3D printing technology has advanced to the stage where it is more than feasible to print everyday use items. Almost all compartments have a fabricator suitable for making small plastic and metallic items. These “fabbers” run off carefully prepared resource feeds delivered from reclamation centres.

Sector level fabricators are capable of manufacturing larger items of furniture and other tools that are too large or require materials too specialised for the smaller models. Finally, large or incredibly complex items such as the inter-sector trams or drive components are assembled in the enormous general bays near the core.

The role of the Department of Recycling personnel in locating unused material and feeding the great deconstitution machinery should not be underestimated. Without a steady stream of the correct raw materials in the correct quantities the fabricators would grind to a halt.


Fabricators can produce food, and indeed have specialised attachments to do so. In fact, they can form SRS (Starch Replacement Substitute) into any form or texture. That doesn't stop it tasting like the algae it is. If you're lucky you have access to a replicator that has the specialised flavouring modifications, retrofitted by an earlier generation, though access is by no means guaranteed. Of course, keeping the flavourings stocked often requires resort to the black markets. Keeping the massive algae tanks working is essential to feeding the masses who rely on fabber food.

Of course, some residents of the ship have access to real gardens. Though regarded as an inefficient waste of resources by Computer, the food they grow is highly prized and worth a small fortune on the black markets. To live entirely without recourse to a replicator is to live like a king.

Personal Communications

Most communication between the crewmembers is as simple as telling the Computer to send a message, open a voice chat line, or direct video displayed on a wall monitor. It is also possible to do things the old fashioned way and type your message into a terminal if you don't want other people knowing who you're talking to or what you're saying.

Augmented Reality (AR) is not uncommon on the ship. A wide range of contact lenses, modified glasses and, in some rooms, direct eye tracking projection provide for this. A computer overlay is projected on top of whatever the user is looking at, allowing assistance in all walks of life, issuing specific emergency instructions should they be required and anything else the user desires, assuming Computer approves the use of computational resources to run it.

It is this technology that allows telepresencing into the Advanced Crew Training Programme meetings. Crewmembers who are unable to attend locate a large compartment in their locality and activate AR. The Computer then augments all the participants' vision such that they all appear to be in the same place. To allow for disparities in the size of the compartments, dynamic recentering algorithms are used, which occasionally lead to a weird feeling of dislocation for the participant.


Myths and legends tell of Moore's era, a time when computer resources expanded exponentially as time progressed. But such a time is hard to conceive of now. Estimates from Blue sector suggest that the total computational capacity available to mankind has actually been decreasing over the last 20 generations as components decay and aren't replaced quickly enough. The crucial semiconductors are among the rarest of minerals onboard, and while the Department of Recycling concentrates on locating and recycling as many malfunctioning components as possible, it is still necessary to ration computational capacity. After all, no matter how much we have, there is always a use for more.

The most powerful computer on board is Computer, but to deal with the vast range of queries it receives and to combat latency it delegates much of its function to smaller units at the sector, compartment and even clothing level. These are the regular “computers”. The lower the level of the system the more limited its capabilities — and apparently the easier it is to compromise if you are so inclined. All systems are able to operate independently from Computer in the event of loss of connection, but may lose access to some of their functionality as a result.


Some suspect that Computer is capable of automating almost all of the work that is done by the ship's crew, but for some reason it doesn't. The limit of its assitance seems to be the semi-autonomonous Basic Operations Bots, colloquially known as BOBs (and occasionally, Barely Operational Bastards). These are small wheeled platforms with simple telescopic attachments for performing basic tasks. Mesh networking allows them to form into teams when additional manipulator capacity is required.

I swear those bloody things get smarter when they sync up like that.
— Lucius Cassius Red, Heating Systems Engineer

technology.txt · Last modified: 2012/09/23 19:49 by gm_dave
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