes some rich/government people have shiny space ships with all the cool technology, but the salt of the earth spacers get the RedDwarf/FireFly ships of last years models.
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>>36109666
here's something that should fit, an Alternate History timeline called The Moontrap Timeline(after a movie that's central to the setting) that links together dozens of movies from the late 70's to the early 2000's and keeps that old fashioned tech style all the way through(be warned that this compiles the entire thread this originated from and is pretty damn big, it's worth it though, and I feel it's really great); https://docs.google.com/document/d/15KhNH_dYCB5vGn6o7H6S3YUCApt7Rmdup3SJvT31GJE/edit?pli=1
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>>36112823
Game Gears fail because the capacitors fail because Sega used shitty ones from backwards third world countries. Capacitors are in Game Boys, too, you know.
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>>36113716
and here it is in PDF format for those who don't want to deal with Google Docs
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>>36113799

Never have I posted this macro more seriously, or more appropriately.
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>>36112301
>CRTs are heavier, take up more space and have more parts and pieces that can break and require replacing.
>they bode poorly for space allocation, weight and spare parts.
The spares are heavier, but the facilities to build more spares and unfuck broken parts are a hell of a lot lighter.
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>>36112676
Sort-of. You get to recognise parts, but when something unexpected starts flashing you pull out the manual and procedures binders. OTOH, it's a lot easier to learn really detailed systems than you'd expepct if you work with them regularly.
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>>36113888
thanks, it's one of my favorite Alternate History Timelines(and the author has done some other great ones as well, he's the guy who did Green Antartica for example), also look up On The Shoulders of Giants it's also great
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>>36110263

Also, profit margins. Big companies aren't going to invest in the newest and best of anything - especially if its likely to break down.
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>>36114028
And Axis of the Andes, and Land of Ice and Mice, and Bear Cavalry, and a couple of others I'm forgetting.
He's great.
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>>36109666
Say that the laws of physics are very slightly different in this universe, so X technology (LCDs, holograms, touchscreens, etc.) are impossible/impractical to use.

Only other real alternative is to have an alt universe where a given technology was never invented. Maybe a universe where transistors were never invented, so we're stuck with vacuum tubes. To have AI you can say they invented a positronic brain that create conscious AI but can't be miniaturized (no cellphones), can't be used for non-conscious computing (no normal computers), and is not efficient at networking (no internet).

Claiming "old tech is more reliable" can't really be pushed to far. It makes sense if space tech is 10 or 20 years behind the curve, but not when space tech is 50 or 100 or 500 years behind normal tech-level. I could buy that maybe some space travelers have a fetish for VHS tapes and CRTs. But it gets silly if they also listen to Michael Jackson, wear power gloves, use fax machines, have brick-sized cellphones, snap Polaroids, and play keytars. Maybe that works in a silly campaign, but I'd certainly have trouble suspending my disbelief in a more serious game.
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>>36114479
What if it's a world where Moore's Second Law (the cost of a semiconductor fab doubles at similar rates) has also kept pace? That way, advanced computer technology could be out of reach of a small colonial economy by orders of magnitude. (Although since chips are small and light, you can ship them easily)
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>>36112113
>take this shitty song and fuck it in the ass
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>>36110263
CRTs are ten times heavier than LCDs. The Nostromo is a tug and in Alien it is towing an ore refinery. You cannot fight in a pressurized suit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cA6qgn_kCp8
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>>36110217
Do you remember your CRT monitors/TVs ever breaking down?
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Weight is a big issue until you're in orbit. Then it becomes a much smaller issue. And with large amounts of raw materials being shipped between solar systems, a few CRTs don't make much of a difference.

So as long as your CRTs are manufactured in orbit, and why the hell not if the raw materials come in space ships, I don't see an issue.

The Russians conquered space, space technology should look like 60s Russian military technology, and there should be a small amount of vodka hidden on every vessel.
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>>36115313
It's been mentioned before in the thread, but would the parts to replace and fix CRT systems be lighter overall than that of a fully LCD/Plasma/LED system?
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>>36115426
Weight does become an issue if you're thinking of realistically accelerating to sub-light, though, so it depends on how hard you want to go with your space travel. Sure, maybe a couple of extra pounds of tech might not seem like much, but it's worth saving every ounce when it comes to interstellar or even intersolar travel.
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>>36115426
>Weight is a big issue until you try to move at all.

Fix'd.

The formula for fuel required to move an object per pound of weight is exponential. Every little bit of added mass equates to a massive increase in necessary fuel translated into thrust.

Less weight is always better.
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>>36116724
I just think that when in your setting there are mountain sized refineries being towed to other systems, a bunch of CRTs won't tip the scales.

Of course in vacuum acceleration is mainly a formula of mass and thrust. And yes, every pound goes into that. But if you have a few kilotons, a few hundred pounds will mean 1/20,000 of your fuel/propellant bill.

>>36116715
You cannot repair a CRT, just its electronics. Once the tube is cracked it must be replaced. Although, being in space, you probably could get a vacuum inside and seal it. But it would have to be a very precise fix done it a specialized lab. And you'd need some magic seamless glass glue.
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>>36109666
>All that stuff is retro now but for some odd reason it still feels right, somehow.

Part of that reason might be because most real life space programs often choose the older more reliable technology over the newer less tested technology. The sub system designs of some modern rockets and spacecraft can be over 3 decades old simply because we know they work. Who cares if it is bulky and heavy; that is not going to matter a damn thing if the new technology ends up with unanticipated failures and destroys a billion dollar vehicle.

These are called heritage technologies and will remain ubiquitous as long as space travel remains extremely expensive and failure prone.
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>>36116895
>sub system designs of some modern rockets and spacecraft can be over 3 decades
Russian rocket engines from the 60s are a popular product on the European and American market. They can't build that stuff today at an at all viable price.
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I like calling Alien and its setting 16-bit Industrial Hell.

This may look horribly complex. But it isn't. Aside for the glass tube, most CRT systems are more robust than LCD ones. Digital display systems often require complex VLSI systems to display anything of note, and VLSI is notoriously fragile. Most parts in older systems and older CRTs can be replaced and rugedized as it uses capacitors, resistors, and transistor-transistor logic ICs. TTL IC based systems tend to use only a handful of similar ICs hundreds of times. Because TTL IC's rarely contain more than 6 transistors, the connections and parts within them are large, bulky, and resist damage from surges, radiation, and EMPs.

A TTL system might go down during an EMP... but give it a few minutes, and things will be alright and functioning again.

You cannot break Core Memory without physically smashing it.

ROM, magnetic, and optical storage mediums are vulnerable to radiation, and are surprisingly fragile.

Most industrial applications only require a few KB of program space to work! You can run sensor and navagation programs on as little as 256KB. Paper punch tape (actually, they were typically plastic!) is not affected by EMP, radiation from solar flairs, poor storage, etc. Without a ROM to burn out, if a solar flair hits you and everything gets fucked for a bit, shut down the control systems, wait out the flair, kick everything back on, run a memory clearing routine by entering it manually, one octet at a time to ensure that the core memory doesn't have some bad instructions in it still. Then load the instructions for the tape reader into memory, load the paper into the machine, and let it run.

