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51 posts in this topic

2 hours ago, Scotty said:

Of course, yes, this might all be moot if the system changes, then again, the materials might not change, but rather the method of crafting them.

Everything will be up in the air. Which was really my point, we have no idea what the new rules will be like if the system changes.

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New Rules

Rule One.  The Golden Rule.  He who has the gold makes the rules.

That is to say, nothing will change all that much.

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Just now, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

New Rules

Rule One.  The Golden Rule.  He who has the gold makes the rules.

That is to say, nothing will change all that much.

That's not quite how the basic rule of all governments goes

People with the better weapons tell the other people what to do.  Been that way as long as there has been people and weapons.

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Well, perhaps "People with the better collections of weapons". There is a quality vs. quantity trade-off, unless the quality difference is extreme (e.g. the short period in which the USA had nuclear monopoly). During the Cold War, the USA fielded higher-quality weapons, and the USSR countered by fielding greater numbers of weapons: enough infantry and armored vehicles that it was a foregone conclusion that in a war, they would be able to seize West Germany all the way to the Fulda Gap before NATO could even react.

As for the gold, well, unless the soldiers/warriors are getting all of their supplies and pay via looting, then somebody is paying for them, and the guys who write the paychecks would be the ones pulling the strings and hence making the rules.

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On 04/19/2017 at 2:32 PM, Scotty said:
On 04/19/2017 at 10:08 AM, CritterKeeper said:

No moreso than the fact that you/we are only just thinking of the idea on these forums, after so many years. :-)

I know right, this should have been the first though when we learned that Tedd could make the watches.

Maybe Dan just downplayed the whole flying aspect of magic that we were like "we already have Grace, Nanase and Elliot who can fly on their own, Justin, Susan and Ellen don't seem interested in Tedd's magiteck stuff, so that leaves just Tedd and Sarah and they both seem more interested in transforming."

Of course, Ellen later discovered the wonders of being able to fly with the help of copying Nanase's guardian form and Susan's had Tedd help with making new fairy dolls for her and now has her own watch to play with, but there's soo much going on right now that I don't think they've really had time to think about the kinds of spells Tedd could make for them with watches, and then there's that whole thing about the watches becoming unusable  once the energy clog is cleared and the ambient magic levels drop to what they should be. So we may never see a flight watch.

Tedd PROBABLY would be able to make flying watches based on observing how Nanase flies (there would likely be too much complications in Cheerleadra spell to find the flying component easily), but he's not really interested in it and may not like the idea of asking Nanase to come and help him with flying. And Nanase herself might not agree before Playing with Dolls. Of course, NOW she will probably came with lot of ideas to try ...

Also note that flying as fairy is actually much better idea than flying in normal size, as you can fly inside without anyone seeing it. So, maybe Tedd should make fairy-doll-summoning watches instead?

23 hours ago, Don Edwards said:

A witch's broom is, of course, a thinly-disguised magical staff.

Thinly? Problem with bristles as disguise is not that their layer is thin, it's that they rarely cover more than fifth of the handle length.

18 hours ago, Scotty said:
20 hours ago, The Old Hack said:

If magic changes, the size of an object may cease to matter as much. In the new paradigm, the material crafted from might rule over size -- for example, a gold ring might be able to hold a more powerful enchantment than a magic staff.

Actually the type of material does matter, it's mentioned in Q&A#6 that a well crafted wand can be more efficient than a big staff. Tedd's watches only work because they're drawing their energy entirely from the caster and ambient energy. If Tedd could get his hands on the right materials he might be able to augment as watch to store energy, kinda like his gauntlet. the quality of the material would allow for more energy, but that stuff's probably hard to come by and we don't know what the gauntlet uses.

I suspect that the materials are not THAT much hard to find nor the preparation so hard. It's more that Tedd doesn't have MOTIVATION to put "batteries" in his watches.

