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Computing in Vekllei

πŸ“‘Table of Contents
This article is about computing in Vekllei, but most of these technologies are available world-over
Computers are used to subsidise rather than multiply productivity in Vekllei. This does not mean that they do not make commerce or industry more efficient, or open new means of communication between people – only that they are understood foremost as a social benefit that enables the more idealistic features of the Floral Period and its functional moneylessness. Vekllei is working towards participatory work, and computers are among the dream’s most valuable means in which it is being realised.

Overview #

Vekllei uses electric computers in a range of industrial and commercial applications, which contributes to the increasing automation of the Vekllei Commonwealth workforce. Contemporary computing, known as the photo-electric generation, relies on optical technologies developed by the U.S. military in the 1980s, and were subsequently revolutionised by holographic memory by the U.K. in the 2030s. Vekllei computer science inherits much of its technology database from the U.K. through the Twin Electric research programme, and has contributed significantly to the efficiency and reliability of holographic data storage.

Vekllei has several computer manufacturers, including Votraitey Electrics and National Machines1 Votraitey provides commercial imaging services for holographic memory, particularly the DataPlex Photovolumes, and National Machines construct photo-electric mainframes suitable for enterprise-scale networking. The home of Vekllei computer science is the National Photonic Laboratories at Vekllei National University, with industrial research contributed by National Computer’s Logic Mechanics division. The Commonwealth aims to be independent of foreign-made components and circuitry by the end of the century.

Types of Computing #

There are two types of commercial computing in use in Vekllei.

  • Photo-Electric Computers (PEC), which are electric machines that are capable of parallel arithmetic and logical operations.
  • Fabricated Live Robotics, which combine computers with synthetic biological components to unlock adaptive and sensory functions.

Computing in Vekllei happens at a civic or industrial scale, and rarely interacts with individuals for personal purposes. Most ordinary Vekllei people interact with computers through work or in schools and libraries, where they serve data-lookup and communication purposes. Civilian life in Vekllei is decidedly analogue.

Photo-Electric Computing #

All programmable Vekllei computers use photo-electric circuits2 instead of electric transistors and semiconductors. In a Vekllei photo-electric computer, micro-lasers are produced by a wafer made up of mirrors and a cavity to perform digital computations. In place of silicon transistors are photonic crystals called Syncretic Crystal Mechanisms, which reflect light at different wavelengths and form an optical integrated circuit. Devices called spatial light modulators3 moderate the intensity and phase of these light beams, which are stored as holograms within a crystal as a form of digital memory. These holographic crystals, called Photovolumes, are able to be written and read in parallel, allowing instant access to records in a networked computer system. Most computers contain a protected archive system that duplicates and write-protects data.

Because photo-electric computers require large processing elements to facilitate nonlinear computing and its unique signal-processing devices, computers in Vekllei are heavily centralised and are not found in households. Most large industrial and commercial enterprises maintain a single room-sized ‘Master Computer’ that networks satellite terminals concurrently. Some centralised industries consolidate master computers into a single photo-electric-robotic system (PER) called an Automatic Asset Command. Famous examples are the Automatic Train Control, which automates Vekllei National Rail operations and programmes robots that can automate train service, and the Vekllei State Archives which maintain a written record of all items in several archival Photovolumes, managed by the Archival Master Computer.

The size, speed and accessibility of data storage in Vekllei means that more data than ever is recorded and preserved, making Vekllei one of the most recorded societies in history. As the site of the Atlantic Telephone and Data Exchange, Vekllei also handles tremendous amounts of trans-Atlantic data regeneration and processing.

Fabricated Live Robotics #

Although processing is usually offloaded to more powerful master computers, Vekllei makes extensive use of organic robotics to automate processes and functions where adaptivity to sensory input is required. These robots, called automasiosn or ‘automen,’ combine fabricated organic brains with photo-electric circuits to create a programmable, adaptive robot.

Artificial substrates of crystal, called command clocks, are knitted into vat-grown brain tissue to organically process commands. These commands are sometimes digital-optical signals from a master computer, or can be produced by onboard circuitry in response to sensory stimulus. The fabricated brain has natural instincts for balance and orientation, but otherwise bears little resemblance to living, sentient brains. Command clocks in Vekllei are generally made from synthetic quartz and are ionised in manufacturing to enable cartographic crystal pathways, which pass information to axon guns. These guns propel electric signals into the organic tissue, combining the reactivity of organic reflexes with sterile programmability. Newer automen are capable of parallel operations through vertical command wafers.

Automen are used in a variety of roles in Vekllei, including as independent robotic machines and as processing units for systems and data. They are most well known as independent machines, usually tracked or on wheels, that perform a variety of low-skill labour in Vekllei in public places and factories.

Accessibility and Utility #

All Vekllei people can access computers through public libraries, universities and some schools. These facilities are networked into the National Bulletin System (NBS), a sort of digital bulletin board that allows for real-time communication, content sharing and electronic mail. The National Bulletin System makes up part of the Vekllei Public Intranet, which can be accessed through terminals found in many schools, post offices and libraries. The Vekllei Government and large businesses also maintain their own intranets for use among staff. Computer subcultures exist in Vekllei and participate in unsanctioned network access through home-built relays and primitive hobby computers, a practice known as ‘phreaking.’

The Public Intranet is anonymous, but terminals signal their hardware address to the public mainframe, which allows users to specify the location of others. The NBS displays these addresses as postcodes by default.

Vekllei computers use calligraphic displays4, which allow primitive vector graphics. Most Vekllei file systems, including the Public Intranet, are text-only and use the VEKSCOPE character encoding standard.

  1. National Machines S.A. manufactures a range of products outside of computing, and most National computer products are sold under the Voscom and Civic Systems brands. ↩︎

  2. Also known as optical computing. ↩︎

  3. All Vekllei spacial light modulators are optically-addressed. ↩︎

  4. Also known as vector displays, which use an electron beam that illuminates glowing phosphor to display an image on-screen. ↩︎