I'd like to see systems that require ROM bootloaders to work when something melts the ROM.
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>>36117223

Sorry for the cheese (it is super groan cheese, not even good cheese), but this will give you a good idea as into how these really old computer systems were programmed and ran without any ROM. Just ignore and replace the typewriter terminal with a CRT based one. Even though time consuming, it makes it a lot harder to break.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XV-7J5y1TQc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zaaD_xP6nU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiE2QldpQRQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUSn59iY8U8
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>>36117223

On the other hand, with more modern electronics you have spare power, space and weight for redundancy and additional shielding.
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>>36109666
>How do you explain proper AI without voice I/O and holographic interface without resorting to "it's part of the setting, deal with it"?
You might not want voice input because it can be misinterpreted. The AI controlling the ship misunderstands your mumbling can lead to devastating situations. Command line interfaces are far more precise while still allowing to express anything you could say, so they were used instead. Voice output cannot be reliably used when the engine roars or during emergencies, for example when the ship loses its air and the crew wears space suits. In order to make sure that they are able to do their jobs in such conditions, it was decided that it's best if they don't even get used to a voice output. Besides, where voice output was used it made some crewmembers uncomfortable and led others to consider the AI human, both of which should not happen.
Holographic interfaces are useless gimmicks. 2D screens are more reliable, cheaper, smaller and less heavy while not having significant disadvantages. They might rarely be used in larger space stations, but usually not on ships.
Justifying low-res CRT screens sounds difficult. Embedded flatscrens dominated by chat-like terminals for crew-AI-communication running programs with simple, functional surfaces is more reasonable. You probably won't get around graphs and camera feeds.
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I love the production design of Alien to pieces, half of my childhood Scifi nostalgia is built on it, the other half is Bladerunner and I believe there's some crew overlap. The Nostromo was literally built from scrap metal. They bought an airplane (or was it two?) cut it up and used the parts to make the sets.

Now using sturdy punch keys and CRTs on a space ship is fucking insane. That's why it is so glorious, because it works. It is a set builder's trick to convey old reliable technology with something as fantastic as an interstellar tug boat. The inspiration was Dark Star (marvelous Dark Star!) which only had one set and that was basically a nuke lobbing space garbage truck somewhere between Apollo and a German type XII submarine. No one could do 2001, not again and not as meticulously filmed.

So don't force the 80s (79) Scifi genre, embrace it. It made sense. What I find more disturbing is that the Prometheus 30 years later doesn't look more like familiar technology when it came out. It should have been the USS Steve Jobs.

Sure, it was supposed to look like a prequel to Alien. But does it, really? I think it looks more like some other director wanked all over a Lost (the show) script.

Isolation is pretty cool though. It's my Alien/s 4.
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>>36117298

I have the official ship bible for the series as licensed by FOX as written by a PhD in theoretical physics (the FTL systems worked on the same principle as the FTL systems in Mass Effect... and this was written in the late '80s, early '90s). The Nostromo reactors produced power in the 2.8TW range. They had nothing but excess power. It had a FTL speed of 0.1-0.12LR per 24 sidereal hours. Trust me, power was not a concern.
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>>36109666
Low tech monitors, with minimal graphics, can be useful in space if all you need is a command line, since it consumes less power than a high-tech monitor, and does the same job just as well.
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>>36117462

>Sure, it was supposed to look like a prequel to Alien. But does it, really? I think it looks more like some other director wanked all over a Lost (the show) script.

Ironically enough, Ridley Scott said several times on BBC that Prometheus was not related to Alien at all, and it was merely an homage. The advertizing as an Alien prequel was 100% executive meddling.

Also, the writers were the writers from LOST.
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>>36116895
>This is best space ship in all of Ukraine.
>You want it, go ahead and tell me price.
>It can get 50 hectares per gallon of kerosene.
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>>36117711
>Prometheus was not related to Alien at all
Which is why the Alien ship designed by Giger is what rolls toward the hero when the hero decides to run away along it's path instead of stepping out of it.

It's like the first Blade Runner ending, they just had some spare footage from The Shining and why not use it. The Giger ship must have still been lying around.
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>>36117641
>the FTL systems worked on the same principle as the FTL systems in Mass Effect
Didn't those make the ship massless for FTL?

>Faster-than-light travel was accomplished through a Yutani T7A NLS tachyon shunt drive, capable of propelling the CM-88B to a cruising speed of 0.42 light-years per sidereal day when the ship was unladen.[2] When towing large mass cargoes such as automated refineries, the maximum sustainable cruise speed drops significantly, to around 0.1-0.12 light-years per sidereal day.[2] For manoeuvring at sublight speeds while towing a large mass, the CM-88B was fitted with two immensely powerful Rolls-Royce N66 Cyclone thrust engines with bipolar vectoring for midline lift function. Each of these N66 cyclone powerplants developed 65,830 metric tons of thrust, using water for reaction mass. When running at full power, the engines produced a high impulse thrust total of 131,660 kN.[2]
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> When your computer behaves erratically, mauls your data, or just "crashes" completely, it can be frustrating. But for an astronaut trusting a computer to run navigation and life-support systems, computer glitches could be fatal.

> Unfortunately, the radiation that pervades space can trigger such glitches. When high-speed particles, such as cosmic rays, collide with the microscopic circuitry of computer chips, they can cause chips to make errors. If those errors send the spacecraft flying off in the wrong direction or disrupt the life-support system, it could be bad news.

> To ensure safety, most space missions use radiation hardened computer chips. "Rad-hard" chips are unlike ordinary chips in many ways. For example, they contain extra transistors that take more energy to switch on and off. Cosmic rays can't trigger them so easily. Rad-hard chips continue to do accurate calculations when ordinary chips might "glitch."

> NASA relies almost exclusively on these extra-durable chips to make computers space-worthy. But these custom-made chips have some downsides: They're expensive, power hungry, and slow -- as much as 10 times slower than an equivalent CPU in a modern consumer desktop PC.


So it turns out, we live in a low-tech sci fi universe.
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>>36110263
The fuck is wrong with her arms? why 2 elbows per arm!?
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>>36117687

I'd say CRT monitor consumes more power then LED one.
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What if semiconductor technology was never discovered, but some kind of technobabbly hyperspace whatever was discovered in its place?
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>>36112779
iphone 6 because it has gps
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>>36109666
Older tech, different research tree, flashier technologies weren't considered viable enough, etc. Lot of ways to work it out.

Specific examples?
>CRT screens
Longer lifespan, heartier.
>AI without voice I/O
Try to have a conversation with Siri or Google and tell me you want your life dependent on how well a program with dangerous amounts of control manages to understand you you say and how you mean it.
>holographic interface
Power intensive, hardware intensive, too much to fail, too expensive, and generally an absurd thing to have in a serious workstation.
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>>36109666
Complicated hardware breaks way easier and it's way harder to repair. Also radiation fucks with computer systems, so a low tech version is often times better. It's also way cheaper
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>>36109666
Cost effectiveness

Space travel will be expensive
Every cost that can be cut will be cut.
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Isn't Traveller's tech basically on the level of Alien?
What justifications do they use?
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>>36118016
For an hour, assuming it hasn't broken yet.
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>>36112301
Anyone with some basic electrical understand, some tools and some general electrical parts can repair a CRT but it's basically impossible to repair a modern TV screen, all you can do is replace the broken parts
>>
>people thinking analogue gauges are more reliable than electronic displays

there is a reason why modern aircraft cockpits are almost completely digital
>>
>>36109666
Honestly, I'm a huge fan of the retro sci-fi look. It just feels chunky, I guess. Like it has substance and weight, it simply feels more real.

The nowadays typical sleek and shiny apple-look just looks fake somehow.
>>
>>36112425
CRTs are pretty shitty. They are prone to dying way faster than LED and TFT monitors.

No voice command? Easy. The AI might be smart but using voices means you have to have no accent where as typing is a simple case of basic language comprehension and typing.

Holographic interfaces are expensive and worthless aside from maybe 3-D maps. No reason to have them when you have monitors that show everything in 3-D in some sort of CAD esque program.

and the low resolution? It's the future. Why use Windows 20 when you can have proprietary technology and software that is tailored to your craft and noone is able to simply hack it because its your own design while not being common place.