15 hours ago, ijuin said:

Well, perhaps "People with the better collections of weapons". There is a quality vs. quantity trade-off, unless the quality difference is extreme (e.g. the short period in which the USA had nuclear monopoly). During the Cold War, the USA fielded higher-quality weapons, and the USSR countered by fielding greater numbers of weapons: enough infantry and armored vehicles that it was a foregone conclusion that in a war, they would be able to seize West Germany all the way to the Fulda Gap before NATO could even react.

As for the gold, well, unless the soldiers/warriors are getting all of their supplies and pay via looting, then somebody is paying for them, and the guys who write the paychecks would be the ones pulling the strings and hence making the rules.

Single soldier, no matter what weapon he has, can't really take over whole country. So, while weapons are heavily used in enforcing rules, gold (metaphorical gold, other forms of money usually suffice) has very important place. But not irreplaceable: there are alternative ways how to pay soldiers, for example ways involving religion.

Hmmm ... actually, we can more generally say that promise of money and/or payment in kind can be used to greatly reduce the amount of gold needed to pay for army, with religion being promise to be fulfilled after death.

 

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45 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

Also note that flying as fairy is actually much better idea than flying in normal size, as you can fly inside without anyone seeing it.

Yeah, Susan might be able to do this herself now according to Tedd.

 

45 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

I suspect that the materials are not THAT much hard to find nor the preparation so hard. It's more that Tedd doesn't have MOTIVATION to put "batteries" in his watches.

There was one RPG a friend of mine did (it was a heavily modified version of GURPS with his own setting and story) with a really detailed crafting system, for one, the best items were ones you craft yourself, with tools you made yourself and with materials you gathered yourself, basically meant you were attuned to the items you made with gave you bonuses in their usage. But beyond that, materials did affect what the items were capable of, a pinewood wand would be inferior to an oak wand with copper banding which would also be inferior to an ebony wand with gold banding and diamonds. So the more work you put into it, with rarer and more valuable materials, the better it was.

EGS could have a similar system where you can have two spell catalysts of the same size, but the one made of cheap and easy to acquire materials wouldn't be as good as the one made with the harder to get stuff. It would really be nice if we could see the origin of the gauntlet, see where Tedd got the inspiration for it and what he used. Looking at the guantlet, I can only guess that the round bit on the back of his hand is where the magic energy is stored, it could be some sort of gemstone, either natural or synthetic, or maybe just glass. The different coloured bit on the fingers are probably some sort of metal, could be steel, aluminum, brass? And then you have the control pad on the forearm which of course would have the circuit board and allows to select from what looks like 3 different modes (peace, battle, unknown).

Of course Tedd's magitech might be able to bypass some of the obstacles of crafting magic items; like being able to easily reprogram the spells, upgrading bits to make it better, etc. But there might also be limitations; the gem in Tedd's gauntlet might be the only part that holds energy, whereas with a wand, the whole wand can hold energy.

As for Tedd not having the motivation, there was probably plenty of motivation after the whale told him that the watches wouldn't work outside Moperville (which Edward confirmed later) the fact that he hadn't done so yet might have been due to lack of materials that could be used to store energy, whatever he used in the gauntlet might have been the only one he was able to either get from his dad or find on his own.

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26 minutes ago, Scotty said:

EGS could have a similar system where you can have two spell catalysts of the same size, but the one made of cheap and easy to acquire materials wouldn't be as good as the one made with the harder to get stuff.

That would mean that the "best" materials would be hard to get ... but not the "worst still usable".

26 minutes ago, Scotty said:

see where Tedd got the inspiration for it and what he used.

The inspiration was certainly Lord Tedd's gauntlet, but that won't tell us what he used :)

26 minutes ago, Scotty said:

Looking at the guantlet, I can only guess that the round bit on the back of his hand is where the magic energy is stored, it could be some sort of gemstone, either natural or synthetic, or maybe just glass. The different coloured bit on the fingers are probably some sort of metal, could be steel, aluminum, brass?

We don't exactly know what material the TF gun is of or how hard it's to obtain them either.

It's possible that the magic storage in gauntlet is same as the energy storage in TF gun. And Edward brought enough of those for ten TF guns and didn't say anything like "those are costly be careful with them", he can likely bring more.

