So J and I had a couple of discussions about space battles and whatnot given BKS/Confederate League technology this summer. I was making him recall some of the decisions we made, and then I decided that I should take an entry to talk about some BKS technology and battleships.
The power source of all BKS/CL ships is plain old nuclear fusion. I think we assume that antimatter just isn’t available/produceable in significant quantities to make antimatter powerplants practical. Founder reactors in the early stages of BKS history can do “higher order” fusion (that’s a page taken out of Larry Niven’s works), but this technology is lost before the BKS Civil War. The government now keeps a tight grip on all these early reactors and they are generally only used in military ships.
Hyperdrives allow ships to travel one lightyear in three days (Niven’s figure again). Ships in hyperspace don’t cast a “shadow” in real space, but masses in real space will cast a “shadow” in hyperspace. This is important because ships in real space can’t detect masses in hyperspace, while ships in hyperspace can detect masses in real space. This in turn is important because ships that venture too close to large masses in hyperspace can be lost in hyperspace.
Messages cannot be sent through hyperspace. You need a ship, and at 3 days to the lightyear, it can take months for news to travel across the empire. Else, you’ve got lightspeed communication via radio, etc.
Most BKS ships are made of some sort of superstrong, lightweight carbon-based material. I’m assuming this material can’t be welded or something, which explains the multitude of rivets we find on a lot of BKS craft.
Anti-gravity technology is available and very efficient. Steam-electric barges can easily generate enough power levitate themselves and propel themselves forward. I would think that the technology isn’t too expensive either.
Particle shield technology is also available. It can be made to conform to the shape of a ship, and takes the energy from moving particles and coverts that energy into heat. Space battles are thus largely about dumping heat from your shield generators really really fast. I’d assume that electro-magnetic shield technology is also available, but we haven’t decided on anything concrete in that department (that I can remember).
So there are exactly 130 super-heavy battleships built between BKS 1770 (start of empire) and CL 2251 (confederate present). These are divided into five classes, Symphonia, Ultima, Dogma, Enigma, and Enigma II. 82 are still in existence in 2251 and 22 of these are operational.
Alright, enough of that.
This weekend I took the plunge and moved Motoko to Windows 7. It’s the $29.99 version you can get if you’re a student with a .edu email. If you have multiple .edu email accounts, you can get multiples of ’em! The Home Premium version is advertised, but you can get Professional if you click the right options. You can also gete 32bit and 64bit versions; I’ve opted for the 32bit version since I’m not running more than 4GB of memory and I actually don’t know if any of my stuff (like Transport Tycoon) will work on 64bit. I need professional as I need Remote Desktop as RDC is the best thing since sliced bread.
I wasn’t planning on making any jumps to 7 until general support for good old XP became nonexistant (like how I finally couldn’t find Win98 drivers for my 500m in 2004 XD), but I changed my mind. For one, the $30 offer only lasts another month or so. Second, Motoko for one has kinda been in a licensing snafu that I’d like to amend, and this really is the perfect oppourtunity. Furthermore, friend of mine in Ohio (who also has an E6400 and a C2D desktop… FOR THE WIN) has been using Win7 for months now and has not had a problem. On the other hand, a certain Mr. Tsui bought a Vista laptop near launch (late 2006?) and has had nothing but problems, even after SP1.
So I bought my key from MS and built an AIO image and loaded it on a DVDRW, waited a while and all that good stuff. I’d already installed Win7 on some old Dell D600s and D610s, so I kinda knew what to expect, but there were a couple things that still blew me away. Setup was seriously like less than thirty minutes from the time I put in my disk to the time it loaded my desktop; seriously XP can take up to an hour on some machines. And then. And THEN. I put in my wireless driver for my cheapo wifi card, ran Windows update, and WHAT DO YOU KNOW, it took care of the rest of my drivers! I only had to install [i]one[/i] driver, and that may have been because I didn’t have an Internet connection before installing my wifi stuff. That’s fairly impressive, considering I’ve got this antiquated, obscure TV tuner as well as a fairly obscure GPU.
Also surprising was that it enabled aero without me having to mess with it. My GPU only has 64MB of memory, which is definitely grounds for it to complain… but it doesn’t. Remote Desktop connection is also backwards compatible as a client AND server. Then there’s the fact that all my applications worked right out of the box as well. We’re talking OpenCanvas 1 (2003), Paint Shop Pro 7 (2001), MS Word 97 (1997), Transport Tycoon (1995)… and I think the rest of my apps are all probably fairly recent. But still, quite an accomplishment, Microsoft. Everything just worked. I was able to crash a Win7 installation on a D600 by not setting the wifi to automatically connect and logging in via RDC, but that’s another story.
Anyway, obligatory new desktop shot:
And probably a little more on Win7 and shit next week.