Big buttons? Just simply because for safety purposes. all safety and access controls have to be able to be used by space suits in the case of an accident or retrieval in case of crew death. Can't hit buttons designed for fingers while using gloves that turn your digits into bananas which also covers why alot of weapons and stuff are so oversized since they need to be usable by suits as well.
>>
>>36112301
Sorry I took so long to reply, I had a laugh and then went to get coffee.

Unfucking shit people break is how I pay rent. I can tell you right the fuck now a CRT lasts longer and can take more abuse than anything that's come after it, half the parts can be ripped out of the device and it'll still work for fuck's sake. You'd have to be either incredibly lazy or incredibly stupid to not be able to fix minor problems and if an internal part goes out and they're not hard to replace, whereas with more modern displays you're looking at hours of work and precious money spent that wouldn't need to be otherwise.

Also since you're both in space and able to make on the fly repairs right there with the contents of a portable toolbox, weight becomes kind of a non-issue.
>>
>>36118346
Because they're over-engineered to hell and back?
>>
>>36117462
Difference between Prometheus and the Nostromo is that the Nostromo is an old tug boat on a known route from a mining facility on a planet. They don't need all the shit that The Prometheus had. Look at the difference between the Sulaco and the Nostromo. Both are old ships from the same era and yet the Sulaco doesn't look anything like the Nostromo either.

The Prometheus looks the way it does because its an exploratory vessel that was designed to explore an unknown world and research the aliens if they appeared. The Nostromo is the equivalent to a heavy goods truck where cost effectiveness and efficiency > design. Sulaco was a military vessel which was designed for colonial actions.

All 3 ships were totally different designs for totally different roles.
>>
>>36109666
>Is there any way to justify low resolution CRT screens on interstellar spaceships? How do you explain proper AI without voice I/O and holographic interface without resorting to "it's part of the setting, deal with it"?
>>36109879
>Sure, just tell the players it's the year 2000.

This.

The game is set prior to modern times in a secret world of conspiracy theories and suppressed technology. Apollo missions and everything else afterwards is a massive coverup for the real level of technology that exists. Anomalous discoveries and devices are actively suppressed as pseudoscience etc. and in rare cases more drastic measures are taken to keep the status quo.

Kinda like Stargate, or Battlezone games, with added FTL capabilities and other stuff soft sci-fi. Or kindaish the renew Battlestar Galactica which - technology vise - was essentially modern-near future earth with FTL and anti-gravity/inertial nullifiers etc.

This was one of the main attractions of Stargate. It made it incredibly easily approachable and to identify with, to a point. And considering the technological advances and scientific discoveries that have happened in the last few decades, why the hellnot?

Although .. good luck coming up with something less retarded of a reason to justify the technology suppression other than "mankind is not ready".
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>>36109666
>Is there any way to justify low resolution CRT screens on interstellar spaceships? How do you explain proper AI without voice I/O and holographic interface without resorting to "it's part of the setting, deal with it"?
>>36109879
>Sure, just tell the players it's the year 2000.

This.

The game is set prior to modern times in a secret world of conspiracy theories and suppressed technology. Apollo missions and everything else afterwards is a massive coverup for the real level of technology that exists. Anomalous discoveries and devices are actively suppressed as pseudoscience etc. and in rare cases more drastic measures are taken to keep the status quo.

Kinda like Stargate, or Battlezone games, with added FTL capabilities and other stuff soft sci-fi. Or kindaish the renew Battlestar Galactica which - technology vise - was essentially modern-near future earth with FTL and anti-gravity/inertial nullifiers etc.

This was one of the main attractions of Stargate. It made it incredibly easily approachable and to identify with, to a point. And considering the technological advances and scientific discoveries that have happened in the last few decades, why the hellnot?

Although .. good luck coming up with something less retarded of a reason to justify the technology suppression etc. other than "mankind is not ready".
>>
>>36118346
Nobody is talking about 'analog gauges'. They mean CRT's and dot matrix displays instead of LCD's and blinking lights and switches instead of holograms and touch screens.
>>
>>36118650

too much blinking lights feel stupid

aircraft manufacturers use "dark cockpit concept" which means lights generally only turn on or blink when something requires human attention
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>>36117310
The AI never goes crazy. It's just based off Siri.
>Ask for help during emergency
>The Beatles start playing
>It's not even the right album

>>36117941
Chozo magic, ain't gotta explain balls.
>>
>>36118682
Look at OP's pic. That's Mother's brain, right there. I always imagined every one of these lights is a diagnostic lamp for the neural systems behind the corresponding panel. For example:

Light off = not active
Light on = active
Light turns red = malfunction

So you know exactly where to open and fix if a part of Mother's brain goes down without losing any time at all.
>>
>>36118907

realistic would be

light off = system ok
light yellow = system requires attention
light red = malfunction, requires immediate attention
>>
>>36118682
>>36119037
Have you ever looked into an IT or server room? There's shit blinking everywhere.
Simply because it's way easier and more reliable this way. What if your lightbulb or diode just broke and your system fails? It would be impossible to find the error, also you can just route some of the energy you need for the system through the diode, so that you would have a really simple and reliable system.

And yes, for a cockpit your way is better because it's less distracting and you usually don't notice it when a light turns off rather when it turns on.
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>>36117928
>as much as 10 times slower than

I fucking hate this phrasing. Why not " a tenth of the speed"? Why is everything "Now with 30% more less!" like the George Carlin bit?
>>
>>36112078
So if the beast from homeworld cataclysm won?
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>>36112182
Orthodoxy > Catholicism
>>
>>36117223
>Most industrial applications only require a few KB of program space to work! You can run sensor and navagation programs on as little as 256KB.
BRB, designing my party's ship's computer to run in a tiny embedded device that they can plug into their laptop to interface with at the table, then telling them how many dTons it actually takes.
>>
>>36109666
>How do you explain proper AI without voice I/O and holographic interface without resorting to "it's part of the setting, deal with it"?
The professor who legendarily announced that computer vision was probably just a summer-long project for a couple of undergrads was right, vision and voice control are pretty simple! Getting it smart is tough though.
>>
>>36117462
>The inspiration was Dark Star (marvelous Dark Star!) which only had one set and that was basically a nuke lobbing space garbage truck somewhere between Apollo and a German type XII submarine.
I love you, and also this film. The bridge is great. Not terribly practical, but it gets the right feel across.
>>
>>36117941
She can literally turn into a small ball. Maybe she likes elbows?
>>
>>36109666
That wall of unlabeled lights is hideous in any decade. Am I supposed to memorize what each of them indicates?
>>
>>36109666
Set it in an alternate timeline/world where some tech didn't develop as fast or not at all as IRL, but the opposite happened for things like robotics, spaceships, etc.
>>
>>36118907
It's also basically a lisp machine. I guess one of the neat things is that you can offload part of the diagnostics onto human subconscious pattern recognition, too - you don't have to analyse everything the computer's thinking about, just use lights to indicate what subtasks its doing. If the FTL navigation lights keep coming on when you're sitting in orbit, your highly trained space truck driver will go "huh, they shouldn't be doing that" without needing to compare activity to ship status and mission plans constantly.
>>
FTL propulsion is often the only tech that separate our lives from sci-fi.
>>
>>36120643
>>36120736
>It's also basically a lisp machine.
>>
>>36120752
Thinking about this, if we discovered FTL tomorrow it would have decent knock-on effects on other technological development as every fucking physicist in the world joined the nobel prize land-rush, the best and brightest (and all the rest) of the engineering community suddenly decided to get to work on that instead, and so on. There'd still be development in other areas, but a whole new massive field opening up would put a damper on it until things matured sufficiently. You'd get some advances coming back into other fields, sure, but they'd still miss out.
>>
>>36120850
To say nothing of funding. "You've developed a cure for every known form of cancer that also provides free energy, regulates the Earth's temperature, and allows me to have _safe_ erections lasting more than four hours? All you need is $10k to do some final testing? Meh, put it on the pile of boring old research."
>>
>>36120850

Essentially, a massive fucking 'brain drain'.