26 minutes ago, Scotty said:

As for Tedd not having the motivation, there was probably plenty of motivation after the whale told him that the watches wouldn't work outside Moperville (which Edward confirmed later) the fact that he hadn't done so yet might have been due to lack of materials that could be used to store energy, whatever he used in the gauntlet might have been the only one he was able to either get from his dad or find on his own.

Not really, it's not like he intends to leave Moperville. He may consider the watches only working in Moperville being additional security measure. Remember that they are for experiments (and for giving to friends). The gauntlet is something else and he may decide to build something for Sarah if she wants ... possibly something like separate battery for powering watches connected to it.

(Note that Nanase, Susan, Ellen and Elliot can likely power the watches easily with their own magic and Grace can't use them at all. And Justin doesn't seem interested in them.)

Now, the possibility of Moperville magic anomaly being "fixed", THAT might be motivation, but he found out about that possibility only few days ago, at the same time he found about the possibility of magic reset, and seems to not process the magic reset yet. If the magic reset happens, he would likely have worse worries than watches not working.

 

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45 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

It's possible that the magic storage in gauntlet is same as the energy storage in TF gun. And Edward brought enough of those for ten TF guns and didn't say anything like "those are costly be careful with them", he can likely bring more.

Well we know some of that material not only went into fixing the original TFG, but Tedd did build a backup gun for Grace's birthday party. I imagine some of the remaining materials went into creating the gauntlet, the gem might have been intended as a focusing crystal for the TFG beam. So enough materials to make 10 TFGs = 10 crystals, assuming one went into fixing the original TFG, one into making the backup TFG, one into the gauntlet and one into the glove he uses to program the watches, then Tedd should have 6 leftover for other stuff or to keep as replacement parts. While Edward did seem to freely bring those materials home for Tedd it's uncertain if he's able to acquire more, the materials might have been leftover stuff from a mission, confiscated from someone attempting to build a deathray, or they were given to Edward as a gift for helping with something. Edward's current position might limit his ability to get those materials again.

1 hour ago, hkmaly said:

and seems to not process the magic reset yet

I'd say Tedd has processed it.

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40 minutes ago, Scotty said:
2 hours ago, hkmaly said:

It's possible that the magic storage in gauntlet is same as the energy storage in TF gun. And Edward brought enough of those for ten TF guns and didn't say anything like "those are costly be careful with them", he can likely bring more.

Well we know some of that material not only went into fixing the original TFG, but Tedd did build a backup gun for Grace's birthday party. I imagine some of the remaining materials went into creating the gauntlet, the gem might have been intended as a focusing crystal for the TFG beam. So enough materials to make 10 TFGs = 10 crystals, assuming one went into fixing the original TFG, one into making the backup TFG, one into the gauntlet and one into the glove he uses to program the watches, then Tedd should have 6 leftover for other stuff or to keep as replacement parts.

I actually consider 6 minimum. Unless they break often.

41 minutes ago, Scotty said:

While Edward did seem to freely bring those materials home for Tedd it's uncertain if he's able to acquire more, the materials might have been leftover stuff from a mission, confiscated from someone attempting to build a deathray, or they were given to Edward as a gift for helping with something.

Unlikely. I mean, even if true, I don't consider likely it would mean he wouldn't be able to obtain more.

43 minutes ago, Scotty said:

Edward's current position might limit his ability to get those materials again.

Meanwhile, THIS is possible. His position of head of investigations certainly could provide better access to stuff like this than his position as paranormal diplomacy.

44 minutes ago, Scotty said:
2 hours ago, hkmaly said:

and seems to not process the magic reset yet

I'd say Tedd has processed it.

IMHO still processing. At least in the sense he's not ready to seriously think about something else.

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22 hours ago, hkmaly said:

We don't exactly know what material the TF gun is of or how hard it's to obtain them either.

There's also "rare" versus "common but expensive".

