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Old 03-03-2012, 11:58 AM   #11
jeff_wilson
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Default Re: How do you upgrade a tattoo computer?

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Just being "printed" doesn't mean you can't expand it, even more than having printing some words on a page means you can't add more text underneath.
How does anything I write here expand the function of the complete sentence you've written in the box above? How do I integrate additional phrases and clauses when you've terminated any possible conjunctions and punctuated it?
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:08 PM   #12
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Default Re: How do you upgrade a tattoo computer?

The thing about the tattoo computer is.... What will it be doing?

Your not going to be loading programs onto it, any type of active wireless communication (like a cellphone) is likely out due to power requirements, its not going to have a terrible amount of internal memory- basically it's going to suck compared to any actual computer of the day- except that it's tiny, and written on your skin, and does not require batteries.

There are dedicated embedded applications today that are running on hardware that was built in the early 80s, and its still running, just fine; so what is your tattooed computer going to do- monitor your heat rate, blood pressure, sugar, keep track of your internal calorie store so that you know EXACTLY when and how much to eat for idea fitness, alarm clock, perhaps a calendar application to remind you of important dates, and something to take down notes on- then some RFID comms so that you can get this information to and from a real computer when you get to one.

If the tattoo computer already does that it won't really matter how much more advanced the rest of computing gets until some sort of immense breakthrough changes everything (and by that point you would not be able to interface your old tattoo with new ones anyway)- your tattoo computer will always give you good bio-feedback on the state of your existence, tell you when and how much to eat, keep dates, times, and let you write notes to yourself.

The tattoo computer will be for people saying "I need information, but I want to keep it simple and I don't want to wear a computer.", the same type of people who today say 'I need a mobile phone, that places and receives calls; not a small computer that happens to be a phone' will be interested in discreet tattoo computers; people who want cutting edge everything will continue doing what they are doing right now- buy the newest pocket computer, transfer over any important documents and applications, then toss the old one.
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:22 PM   #13
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Default Re: How do you upgrade a tattoo computer?

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How does anything I write here expand the function of the complete sentence you've written in the box above? How do I integrate additional phrases and clauses when you've terminated any possible conjunctions and punctuated it?
Just look at the box, and you'll see more text. If "processing power" equals "words", then there's certainly more processing power there. Remaining within the analogy, you've certainly connected to and expanded upon the discussion -- and that's without any text from me explicitly designed for such a connection.

You can think of examples of text designed for expansion. There's a few of them on this board at the moment. Help design this character, help design this world; a couple of thoughts with a question that elicits and answer or even a blank to fill in.

What's an expansion slot in a motherboard other than a bus connector to be used later by some extra hardware? What requires that to be at right angles to a rigid motherboard? Why can't you put on at the edge of the motherboard? You can, of course, and some designs even of actual computers do so. At my work, the current design for one product involves two chips, each with their own eval board that can be used separately, and the two boards snap together on edge to make a compound system with both chips.

If you can create a tattoo that's a computer, and you can interconnect the components "inside" that tattoo, there's no good reason to suppose you can't pick an edge and run the bus connections to a spot there to be picked up later to connect to some other component. It's just a matter of design for expansion.

There are no doubt some tattoos that aren't designed for expansion, just as there are some modern computers not designed for expansion. But that doesn't mean no tattoo computer could be so designed. There's nothing inherent in the concept that prevents it. Trying to justify that it's impossible would be much harder and less plausible to me.
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:48 PM   #14
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Default Re: How do you upgrade a tattoo computer?

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There are no doubt some tattoos that aren't designed for expansion, just as there are some modern computers not designed for expansion. But that doesn't mean no tattoo computer could be so designed. There's nothing inherent in the concept that prevents it. Trying to justify that it's impossible would be much harder and less plausible to me.
Providing a port or slot for attaching additional hardware is straightforward, but that's not the same as upgrading the GURPS Complexity. I can append my sentence to yours, but that doesn't make yours more profound, or encompass a paragraph's worth of similarly sophisticated sentences.