Makes one think, once there's the proof of existence, it won't be long until "This just in! Mankind has now officially become an interstellar civilization."

Wonder how Greenpeace and hippies, religious nuts etc. will feel about the booming prospect of spreading out there in the universe. Children in Africa will still remain starving like they've always had, and god won't allow it, mankind is not ready and so on. Some people will certainly make a big number out of it, but HOW big?
>>
>>36120850
>suddenly decided to get to work on that instead

It doesn't matter much what the scientists and engineers want to work on. What really matters is what those with the money want done. So how much money can we make off of this? Even with FTL space travel will probably be preposterously expensive, and with very low cargo payloads.
>>
I need the computer interface to feature the following sound effects:

>key stroke
>processing
>cursor moving on screen
>access denied
>malfunction
>>
>>36122765
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=960VEqictck
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BX2mb6JPOw
>>
Finding replacement parts, bypassing non-working sections, replacing internals entirely, especially when you have manufacturing equipment on board, I would assume is easier than trying go get a wifi signal in deep space so you can perform your mandatory iSpace upgrade and submit your social security number to bind your humanity to the new terms of service.

The captain may be willing to sacrifice the electric chair adjustment in his seat so the weight of sturdier monitors can be compensated for- but it won't stop the wafer-screens from breaking when somebody leans on them or falls against them.

You don't need 10800p to read 16 bit diagnostics readouts. You don't need a 1500 megapixel video comm when kb data packages can get the same message across just fine. You also don't need to spend the thousands of dollars to purchase and/or maintain the equipment when you can pick it up for free off street corners.

Basically it comes down to being able to fix it with duct tape, or needing to send it back to the manufacturer.
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I do love me some holograms in moderation, though.
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>>36109666

Easy - Clunky/robust shit is the best your 3d printers can crank out. Now you have high tech that looks low tech and feasible scifi.
>>
>>36118073
The same one for Alien. It was the fucking 70's and they were writing about the future. That's just what the future looked like back then. Mongoose Traveller is pretty much the second coming of Classic Traveller, so no explanation was needed other than "Hey, we brushed off this system for you!"
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>>36123049
Sure. In Avatar, in Star Wars, in Guardians, but in Alien...? No!
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>>36117823

I see we own the same book. :3

If you read the part about how the FTL worked, they basically dropped mass. The more mass they dropped, the faster they went. However, they handwaved parts of it, assuming certain things would be available by that time to do the process, instead of making up an element (Ezo) like Mass Effect did.
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>>36119672
Just for you anon
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>>36120510

You have no idea how wet you made me. Points for programming it all on a PIC24 or dsPIC33!
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>>36123725
>I see we own the same book
Sadly, no. That's from the AvP wikia.

But reducing mass doesn't give you FTL. Once you've gone to zero mass, light speed becomes theoretically possible. But you still need the propulsion. And if your propellant is weightless, it's useless, devoid of its defining feature.

Now let's remember that Alien was never about technobabble, came about during the production process, and is a visual experience. But I don't believe they thought about how much sense it would make to a physicist back them. Any technological detail beyond prop or set design is purely coincidental or was authored after Alien became popular.
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>>36120643

Yes. Actual system operators back in the day could tell you what a computer was doing simply by looking at those lights. They were invaluable for debugging problems!

Ever have your computer crash and get a BSOD screen followed by a ton of letters and numbers? Those are memory addresses, commands, and memory fields dumped out for debugging purposes. Those lights are basically your BSOD screen running 24/7. Even BSOD screens can fail. Blinkenlights will not. And when something goes terribly wrong, you can manually key through your memory, one address at a time, for diagnostics with the old computer consoles with blinkenlights.

You cannot do this on modern computers.
>>
>>36123911
>blinkenlights
Had to search that.


ACHTUNG!
ALLES TURISTEN UND NONTEKNISCHEN LOOKENPEEPERS!
DAS KOMPUTERMASCHINE IST NICHT FÜR DER GEFINGERPOKEN UND MITTENGRABEN! ODERWISE IST EASY TO SCHNAPPEN DER SPRINGENWERK, BLOWENFUSEN UND POPPENCORKEN MIT SPITZENSPARKEN.
IST NICHT FÜR GEWERKEN BEI DUMMKOPFEN. DER RUBBERNECKEN SIGHTSEEREN KEEPEN DAS COTTONPICKEN HÄNDER IN DAS POCKETS MUSS.
ZO RELAXEN UND WATSCHEN DER BLINKENLICHTEN.
>>
>>36123905

I'm not at home at the moment, so I can't open up the book and take pictures of the section that has how the FTL systems work in the series. But trust me. It's basically exactly the same as Mass Effect.
>>
>>36123976

Best gibberish german I've read all day.
>>
>>36124012
It's gibberish English made to sound German. The German vocabulary is used phonetically to mimic English words, the articles and pronouns are incongruent in genus. The author did not understand German.
>>
You really can't.
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>>36124099

Hence "gibberish". Namely because I couldn't understand a fucking thing he said.
>>
>>36124099
There's a pseudo-English equivalent that was posted in German computer-geek spaces.
>ATTENTION
>This room is fullfilled mit special electronische equippment.
>Fingergrabbing and pressing the cnoeppkes from the computers is
>allowed for die experts only! So all the "lefthanders" stay away
>and do not disturben the brainstorming von here working
>intelligencies. Otherwise you will be out thrown and kicked
>anderswhere! Also: please keep still and only watchen
>astaunished the blinkenlights.
>>
>>36124205
Try to sound it out. It's perfectly intelligible.
>>
>>36124099
It's not gibberish in English though. It's a basic if conversational don't touch warning.
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>>36123911
The main reason you can't do it on modern systems being that modern hardware is just too fast to blink the lights.
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Another advantage of CRTs that hasn't been discussed yet:

With CRTs you have high voltage systems and glass sealed vacuum chambers in every room. So when things go bad, they can blow up, throw sparks, hurt the crew, and make sure dust and tiny debris is everywhere. Just what you need for an action sequence.
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>>36123049

I always wondered wether that cable in her mouth actually did anything or was she just being kooky?

Also this is a thinly veiled old-school sci-fi art thread, right?
>>
>>36124099
Fun fact, on some German language youtube videos the subtitles function does not give a translation. Instead it attempts to render them in English phonetically but its based on the German audio. So the results are hilarious.
>>
>>36124278
That's not the issue. But what is the point of displaying byte blocks from gigabytes of memory. OSs have grown huge and troubleshooting is not primarily done by reading out the crashed state of the memory. It can be, you plug into the system bus like an expansion card and access the RAM and caches. But what comes out wouldn't fit on a 1.44MB floppy.

A bios will beep an error code if boot is halted, there's tables where you can translate the beeps into error messages.
>>
>>36124401
>OS's have grown huge

So have programs, what does all this extra stuff actually DO. Look at word processors, the one on my modern computer does pretty much exactly the same thing as the one on my Windows 98 one, why the hell does one need so much more RAM to run.
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>>36124241

Tried. Can't.

>>36124278

Actually, they used blinkenlights well into the '00s on some supercomputers. The problem isn't speed so much as it is data space and word length.

Picture very related.

However, with blinkenlights and a manual control panel that does not need firmware to operate at all can be reprogrammed in instances where a system with a PROM would die and stay dead without any external hardware.
>>
>>36124512
So the NSA can read what you're typing while you're typing. I mean so that the paperclip can be transparent and animated.
>>
>>36124512

It's because they thinking they have to stuff in more features. And they have to target as many systems as possible. Portable software tends to run large as it is written inefficiently.