I'm sure there's a store in or near Moperville where Tedd could buy everything he needs to assemble a hundred-processor supercomputer... quite possibly they have it all in stock at that store... and he knows which store it is... but it would cost quite a lot of cash, well beyond the means of the large majority of high-school students.

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1 minute ago, Don Edwards said:

I'm sure there's a store in or near Moperville where Tedd could buy everything he needs to assemble a hundred-processor supercomputer... quite possibly they have it all in stock at that store

No way. Common stores don't have that kind of stock, they rely on external warehouses OR prompt delivery by supplier. Also, you probably need custom board for such supercomputer.

That said, yes, common store will have more hardware Tedd could buy for his allowance.

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Just now, hkmaly said:

Also, you probably need custom board for such supercomputer.

Not necessarily. I was thinking of something like a Beowulf cluster. It can be built on, well, pretty much anything, although it's helpful if the instruction set is reasonably consistent across processors.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_mob_computing

A typical Fry's Electronics store probably has in excess of 100 laptops, desktops, and bare motherboards on display (including the motherboards in boxes on the shelves below the motherboard display wall). And of course they have more of the display-model assembled systems in the back room.

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36 minutes ago, Don Edwards said:

A typical Fry's Electronics store probably has in excess of 100 laptops, desktops, and bare motherboards on display (including the motherboards in boxes on the shelves below the motherboard display wall). And of course they have more of the display-model assembled systems in the back room.

I think patching a cluster of game consoles together seems more like a Tedd thing to do if he a bigger budget.

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1 hour ago, Don Edwards said:
1 hour ago, hkmaly said:

Also, you probably need custom board for such supercomputer.

Not necessarily. I was thinking of something like a Beowulf cluster. It can be built on, well, pretty much anything, although it's helpful if the instruction set is reasonably consistent across processors.

Ok, I wouldn't call cluster of normal computers supercomputer, but it's true it has power like one.

1 hour ago, Don Edwards said:

A typical Fry's Electronics store probably has in excess of 100 laptops, desktops, and bare motherboards on display (including the motherboards in boxes on the shelves below the motherboard display wall).

(Studying google images to see how big store Fry's Electronic seem to be ...)

I wouldn't rely on most of those laptops being able to run 24/7. But yes, while I find unlikely they have hundred of specific motherboard or even CPU, they likely do have hundred of amd64-compatible CPUs and motherboards capable of being used in such cluster.

54 minutes ago, Scotty said:

I think patching a cluster of game consoles together seems more like a Tedd thing to do if he a bigger budget.

Wouldn't help, I'm sure only opportunity store has hundred game consoles is when it's new so they expect it will disappear quickly. The mob would lynch Tedd if he would attempt to buy hundred of them in such case.

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9 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

Wouldn't help, I'm sure only opportunity store has hundred game consoles is when it's new so they expect it will disappear quickly. The mob would lynch Tedd if he would attempt to buy hundred of them in such case.

For new consoles, sure, but he may be able to get used consoles whenever new ones launch if he's clever. Still money would be an issue, he's only able to buy video game peripherals on his allowance.

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55 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

Ok, I wouldn't call cluster of normal computers supercomputer, but it's true it has power like one.

Almost all "modern" supercomputers are in fact clusters.  Even the Cray-1 was a cluster, of a sort.  Honking big all one block machines have problems that if one part dies, they all die.  Clusters, not so much.

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52 minutes ago, mlooney said:
1 hour ago, hkmaly said:

Ok, I wouldn't call cluster of normal computers supercomputer, but it's true it has power like one.

Almost all "modern" supercomputers are in fact clusters.  Even the Cray-1 was a cluster, of a sort.  Honking big all one block machines have problems that if one part dies, they all die.  Clusters, not so much.

Yes, but not clusters of normal computers. Even single node of supercomputer has multiple CPUs. And those nodes are connected by special high speed network, not ethernet.

And even Beowulf clusters are usually set using identical rackable servers, although nowadays the difference between high-end gaming computer and low-end server is often just in case. (The case for server is rackable, while the case of gaming computer is prettier and have more LEDs ; also, servers have noisier fans, gaming computer have bigger quieter fans pointing in all directions.)

