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Trek Tech Pass me the quantum flux regulator, will you?

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Old June 17 2013, 06:27 PM   #1
Timelord Victorious
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Location: Germany, Earth, the Solar System
Duotronic Computing

So Dr. Daystrom became famous for inventing Duotronic computing..

Was it ever mentioned what makes it different from electronic computing?

In the Star Trek tech manual perhaps?

I just saw a video about quantum computers how they work in principal and how they have some advantage over electronics but also disadvantages.

So maybe duotronics successfully combines the two for the first time? Which would explain the name.

And yes, i realize it's a totally made-up word with no real world thought behind it when it was created.
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Old June 17 2013, 09:24 PM   #2
BorgusFrat
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Re: Duotronic Computing

That's a cool interpretation of what it means

I always kind of thought the word had something to do with traditional computing as the producers and Roddenberry must've thought of it at the time (big room-size banks of rows and rows of tape drive systems) and then they just made it sound sort of "one step removed" from ELECtronic. I'm thinking that they maybe were also were smart enough, even for a hectic weekly television show, to know that they were going to do story ideas like "Ultimate Computer" down the road a bit and wanted it to sort of mean that people would always have "ultimate" control, or would always at least contribute to the decision making process, so computers would NEVER be able to do a Skynet sort of thing to mankind. So, "duo" sort of meant that both the "computer" and "man" were always involved in the process together!
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Old June 17 2013, 10:34 PM   #3
SchwEnt
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Re: Duotronic Computing

There has been an attempt to explain duotronics.
The Spaceflight Chronology from 1980, featured log entries from all the historic events in ST history up to TMP.

Of course, this duotronics account was written in 1980, with a 1980's understanding of computer technology.

In any case...
On Starbase 6, Daystrom records his log entry announcing the breakthrough in duotronics. (Incidentally, this happened three years before the first human was transported and 17 years before the Constitution class was launched).

I'll quote from Daystrom's log entry:

"Previous computers have relied on essentially binary process: Yes/No--On/Off. No matter how sophisticated the microcircuitry, data storage has been built on pathways of Yes/No information bits. But the growth of galactic knowledge has been outstripping the capacity of standard processing; even at the speed of light there is a limit to how much can be done in a linear pathway.

I believe I've found the answer to this problem. Instead of a binary, Yes/No information bit, I propose a basic bit that is Yes or No or all the gradations of maybe in between these two dualities. It is Yes and No in a calculated ratio, and the number of possible ratios is theoretically infinite, though processing materials will place a limit to the duotronic capabilities of a single bit.

But that limit is just for a single information bit. A pathway of two bits squares the number of possibilities; a three-way pathway cubes them, etc. Now a typical program may involve millions of bits in sequence. With the duotronic bit of d gradations, a million bit program would have possibilities of:
(d x 10^6) ^d x 10^6 or (d^d x 10^6 x 10^6d) = 10^36

Since 10^36 alone is a literally astronomical number, and a million bit program is modest nowadays, duotronics has the eventual theoretical possibility of processing information concerning every atom in the galaxy.

Of course, duotronics would only be a mathematician's dream were there no material available to realize this duotronic potential. But certain of the new generation of space-made, super-density synthetic crystals have internal structures that would be excellent duotronic conductors in the properly designed computer configuration. Such configurations, along with the mathematical theory behind duotronics, can be found in the patent application that follows as an ancillary transmission to the log."


So there's one explanation.
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Old June 18 2013, 08:44 AM   #4
Captain Rob
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Re: Duotronic Computing

The values of 1 and 0 and all of the infinite fractions between them. That sounds suspiciously like analog.
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Old June 18 2013, 09:24 AM   #5
Timo
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Re: Duotronic Computing

...In which case one really has to wonder how even Daystrom himself could up the ante to "multitronic"! Computing with bits featuring imaginary numbers? (You know, like eleventeen and twenty-twelve.)

In the Trek context, we know of "electronic", "optronic", "duotronic", "multitronic" and "positronic" now. ITRW, electronics is related to electrons and optronics to optics, and we can speculate that the connection also exists in the Trek reality (although since optronic computing today is far from established, it may be that the Trek reality never evolved it in the directions we envision today, and the word has a subtly different meaning). We have no real-world comparison to establish whether positronics would have anything to do with positrons, or perhaps positivity, or possibly positionality... IIRC, Data was never outright said to have antimatter inside his noggin.

So, do we drop duotronics and multitronics in the bin connecting the concepts with a transfer medium (in which case duo- might be related to the "duonetic field" of DS9 "Paradise" fame), or into the one connecting them with more general, philosophical approaches to computing (in which case duo- would introduce one additional "point of view" and multi- would introduce a minimum of two)?

What we probably can count on is Richard "The Great" Daystrom coining an absurdly hyperbolic and probably also singularly nondescriptive name for both of his inventions...

Timo Saloniemi
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Old June 18 2013, 11:02 PM   #6
xvicente
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Re: Duotronic Computing

Duotronics is like electronics... but IN SPACE!!
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Old June 20 2013, 07:43 AM   #7
zDarby
Lieutenant
 
Location: NorCal
Re: Duotronic Computing

  • For what it's worth, and it's not much, here are my thoughts:
Any computer tech of the future will probably be at least as powerful as the quantum computers we are theorizing as possible. If a "qubit" is a single quantum bit and quantum computers deal in so many qubits, perhaps "duotrons" are two qubits that are quantumly entangled, permanently. And "duotronics" uses them as basic bulding blocks to store and manipulate information, as modern comuters use bits as the basic building blocks, and proposed quantum computers use qubits.

Furthermore, EntD comps used "quadratrons" as its building blocks.... That was stated on screen somewhere: Riker was distracting a Ferengi.

Multitronics, however would not be the number of posed qubits in one building block but how many of those blocks can be ueed to represent the data you are manipulating: as many or as little as you need! This as opposed to only 8 or 16 or 512.... Which is pure speculation on my part.
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Old January 11 2014, 05:06 AM   #8
alpinedigital
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Re: Duotronic Computing

Timo wrote: View Post
...In the Trek context, we know of "electronic", "optronic", "duotronic", "multitronic" and "positronic" now.
Timo Saloniemi
This isn't MY theory, and I don't yet buy into it, and found this thread investigatinig evidence to disprove it, but it was speculated that the word 'positronic' was derived in the same way electronic is (having to do with the flow of electrons,) which means (as ridiculous as this sounds) positronic works with the antimatter counterpart, positrons. Again, I would believe 'positronic' was meaningless technobabble before I entertained the notion of this possibility, but who knows? It's not like Star Trek haven't mentioned positrons many times before, right?

And then if that was the case, which I doubt, duotronic could be operating with both, but then where do we go with multitronic? Well that's the key word used in the search that lead me here in hopes the word suggests the possibility that 'posi' was merely a prefix like , multi-and duo- and yet, I still can't say for sure.
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