Personally, I would not trust my life to anything but very application specific software running on bare metal.
>>
>>36109666
they have the older systems because that is what their software runs on, and they absolutely refuse to spend the money to upgrade.
>>
>>36117641
What's the name of this I would love to get a copy to read?
>>
>>36124205
>>36124568
ZO=so RELAXEN=relax UND=and WATSCHEN=watch DER=the BLINKENLICHTEN=blinking lights
So relax and watch the blinking lights.

Do you have a disability?
>>
>>36124378

Links now!
>>
>>36125708

No, I don't. My mind just tries to read it in german, then falls flat on its face because it isn't. It can't try to parse it in english, for whatever reason.
>>
>>36128394
German speaker here. My brain usually just gives up whenever I come across one of these raging Hitler vids. Fuck those subtitles, it hurts my head.
>>
>>36114540
I like this a lot.

>"Yeah probably LCD screens would be better, but do you have any idea how goddamn expensive that'd be? Shit man, I'd kill for a good CPU out here but do you realize how much the shipping is six solar systems out?"

But then again I'm big into faster-than-light travel not actually being feasible, so that humanity has spread to the stars but you just plain cannot break the speed of light, so that it's digital communication (or worse) or nothing. You can bring the information to make advanced computers with you, sure, but how are you going to set up advanced manufacturing systems? Factories? Supply chains? It's a big task to colonize a planet and there are more important things to do since you're there.
>>
>>36124359
have you read this yet >>36113799
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>>36123771

Thank you, that is hilarious.
>>
>>36124012

That used to be on a poster in one of the five or so computer labs on earth, back in the day.
>>
CRT is still the best kind of monitor and if it was still receiving the full force of commercial R&D it would probably be shitting all over every other format even harder than it is.

They start using them in spacefuture because scarcity isnt a thing anymore and they can out the factories on dead planets where it doesn't matter if you turn a couple cubic miles into uninhabitable nightmarescapes with your industrial byproducts.
>>
>humanity has had experiences in the past with AIs undergoing unexpected singularity-esq development into super-intelligences, and some of these super-intelligences have been quite dangerous. Limiting them to text output is an important safety feature. An AI that has turned into a 'screamer' can be inhumanly persuasive and if it has voice output every human in hearing range who hasn't locked their mind down completely against persuasion with some strict philosophy or religion or political doctrine or what have you(themselves potentially undesirable on a closed spaceship) will immediately be diplomanced into being slaves. If you have a screamer with text outputs only you can all just not read the screens.
>>
>>36132356

>What are future!earplugs and notepads for communication until you've broken all the speakers

Really, the better argument would be that the company doesn't want to pay for voice modulation software for the AI/have to train the AI to use the speakers when klaxons do the job just as well, and everything else the AI would have been able to tell you can be had from terminals anyway.

Also not having to pay to wire the speaker system into the AI's mainframe (and pay for the fuel to push the weight the voice modulation hardware and wiring adds)
>>
>>36132218
Enjoy your scanlines.
>>
>>36132571

LCDs have scan lines too, actually. Sometimes, when I get high, I can see them on slower LCDs.
>>
>>36132476
And no worry about having even more wires running around the ship.

Or the crew mishearing something and fucking shit up.
>>
>>36115342
I owned a Radius CRT monitor that lasted 10 years before it died.

I also had a different CRT monitor fall off a desk during an earthquake. Worked fine afterwards.
>>
>>36121457
>Wonder how Greenpeace and hippies, religious nuts etc. will feel about the booming prospect of spreading out there in the universe.
holy shit I want a VW camper van with itty bitty M- and J-drives.
>>
>>36124113
I know which two of those I'd trust more when things went wrong.
>>
>>36125021
This is true IRL, in 20 years companies will be furiously funding research into life extension and probably fucking necromancy because all the old programmers who can maintain the horrible ancient cobol are gonna die and it doesn't matter how many levels of emulation and interfaces there are, it's still running 70s code via 80s code via 90s code via 92 code via 94 code, etc, forever.
>>
>>36132356
yudkowsky pls go
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>>36110263

>a source of heat, which is rudimentary life support
>heat

Motherfucker, do you have any idea of how space travel works? Heat is something you want to get rid of in deep space. Sure, probes need heaters, but if you've got humans and solar panels your ship is already too damn warm.

The ISS has really complex ammonia-cooled radiators to get rid of their excess heat. If they stop working, the ISS gets pretty muggy pretty fast.
>>
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If you want a weird tech diversion, get rid of the mouse.

Computing is a hell of a lot less convenient and immersive. Computers are things that you use at work, like a forklift or a scissor lift. Sure, you lift heavy stuff at home and have to get to tall places, but you don't need equipment.

A few nerds taught computers to play chess, but why would you want to do that? It's like watching the world series of pitching-machine hits.

So computers are designed to be industrial rather than commercial tools. That means rugged, replaceable design with lots of sturdy parts, because if you get a warranty call from Europa it's fucking expensive to send a tech out when you could just walk their engineer though some troubleshooting.

If your major customers are businesses and governments, your technology tends to be reliable rather than slick. Look at US military or government payroll technology. Think Blackberry vs iPhone. When you're selling a million units in one contract, you don't have time to change the production run or put out a new version every year. You stick to what you know and make everything reverse comparable. In 2100, in the real world, there are still going to be vital systems written in COBOL and MUMPS and god help us, things will still be designed to interact with those systems.
>>
>>36134173

I've always wondered if the IBM mainframes that half the civilized world runs on are still in place because of their reliability and IBM's superb legacy support, or because of the amount of money, troubleshooting and general hair pulling that it would take to replace them. Or if it's both reasons?

More thread related, NASA still runs a lot of shit in DOS, because they understand how it works down to the bits and the shit they've cooked up is more or less indestructible.

The US nuclear arsenal still runs on 8" floppies, too.
Mainly because
>it's fucking expensive to upgrade
> it's a completely closed system, and you can probably count the number of people left who are capable of "hacking" it and mobile enough to get on site on one hand
>>
If you want a 70s 80s style tech in space, make it so your Interstellar Revolution happened in the early 90s with the Alcubierre Drive:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcubierre_drive

a mission in the 80s to inspect an asteroid revealed tiny fragments of exotic matter embedded in the asteroids of the local asteroid belt.

10 years of mining and experimentation later, and we develop the Alcubierre Drive.
>>
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>>36134173
the problem with that is that the Mouse was developed incredibly early on in Computer history, and even if the Mouse as we know it is never created, trackball technology was already in development, so either it, or a variation on the Joystick concept would take it's place
>>
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>>36134575

The answer to your first question is both. There are people out there with fresh new degrees who specialize in dealing with stuff their father's peers cobbled together in the 80s. Stuff does get upgraded, but most big organizations back ends are 10 years behind the real world. Take a look at the inventory and point-of-sale systems for Sears, K-Mart, or any other second-tier retail store: it's all cobbled together nonsense held together with inertia and luck.

And that's in north america. Don't get me started on eastern europe or asia.

>>36134766

But what if both got treated like motion-capture tech? I mean, the mouse is no weirder than the wiimote or whatever; if it wasn't so convenient it'd be extremely odd.

If menu and key-based inputs became more common (one key for every function, your new program comes with a bolt-on keypad), then the 70s aesthetic becomes more plausible. No trackballs in Alien, after all. Maybe not likely, but not completely implausible.
>>
>>36132598
>Sometimes when I get high [anecdote]
Reliable source right here, gents
>>
>>36110263
Also remember that the ship was an old ship to begin with, i'm sure there are much nicer spacecraft floating around at the start of alien.
>>
>>36133940
>implying that's anywhere near yudmeister's line on robots.
>>
>>36117711
In hte denfese of the set builders and the overall aesthetic of prmotheus, they DID look at what was being used on the ISS right now.