 

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4 hours ago, hkmaly said:

No way. Common stores don't have that kind of stock, they rely on external warehouses OR prompt delivery by supplier.

 

3 hours ago, Don Edwards said:

A typical Fry's Electronics store probably has in excess of 100 laptops, desktops, and bare motherboards on display (including the motherboards in boxes on the shelves below the motherboard display wall). And of course they have more of the display-model assembled systems in the back room.

 

Yup, the local Fry's has plenty of Raspberry PiArduinoPropeller, and various other processors and components.  If he had the money, he could probably get a supercomputer's worth of computing power.  Or Tedd could just order online if he knows far enough ahead what he'll need.

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15 hours ago, hkmaly said:

Ok, I wouldn't call cluster of normal computers supercomputer, but it's true it has power like one.

It's what supercomputers are nowadays (albeit one could argue a bit about "normal" - the individual processing engines do tend to be rather high-powered). According to top500, the ten fastest supercomputers (as of last November) range from 200,000 to over 10 million processing cores. I don't think they put those on one chip.

For that matter, it's what the biggest computers have been for quite a while. I went to college in the late 1970s, and the college's main computer system was a pair of CDC 6500's and a CDC 6600 - all picked up as surplus, so they were a bit old THEN - which collectively had (if I remember correctly) four central processors plus 32 peripheral processors which did all the I/O and actually ran the OS. (The CPUs were slave computing engines.) I don't recall there being a mechanism to specify which machine my programs would run on; it frankly didn't matter.

In the last decade of my career as a professional programmer I was watching two apparently-contradictory trends converge. One was to cluster multiple off-the-shelf computers and storage devices together into a single massive virtual machine. The other was to divide a single computer into several dedicated virtual machines. Why would these trends converge? Because you could do BOTH - gaining you the advantage of an extremely fault-tolerant system (if the massive machine assembly was done right) and also the advantage of independent, single-purpose machines (so a failure of one process cannot crash other processes simply because they are running on the same machine). And you can reconfigure the system for different requirements just by stopping a few virtual machines and starting a few others, e.g. cut from six clustered web servers to two and start four clustered machines that do your overnight batch processing, with no extra hardware cost.

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On 4/19/2017 at 11:32 PM, ijuin said:

Well, perhaps "People with the better collections of weapons". There is a quality vs. quantity trade-off, unless the quality difference is extreme (e.g. the short period in which the USA had nuclear monopoly). During the Cold War, the USA fielded higher-quality weapons, and the USSR countered by fielding greater numbers of weapons: enough infantry and armored vehicles that it was a foregone conclusion that in a war, they would be able to seize West Germany all the way to the Fulda Gap before NATO could even react.

Are you old enough to actually remember the SPI wargame Fulda Gap? Pretty much no one but old wargaming grognards in the States these days have ever heard of the place and it's part in NATO stategy. Which, by the by, was a crock from the start.

The reason the Fulda Gap was emphasized in that strategy is incredibly stupid. Fulda is in the south of what was then West Germany in a mountainous region. That's kind of what you would expect since it's called a "gap." So it makes sense for the strongest force in NATO, the American Army, to concentrate there. Right?

Well, no. The place to put your strongest forces is the place where the tank-heavy Soviet army was most likely to attack, and that was in the North along the North German Plain. Tanks are great in flat country open country where they can see for miles and shoot at anything in range and just go zipping along, sometimes just going around enemies instead of slowing down to fight. They aren't so great in mountains and/or forests where they can't go as fast, can't go at all in lots of places, and there's lots of cover for guys with antitank rockets to hide behind and wait for tanks to get close. And what was defending the north? The Brits and the West Germans, good armies but smaller, and a collection of even smaller armies from the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Luxembourg's entire army was commanded by a major. Why didn't the American army defend the north?

