Computations that run on air

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Computations that run on air

Postby Don_U » 09/06/09, 11:20 am

"There's no shortage of ways to perform calculations without a standard electronic computer. But the latest in a long line of weird computers runs calculations on nothing more than air."

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn1 ... r.html?101

Where I go to school we think different.

"We have developed pneumatic logic circuits and microprocessors built with microfluidic channels and valves in polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). The pneumatic logic circuits perform various combinational and sequential logic calculations with binary pneumatic signals (atmosphere and vacuum), producing cascadable outputs based on Boolean operations. A complex microprocessor is constructed from combinations of various logic circuits and receives pneumatically encoded serial commands at a single input line. The device then decodes the temporal command sequence by spatial parallelization, computes necessary logic calculations between parallelized command bits, stores command information for signal transportation and maintenance, and finally executes the command for the target devices. Thus, such pneumatic microprocessors will function as a universal on-chip control platform to perform complex parallel operations for large-scale integrated microfluidic devices. To demonstrate the working principles, we have built 2-bit, 3-bit, 4-bit, and 8-bit microprocessors to control various target devices for applications such as four color dye mixing, and multiplexed channel fluidic control. By significantly reducing the need for external controllers, the digital pneumatic microprocessor can be used as a universal on-chip platform to autonomously manipulate microfluids in a high throughput manner"

I read this site a lot.

http://www.rsc.org/publishing/journals/LC/Index.asp

A computational system can be as simple as a legal pad and a pen...
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Postby bob » 09/06/09, 2:21 pm

We have developed pneumatic logic circuits and microprocessors


Sounds like steampunk. I'm sure you could find such a thing in "The Difference Engine" by Sterling and Gibson.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Difference_Engine
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Postby Don_U » 09/06/09, 3:47 pm

except this is real
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contains lead, and is not made here.
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Postby Don_U » 09/06/09, 5:10 pm

"In the novel, the British Empire is more powerful than it was in our world, thanks to the development and use of extremely advanced steam driven technology in industry"

cool

Our current metaphor for information is often perceived as the only way. Like i said paper and pencil is sometimes more flexible and efficient
than computer programs.
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contains lead, and is not made here.
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Postby Gerry » 09/06/09, 6:59 pm

Don_U wrote:Like i said paper and pencil is sometimes more flexible and efficient than computer programs.
Of course, even most software 3D artists start with paper sketches. Although our reliance on pencil and paper (that isn't running software itself) is being phased out more and more every day.
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Postby Don_U » 09/07/09, 8:36 am

Of course, even most software 3D artists start with paper sketches. Although our reliance on pencil and paper (that isn't running software itself) is being phased out more and more every day.


Electronic medical records come to mind as an example however that change is usually mandated
and a forced march.

It is still mandated by history to look at digital management of information as a storage function more than anything else...

I have to travel 180 miles next week to register my fathers Power Of Attorney. Why oh why can't I just image it.

Paper is a ritual, a liturgy all its own. Our legal system runs on paper. Along with many industries. Trucking comes to mind.

The most prominent example of this is President Obama's Birth Certificate. Certain news organizations were getting mileage showing the paper version of an electronic birth record. Since many older folks were used to seeing primitive facsimile or a printed handwritten version they disputed the informaton in the record.

Even on the web the idea that information should behave different or be formatted differently is an ongoing challenge.

Look at the example of HTML5. It is comparable
to creating traditional structure for information instead of the information declaring its own needs.

People are not very good at the structure, spatial comprehension, or scope of information. As much
as we need to change even now we want to pull ourselves back in the direction of what has worked in the past. We have an emotional attachment to paper.

Look at markup namespaces. Very useful we could let markup drive the translation of information at the user agent. Instead the browser sets the rules
and people degrade it from there.

We have hundreds of years to go before paper is replaced on a large scale. Sad :cry:
I never look back, dahling, it distracts from the now -Edna Mode
Beware of men in white vans at the freeway off ramps selling discount America. It is defective,
contains lead, and is not made here.
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Postby JohnT » 09/07/09, 9:01 am

Don_U wrote:We have hundreds of years to go before paper is replaced on a large scale. Sad :cry:


One of the largest is toilet paper.....now we have wash, blow-dry and go. Actually pretty cool 8) and a lot more sanitary. There all over S. Korea and you can find some in Japan. Russia has a long way to go in this area....facilities are abhorrent if they exist at all. They can't even design a decent toilet. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby bob » 09/07/09, 6:30 pm

It is still mandated by history to look at digital management of information as a storage function more than anything else...



I don't know anyone engaged in the craft of writing that still uses paper and pencil for the writing craft. They now use word processors, and they were composing on typewriters before that. Not to say paper and pencil are obsolete -- still used for notetaking, or in areas where machines won't fit or are not available or handy. But for the two main functions of the computer -- word processing and calculating -- paper and pencil are used only in the most primitive areas of the world these days, unless there's some personal preference/bias.

(I would regard the third main function of the computer as communication.)
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Postby JohnT » 09/07/09, 11:49 pm

bob wrote:(I would regard the third main function of the computer as communication.)


Actually if you think about it....all are means of communicating.
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Postby bob » 09/08/09, 12:39 am

Sure they are -- in the sense that products are created for an audience. But by communicating above, I mean direct line communication, like the telephone.
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Postby Don_U » 09/09/09, 12:33 am

The transaction of addressing data on a hard drive is communication between you and the machine.
I never look back, dahling, it distracts from the now -Edna Mode
Beware of men in white vans at the freeway off ramps selling discount America. It is defective,
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