And wether you like it or not, anything that saves power, volume and mass WILL get used in spaceships.

Unless you start cheating physics to lift and accelerate stuff, at which point you might as well stop trying and go full Star Trek/Wars.
>>
The Nostromo looked like an Antonov but had artificial gravity, FTL, fusion power, cold sleep, and enough lying around to rig a sonic motion detector (lit. molecular movement).

I don't think we should worry about the weight of CRTs. Alien is glorious as it is, no need to go into detail.

A more reasonable endeavor might be looking into Weylan-Yutani corporate structure, hierarchy, controlling, and labor rights. Simply calling it The Company implies a dominant market share.
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Wow, this thread's been awesome, truly. Thanks a lot for stirring up the conversation.

I have a query about alternate history in general... I was searching for the works this anon mentioned here
>>36114028
and I happened upon an alternate history discussion board, well actually it's THE alternate history discussion board. I had not known such a thing really existed until today, and am eager to dive into it and see what wonderful things people have cooked up. One reason I'm interested in this subject is because I am compiling a body of work of my own that is heavily centered around alt-history, but it's simply not quite ready to share yet... I was wondering if any of you chaps have had experience posting on that board before? If it would welcome a project that is very bare-bones and not as well educated (yet) on the subject matter, then I'll look into posting my ideas there... IF NOT then I was curious if there would be any anons here I could discuss such matters with to perhaps roll out a more refined idea?

The particular subject is a 1900s and UP overhaul, leaving everything prior intact.

I would love to share my creativity with /tg/ more so, just not sure how to proceed in hammering out the discussion exactly. Any historyfags in the house that would like to have a word with a budding creative writer/drawfag?
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>>36138166
>been awesome
It still is, dude. We have 128 posts to go before autosage.
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>>36138166
Make another thread. This one is about Nostromo tech.
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>>36138207
Oh, yes, verily! I just wanted to ask since there seems to be a wealth of intelligent discussion in here and I felt like reaching out for just a moment.

Personally, I'm all for older tech aboard particularly non commercial/government/military etc craft. Mostly for the reasoning that materials for repair would be more readily available and easier to implement in-flight as opposed to having to employ more sophisticated engineers/mechanics with each crew. Also the point one anon made about certain systems requiring ease-of-operation with spacesuits and other bulky garbs.

I'm still sifting through the PDF posted earlier too, and it is all really really cool.

Anyways, carry on, gentlemen - I'm lurking eagerly.
>>
>>36112779

To me the argument makes perfect sense because I have personally worked as a repair technician on cellphones for the past few years. I started doing it right at the turn of the smartphone revolution; we saw steady traffic of old flip phones and rugged construction worker single forms, like that nokia, which we came to call "beater phones." We had compiled a MASSIVE amount of beater parts over the years, harvesting whatever was working fine while the customer got a total replacement for one reason or another. Screens, keyboards, speakers, cameras, microphones, casings; I was seriously impressed with the catalog of components that were on-hand. It was all done in the event that one of these older models walks through the door, we could just swap the defective part and be done with servicing it, lickity-split! Like I said we also were beginning to service smartphones like the Palms, HTCs and Samsungs. The more sophisticated the tech got the more I noticed that there was less and less we could reliably harvest. Our stock of beater parts was beginning to collect dust before long and all we could keep for smarties were LCDs, casings and speakers. Eventually it came time that we were not even repairing phones, just issuing replacements and junking out whatever came in - the majority of problems we saw beyond physical damage was defective motherboards and completely fucked software - things you can't just hot-swap and call it a day.

The more sophisticated your systems get, the harder it becomes to find something that could fix it. Another thing that changed before my very eyes were the problems that instigated the repair; it would take a tremendous amount of effort to do-in a beaterphone, but smarties would march in by the bucketloads simply because it took a short tumble to a hard surface. They literally do not make phones (or any tech now a days) like they use to. Nothing is made to last anymore, it's all replaceable garbage.
>>
>>36112639

TUBES!!!!
>>
>>36138614
that actually might just be the answer to >>36109666 's dilemma of:

>Is there any way to justify low resolution CRT screens on interstellar spaceships? How do you explain proper AI without voice I/O and holographic interface without resorting to "it's part of the setting, deal with it"?

Its because these interstellar ships need to be made to be durable with as many components as possible be built to be durable and easily repaired. because if some flimsy and incredibly important component breaks and it has to be completely replaced halfway through a trip, you and everyone on board are basically dead. because if that ship gets stranded, it could be CENTURIES before anyone finds you.
>>
>>36138614
since I had to cut myself short due to character limit constraints, I will cite another example of Old vs New tech

Radios. These fuckers use to be tough as nails back in the day. When one broke, you could open her up and fix it yourself and without a daunting education to back it up. Every part was made to last or to be modular enough that you could simply swap any part and expect it to work as good as new. Radios were the precursor to television, computers and subsequently the all in one smartdevices we have today.

Can you imagine what technology would like if there wasn't a concern for self-manufactured defects and or a narrow shelflife?

The industry today is using cheap materials, shoddy construction and they limit their expansion of features simply because they want to sell you FOUR things over the lifecycle of a device instead of giving you ONE and building upon it for years.
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>>36135567
In the name of science I shall go and try to replicate his results.
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>>36138837
Absolutely, and to take the analogy a step further

If you have a simplistic suite of components that go into multiple devices, you can rest assured that the parts you have on-hand for repair can be used for any number of problems in the foreseeable future. When you have all these specialized and proprietary parts, it would demand quadruple your stock of replacement components, and that would far exceed the convenience of repairing on-the-fly. You have one system that is mission-critical that it remains operational and then some subsystems that you could suffer without for the time being. Parts are disassembled from one kit and implemented in another. Think of it even like LEGO if you will; every piece can be repurposed when the situation demands it.

Bingo bango bongo; keep it simple, stupid.
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>>36139045
Stem cell ship repair?
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>>36139066
Not a bad phrase to coin
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>>36139066
Having streamlined electronics used as an industry standard also solves another problem: when landing your damaged vessel on a spacestation or surface outpost it's guaranteed that they will have SOMETHING to barter with in order to secure the necessary repairs.

You monetize replacement parts. Keeping inventory on your ship ensures that you can trade what you have in surplus for what they have that's critically needed.
>>
>>36139164
plus, with monetized parts, you don't have to worry as much about whether or not the settlement you limped your broken ship into is going to have the necessary infrastructure established to make those repairs.
>>
I am just picturing someone who has never been into space before moaning constantly about how slow and ugly the computers are on the transport then demanding a refund when cosmic rays zap his fancy ipod73.
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>>36139164
as newer components are developed, they could be fashioned with the core idea that it is to be plugging into an existing modular frame. You are going to have newer and better parts come out, that's just the nature of the beast I'm afraid - but if there was insurance that those worked in tandem with existing sets then you guarantee that every piece added is an investment for the future.

If technology is turned into a field of expansion & evolution
rather than constant & needless replacement (solely for monetary gains)
then the stars are no longer the LIMIT
they become the LIBERATION.
>>
>>36139287
>I am just picturing someone who has never been into space before moaning constantly about how slow and ugly the computers are on the transport then demanding a refund when cosmic rays zap his fancy ipod73.
yeah, I can see that happening.
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>>36139221
Yes, exactly; You turn this into an industry standard and then the knowledge required to implement necessary repairs or construction can be commonplace. Advanced education would be a big help, especially when trying to make due with a limited pool of resources, but it would not longer be an unbridgeable gap.