It's a pretty long story, and it starts in 1940. The Germans attacked on May 10th, and they were on the English Channel by May 20th, cutting off the only British army and the best of the French armies. A month after that, France surrendered. What was left of the British army set up in southeast England and waited for the Germans to cross the English Channel. And that's where the greatest part of the British army remained for four years. England isn't a very big country, and when Americans came over, most of them in England were put in the southwest. By June 1944 there were far more American soldiers in British ones. Shipping was still short, so to simplify matters, when the big landings in Normandy came, British and Canadian forces sailing from ports further east landed further east than the Americans. In July the German lines were broken, and the Americans, especially the ones under Patton, wheeled out in all directions, while the British and Canadian forces, plus one American army, under Montgomery made more modest progress. The war ended at the beginning of the next May with Montgomery getting to the Baltic Sea hours before the Soviets, meaning Stalin didn't get to occupy Denmark. Patton took a good chunk of Czechoslovakia, but in the spirit of fair play and concern that our Gallant Russian Allies wouldn't help us finish off Japan, Patton was ordered to withdraw. The British got their occupation zone in the North, which might explain why the Beatles really took off in Hamburg and one of them even married a German girl. The American zone was in the south. The Americans gave part of their zone to the French, further away from the Russians. But maybe not far enough away, because France pulled out of NATO in the early Sixties while the Beatles were jamming in Hamburg basement clubs.

Someone said that when the Cold War began in the later 1940s that all the Red Army needed to march to the English Channel was boots. It's exaggeration, but not by all that much. The real deterrent was, of course, nuclear weapons. Eisenhower never dreamed of really using nuclear weapons; he once stopped a cabinet meeting when his Postmaster General started talking about plans for resuming mail service after a nuclear war, saying, "After a nuclear war, we're going to be grubbing for worms." But Ike threatened to use nukes from the start; that's how he ended the Korean War. The U.S. Army when Elvis served in was just there for show. The real deterrent was nuclear weapons. Eisenhower really cut back the Army to save money.

Why did Eisenhower think he could get away with this? Russia exploded its first atomic bomb in 1949, four years before Eisenhower took office. The answer is that the Soviet Union is a long way from the United States. It didn't really have any bombers that could reach the US for most of his administration, whereas the US had overseas bases placed to put just about all of the Soviet Union in range--and our bombers would get to their targets before the Soviet bombers. Because of the U2 flights, Eisenhower knew that by 1960 they had only six ICBMS, and they took days to ready for launch.

But by the end of the 1970s, the Soviets had caught up. They had hundreds of ICBMS and many more shorter-range missiles, and were finally producing enough nuclear warheads. Now it might strike you that if you think any nuclear weapon use is going to lead to more nuclear weapon use and so on, you are guilty of rational thinking. This can be highly dangerous to your political well-being, especially if you're in the armed forces. The Soviets and the Americans switched propaganda from "nuclear war is survivable" to "limited nuclear war is survivable" and on to "we'll only use nuclear weapons if the other side uses them, so we still need our Army." In our case, we still didn't bother to move what was left of our army to where it had any real chance of stopping the Warsaw Pact using conventional weapons.

This was the nuclear scenario option for Fulda Gap: "Soak the game map in lighter fluid and set it on fire."

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4 hours ago, Tom Sewell said:

The reason the Fulda Gap was emphasized in that strategy is incredibly stupid. Fulda is in the south of what was then West Germany in a mountainous region. That's kind of what you would expect since it's called a "gap." So it makes sense for the strongest force in NATO, the American Army, to concentrate there. Right?

So, it wasn't because US didn't cared about North Germany but DID care about Frankfurt am Main, Rhein-Main Air Base and Frankfurt Airport as wikipedia says?

9 hours ago, Don Edwards said:
On 04/22/2017 at 2:39 AM, hkmaly said:

Ok, I wouldn't call cluster of normal computers supercomputer, but it's true it has power like one.

It's what supercomputers are nowadays (albeit one could argue a bit about "normal" - the individual processing engines do tend to be rather high-powered). According to top500, the ten fastest supercomputers (as of last November) range from 200,000 to over 10 million processing cores. I don't think they put those on one chip.