What would have to happen to allow an upgradable tattoo computer would involve creating a downward scaleable design, so that a subset of the elements still form a functional device but have inferior performance. That subset is tattooed on first, and to upgrade the rest is filled in. Rather than adding a lion and a bear and a little girl, you start with the double-sized C2 blue lion, then fill in the other four to form C3 VOLTRON!
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:03 AM   #15
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Default Re: How do you upgrade a tattoo computer?

You could do that, too, though I don't really see a difference either practically or game-mechanically. If you design your processing to be modular enough to be upgraded, you pretty much have to have a vision of what the "big" version looks like. We're both talking about "tatooing a subset" to start with.

The grand scheme might be more or less vague. No one had a specific plan for The Internet when they first built it. Systems can grow organically and still increase in Complexity. But as simple-minded human engineers, we usually like to know the architecture.

Do you agree that a character could start with some tattoo computer, and then later pay a difference in money and/or CP, and then have a higher complexity tattoo computer?
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:42 AM   #16
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Default Re: How do you upgrade a tattoo computer?

If you're really willing to have your skin stripped off and replaced with a tattooed graft, I don't see why not.
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Old 03-04-2012, 10:53 AM   #17
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: How do you upgrade a tattoo computer?

Why do you have to strip off your skin? it seems like you're assuming that a tattoo computer must always occupy the entire area of the skin. In that case, yes, it'd be hard to upgrade. But if tattoo computers occupy only part of your skin area -- like most tattoos -- why would you need a skin graft to expand the computer into previously unused area, leaving the previous section intact and functioning?
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:55 AM   #18
jeff_wilson
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Default Re: How do you upgrade a tattoo computer?

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
If you're really willing to have your skin stripped off and replaced with a tattooed graft, I don't see why not.
TS-era medicine can do it painlessly while you wait.


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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
The grand scheme might be more or less vague. No one had a specific plan for The Internet when they first built it.
Internetwork protocols were indeed planned to allow indefinite interconnection between other networks, but that is not the same as making the networks more powerful by doing so; a frequent complaint is that adding new peers decreases performance.

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Do you agree that a character could start with some tattoo computer, and then later pay a difference in money and/or CP, and then have a higher complexity tattoo computer?
If they paid the premium for the scalable design, sure. As my analogy above suggested, it should be about double. If they had a default tat computer, no.

Expandability is not without its costs. Every part of the machine would have to have scalability to encompass what GURPS lumps into Complexity. Here's part of the design file for a general-purpose microprocessor; every where you see a constant number value, for instance, it would have to be replaced by a function that returns the current number value, or would have to be accompanied by another line with the doubled value and a third line to specify when to use which. When all these additional lines and functions are run through the tools that decide where to run the traces and build the components, double cost and space would be a conservative estimate of the marginal increase.
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:15 PM   #19
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Default Re: How do you upgrade a tattoo computer?

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Originally Posted by jeff_wilson View Post
If they paid the premium for the scalable design, sure. As my analogy above suggested, it should be about double. If they had a default tat computer, no.
That seems pretty arbitrarily short-sighted for no particular reason.

In a setting with tat computers it's just as likely that they'd be built like blade servers, with each X mms of circuitry counting as a blade rack, which would mean adding another tatoo could very well be the equivalent of adding another rack of 128, 256, 512 blades, etc., depending on tech.
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:58 PM   #20
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Default Re: How do you upgrade a tattoo computer?

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By all means... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2pSt2gACrc

RvB was big in the mid 2000's, but your mention of post-tatoo remorse brought it all back. Bonus points if your implanted tatoo AI looks like the Milli Vanilli logo.
I love it (even if it is really predictable)! Save for the awful sound quality, which seems to be only partially on purpose. Thanks for sharing.

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
and with no space left for a modern upgrade, poor guy.
Sorry, I was not clear. My whole point from the beginning was about upgrading an already fully-covered body.

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Originally Posted by starslayer View Post
The tattoo computer will be for people saying "I need information, but I want to keep it simple and I don't want to wear a computer.", the same type of people who today say 'I need a mobile phone, that places and receives calls; not a small computer that happens to be a phone' will be interested in discreet tattoo computers.
Good point, save maybe for the "it's permanent" part.
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Last edited by David Latapie; 03-04-2012 at 03:03 PM.
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