I think this core idea is fantastic, but that's probably because I just hit the ADHD medication a few hours ago and it's at full effect.
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>>36139323
>>36139369
(continuing because why not)

Just like in lego MOCing, techniques for how to implement certain pieces successfully and in innovative ways can be passed down by their peers and from generations of working with those tools.

What's guaranteed is that all the pieces are compatible, what is coveted knowledge is the many ways in which they could be used.
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>>36139326
I can also imagine the shit-fit that guy would have when a crew member suggests going to the colony's farmer's market and buying up a scratch-built smart-phone, sure its basically a working replica of an android phone, but it should be able to hold him over until he gets back to Earth.
>>
I quite like the ideas in this thread. With most spaceborne and colony computer and electronic technology being slow, rugged and easy to manually repair while on the advanced planets its mostly fast stuff you cannot fix yourself.
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>>36109666
Have you ever worked at a real job?
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>>36139621
not the OP but I once worked at an international airport as both a 911 police and fire dispatch as well as airport general operations. I monitored security, announced weather/emergency alerts, controlled the monorail/shuttle/elevator all over the complex and dispatched personnel assignments. My console looked not unlike the OP's image except black all over with turn keys and emergency shutoff paddles - shit was crazy complicated, but I learned most of it within my four month training period.

Hardest job I've ever had, quit on account of too much responsibility over people's lives and I was falling asleep at the wheel thanks to shiftwork disorder. The literal wheel, not proverbial; I momentarily ran several red lights with my eyes glued shut. Never again.
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>>36137497
yudkowsky's opinion on ais is literally "just give me one hour and no swear filter and i can literally completely destroy anyone psychologically with aim instant messenge" combined with reinventing two thousand years of christian theology, starting with the stupid bits.
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>>36139683
I'm sorry, that is really unfair to christians. I'm just thinking of the really fucking dumb heresies here, like prosperity gospel-tier shit.>>36138021
>Simply calling it The Company implies a dominant market share.
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>>36139045
This is a pretty big deal. You can cram everything down into extremely specialised boards and chips, but if you don't mind a relatively lower capacity you can go for fewer types of more generic modules, so if you're completely out of spares you can use a board out of the backup water handling system to replace a busted board in the AE-35 unit.

Then see if you can unfuck the broken one.
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>>36134575
>and IBM's superb legacy support
Not so loud, they'll sell it to the Russians at a loss or something.
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>>36139755
For sure, I think it's a rather elegant solution. Exceptions will be had, but for the most part that sums it up nicely.

You go highly specialized and are fucked if it breaks down, regardless of the personnel on board, or you take a generalized approach and have plenty of breathing room when sparks start flying with more hands available.

I'm also privy to the monetized parts idea. It doesn't change too much of the existing barter system while allowing any place in the galaxy to be a potential relief aid.
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>>36138614
France is changing the law so that intentionally building a limited service life into something you're selling to consumers is a felony.

My gramps still has his WW2 gear, and it's still in working order.
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>>36133877
You are now aware that the standby instruments in modern aircraft are LED too (on pic related it's the tiny screen near the center of the picture, between the large screens)
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>>36140722
LCD*

Have another example due to my slip
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>>36140722
>>36140737

The comparison fails because modern aircraft are nothing like space ships.

LCD or CRT, if it fails in a modern aircraft you won't have the time, tools, space or inclination to fix it before you land. Your flight time is a couple hours and you aren't expected to preform maintenance yourself anyway. It is impractical to preform any kind of repairs to the craft in flight at all, so it doesn't matter how hard it is to fix the various components. If they fail and you can do without them then you're good, but if they fail in a "falling out of the sky" capacity then you're fucked regardless of how easy they are to fix.

In a space ship on a steady heading you have all the time in the world to fix anything that breaks. You have to know how to fix it yourself or you're fucked, and the nearest qualified technician is either you or several hundred centuries of conventional travel away.

CRTs are cheaper and work just as well as LCDs for the purposes of space travel, along with being more robust. They are also much easier to work on, and don't require as many specialized tools.

I'll take the flight system that's been operated for years and is tried and true over the one that hasn't even been to space yet any day of the week. Let the test pilots stick their necks out working the bugs out of and determining the reliability of the new stuff.

Your mistake is in assuming that the course the designers of spacecraft have chosen to take is the only valid approach, and all others are garbage.
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>>36141152
I'm just talking from my point of view as a pilot; I prefer the comfort of having an analogue (ie physical dials rather than screens) set of instruments rather than something which for all you know could go belly up following a serious electrical failure in your aircraft. There can be situations where you are highly likely to crash if they fail, which is why you have the backups in the first place.
>>
I want to congratulated you Gus this is the best thread on /tg/ with out a doubt in my mind
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>>36141152
SpaceX's Dragon capsule for manned spaceflight will use massive touchscreen LCDs for the main controls. We Enterprise D now, and you're full of shit.
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>>36142708
SpaceX is an orbiter, not an interstellar vessel going out without resupply for years.
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>>36141152
>CRTs are cheaper and work just as well as LCDs for the purposes of space travel
I suppose.

As long as you're willing to put up with the extra mass that a CRT brings along for the ride.
>>
The issue I have with the 'Old tech is more reliable!' justification for CRT screens in space is that we're not building interstellar ships now, we'll be building them 500 years in the future. 500 years in the future, CRT screens aren't going to be old but reliable, LCD screens aren't going to be old but reliable, it's holograms that are old but reliable while direct neural interfaces are the new, sophisticated-but-unreliable tech, and nobody outside of specialized academics has even heard of CRT.
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>>36142797
Extra weight is why you don't see CRTs in new aircraft
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>>36138614
As someone who works with somewhat older IT systems and such I can only say you are 100% right.

All the old Hardware that has been running for the last 10-20 years is going to run somewhat fine for the next 10 years, some maintance and some repairs aside but all that flashy new stuff that I have to repair usually breaks down after 5 years and after this short time it's basically impossible to find any spare parts for it. I can repair the old tech with some resistors and a soldering rod. For the new stuff the only thing I can do is change the cards it's using.
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>>36139683
What do you want to bet he convinced those stupid fucks who took him up on his AI experiment by invoking Roko's basilisk?
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>>36142009
NICE

>>36143034
Thanks for backing me up, guy. I worked for a short time in the communications business as well, working on repeaters, two ways and some other wireless doo-dads. My boss was a fanatic about old tech and used it to his advantage any chance he got. We were renting out ancient Kenwood radios for a fair price, these things were BEASTS and I never had any problem with them myself. Funny enough, almost always our customers would be walk-outs from other radio rental businesses because they were either too complicated to use, too temperamental or outright robbery in costs. My boss would laugh and remark that he will never see an end to his old rental services, because whatever these companies decide to shit out next won't perform half as good as the old stock.

It's a shame really, there's an overall decline in pride for a rugged and reliable product, You use to be able to size up electronics by their heft and tough casing alone, but not anymore.

We've gotten better at making things alright, and in the process we moved away from making them TOO GOOD.

>>36140674
That warms the cockles of my heart to hear that. Good luck getting the US to ever OK that mandate!

It's not just shoddy craftsmanship that the industry has taken up, they actively hold back technology gains between models to guarantee they can milk you for more money. A little later on down the road when you're bored with the same device, there the new model will be staring back at you from flashing packaging - promising that it's BETTER than ever, but you can bet it's never the BEST. It's this business model that they most likely won't change, it even skirts that french law but achieves the same goal.
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The reason for CRTs and 70s style keys on Nostromo is French legislation. W-Y is a multinational, so they make the lowest common denominator the company standard everywhere, even off world.
>>
I can honestly say, and I know this is punishable by death, that I've never seen Alien.

Is there somewhere I can watch it? I'm NEET as fuck, but I do have access to Hulu and Netflix.
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>>36144787
I can't imagine it wouldn't be on Netflix.
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>>36144787
Uh.. torrent your movies like everyone else?
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>>36144787
I found a working putlocker link for Alien 1979 on Google, second video result (for me).

But I encourage you to watch it in high quality, it is a very visual film that wants to be enjoyed on a big screen that illuminates a dark room.
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>>36144814
Huh.

>>36144870
I don't into torrenting. I mean I have for the odd vidya, but I've never looked for other media before.

Is bluefrog still OK? Or the bay for that matter?
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>>36144970
I'd be careful with torrents. With Isolation out they're probably crawling with seeds by the MAFIAA.
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>>36144970
>>36144970
http://dvd.netflix.com/SubGenreList/Alien_Sci-Fi/622

It's right there
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>>36144949
this is the exact reason I've abstained from watching 2001 and alien for that matter

I know they are such monumental films, I want to do them justice by seeing it on as big a screen as I can muster in as high of definition as the format allows.

I've never a Slingblade either, but I'm familiar with his pistol of choice
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>>36145014
>tfw too pleb for physical service

I don't pay for it though, so I can't complain.
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Ah, that gleeful expectation....

Pic is the quality of >>36144949


>>36145020
Alien isn't monumental. It's a good horror film, groundbreaking for its day. But a monument only to cineasts and Horror freaks.
>>
>>36145011
which is precisely why I haven't fucked with them other than an indie game here or there

(they wouldn't miss my not purchasing it, those go for peanuts any given gabenday)

Man, I'd love to play isolation though. I wish redbox had it.
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>>36145083
I'm waiting. I want to play it in 3D, with full goggles and headphones. And it isn't quite there yet.

In a few years the 3D market will have cleared up and the game will be modded so that you can see the menus with goggles. And I'm hoping by then the price will be down to $200.
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>>36145055
there's no DEFINTITVE version, is there? I heard that there were a ton for blade

I think Harry Ford likes the director's cut best, something about how they painted his character differently with editing - fuck if I can remember exactly though.
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>>36145150
Hell yes, I wait with bated breath for the revolution to hurry up and arrive. Soon

Hopefully not too soon, I'm still horribly disabled and I haven't won any suits yet.
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>>36145152
Blade RUNNER. Blade is a black half vampire.

The problem was that Blade Runner went way over budget and what they edited together was a desperate attempt to salvage some return. Ford allegedly expressed a disliking of the voice over cut (original theater). When the thing went cult hit in the early 90s the studio released a darker edit without voice over that incorporated the unicorn theory, they titled it director's cut. But it never was Scott's original edit, such a thing never existed. If you haven't yet, watch the deleted scenes on Youtube, there's a bunch. In an early draft the story was supposed to go on after Tyrel dies. He was just another replicant, a clone of the original. Then they go to the next floor above and discover the original slowly decomposing in a sophisticated medical bed/tank.

Anyway, Alien's theater edit is the one to watch. I don't know if there are others, but I don't think there is one that incorporates all deleted scenes.
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>>36145194
>bated breath
Isolation has a button to hold your breath so the Xenomorph can't hear you.
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"Comrade, is it more valuable to have a doctor or a box of spare parts on this station?"
"Ah, that's easy comrade. The spare parts!"
"How can that be? What if we are injured?"
"Ah, but we can heal ourselves given time, and if one of us dies we'll use up less air and water. If the machines break, who will heal them?"
>>
>>36145342
mind blowing

>>36145324
also that

I just jewgled slingblade, and yeah that's not what I meant - not seen it. I've never seen Blade (the vampire) either, but everyone says that is great cinema too.

Thanks for the breakdown on that, I remember vaguely when it released to bluray that the director's cut was a big deal and builtFordtough was an advocate of that particular version. Interesting that there wasn't an official one though, I was under the impression that it has many different cuts.
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>>36145470
wiser words were never spoken by commie ratbastards
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>>36144970
If I were you I would drop everything and watch The Hidden Hand

Life altering documentation there.
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>>36145578
I might; I need new ludicrous conspiracy theories for my campaign.
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>>36145686
How new, and how ludicrous?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSakrYOpJ5s
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>>36145686
No bullshit, I watch/read about abduction stories for direct inspiration on how to use my alien menace in my setting.

One day some crazy fucker is gonna pick up my book and say "WELP, I KNEW IT!"

Also no bullshit, what Kenwood guy was talking about is true. Self-limiting by design so the gubbermints gets access to cutting edge tech that's leaps and bounds ahead of consumer electronics.
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As a weird suggestion, have you considered making advanced tech which happens to resemble retro-tech?

Solid holographic interfaces, but they can only get the colours of black and green to work, so it all looks like low-tech CRT, even as it's floating above a workstation.

The AI doesn't speak, because it's more efficient in the future for engineers to learn the new spectral language, much like braille. These read outs are across the ship, constantly updating themselves, and just so happen to look like banks of blinking lights to those who can't read the language.

Don't forget to make e-readers ubiquitous to simulate the PADDs of TOS Star Trek.
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>>36146115
I'm a subscriber to this use of technology. I love flashgordon blasters kicking some tits in from time to time.
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>>36146191
That has... almost nothing to do with this thread.
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>>36146314
I've always loved that design. So simple, yet so bulky. With wings!
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>>36115342
I have a 10+ y/o CRT that is still my spare monitor. It has outlasted two LCD screens.
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>>36146509
Should be blurry by now and have shadow images. A high quality CRT nowadays can run you upwards of $800.
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>>36146544
>blurry
>shadow images
Who cares as long as the readout is still legible.

Another big CRT advantage: You can read it from any angle in full contrast.
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>>36146314
With the thread? No

But as that anon mentioned:
Retro tech that is functioning in a higher capacity than it leads on - that was on topic.

Sorry that you had to see an animated image, how about a compromise?
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>>36146599

And in an emergency, it can form the core of a really shitty ion engine. It's not much thrust, but tear off the solar panels and use three or four monitors to launch a probe, a beacon, or a very brave crewmember. Your Isp will be be awful and you'd be better off using a can of compressed air, but for automated stuff it's cheap and quick.
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>>36146599
truth

attempting to read portrait documents by tipping my laptop sideways almost never cuts it.

I use to have this CRT, it was the nicest monitor I've ever had. Colors were perfect for a long time. I don't think it ever broke I just misplaced it in a move and switched to LCD - I miss it.
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>>36146664

Flash Gordon tech isn't retro tech. We didn't have really shitty rayguns in the 30s that got extrapolated forwards to really cool rayguns in the 24th century.

They just made up technology to make their stories work or wildly speculated on half-understood current science, like nuclear power and rocketry. And I do mean wildly; there wasn't a lot of science to go 'round in those days.

Different thing entirely.
>>
>>36146664
>>36146191
>>36146115

That is the opposite of gritty.
>>
>>36146883

As >>36146115 I was more trying to get across a merging of the gritty with the futuristic. Making the fancy new stuff resemble the old retro devices, so the tech has progressed, but it just happens to resemble retro stuff.
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>>36146711
Does a CRT actually produce enough thrust to be usable for a small probe if you're very desperate?

Because that's sounding like an excellent conclusion to a science-fiction short story.
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>>36109666
I would argue "it's part of the setting, deal with it" is fine enough as long as you do something interesting with the aesthetic, and functionality of it. Take Cyberpunk 2020, it's tech is all 80s future stuff, most still more advanced than modern day tech, but in different fields. No smartphones and the like. But it just isn't the same if you update it, loses that gritty 80s neon, leather, and chrome feel.
>>
>>36147100
For a light robot with solar cells who has time it might work. It's basically a bad ion drive. It shoots fast electrons, but electrons are basically the lightest particle you could find, their mass is theoretical.
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