Obviously ; but they are not constructing them from 10 million CPUs on 10 million motherboards with 10 million ethernet network cards either.

Look at that list: TH Express-2, Cray Gemini interconnect, Aries interconnect, Intel Omni-Path ... those are not personal computers technologies.

From the description of Blue Gene: Each Blue Gene/L Compute or I/O node was a single ASIC with associated DRAM memory chips. The ASIC integrated two 700 MHz PowerPC 440 embedded processors, each with a double-pipeline-double-precision Floating Point Unit (FPU), a cache sub-system with built-in DRAM controller and the logic to support multiple communication sub-systems. The dual FPUs gave each Blue Gene/L node a theoretical peak performance of 5.6 GFLOPS (gigaFLOPS). The two CPUs were not cache coherent with one another.

Compute nodes were packaged two per compute card, with 16 compute cards plus up to 2 I/O nodes per node board. There were 32 node boards per cabinet/rack.[17] By the integration of all essential sub-systems on a single chip, and the use of low-power logic, each Compute or I/O node dissipated low power (about 17 watts, including DRAMs). This allowed aggressive packaging of up to 1024 compute nodes, plus additional I/O nodes, in a standard 19-inch rack, within reasonable limits of electrical power supply and air cooling.

So, that's 4 CPUs on compute card, 4 x 16 = 64 CPUs on one board. "Normal" (personal) computers contain ONE CPU on one board. Normal servers four.

23 hours ago, CritterKeeper said:

Or Tedd could just order online if he knows far enough ahead what he'll need.

Obviously; I was arguing only about what they are likely to have on stock directly in the shop. Ordering is the way to go.

23 hours ago, CritterKeeper said:

... half of those on first page are sold out :)

 

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On 4/20/2017 at 4:46 PM, hkmaly said:

That would mean that the "best" materials would be hard to get ... but not the "worst still usable".

The inspiration was certainly Lord Tedd's gauntlet, but that won't tell us what he used :)

We don't exactly know what material the TF gun is of or how hard it's to obtain them either.

The "brought enough materials for ten guns" probably does mean that the price for each gun is somewhere in the hundreds of dollars--Edward would have mentioned that they were expensive if the overall cost was as high as say, an automobile.

As for rarity of materials, Napoleon owned a set of aluminum dishes and considered them to be more precious than his solid gold ones--nobody had figured out how to refine aluminum on an industrial scale yet at the time. Today however, aluminum is the second-cheapest metal after iron/steel. Formerly-rare materials become more common as technology to obtain them becomes available, while formerly-common materials may become rare as they are used up (minerals) or become endangered/extinct (animal/plant products).

On 4/22/2017 at 2:34 PM, Tom Sewell said:

Are you old enough to actually remember the SPI wargame Fulda Gap? Pretty much no one but old wargaming grognards in the States these days have ever heard of the place and it's part in NATO stategy. Which, by the by, was a crock from the start.

My father was assigned to the occupation force in West Germany (two tours' worth) when he was in the US Army around 1970-ish, so he knew most of the info that a random Corporal assigned there would have been cleared for, plus he was a bit of a history buff.

Anyway, while the Gap was definitely not going to be the main thrust of any invasion of France, it still needed enough of a deterrent force assigned to it so that opposing war planners wouldn't get the idea of using it to flank the defending NATO forces, but a division each of armor and infantry with artillery support ought to have been adequate.

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Just now, ijuin said:

The "brought enough materials for ten guns" probably does mean that the price for each gun is somewhere in the hundreds of dollars--Edward would have mentioned that they were expensive if the overall cost was as high as say, an automobile.

Edward never said where and how he got them though, so it's possible he could have gotten a hold of them though any number of work related activites. Heck for all we know, the "business" Edward went away for might have been to help the R&D department clean out the lab and the stuff he brought home was considered scrap or extras that were no longer needed.

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8 hours ago, ijuin said:

As for rarity of materials, Napoleon owned a set of aluminum dishes and considered them to be more precious than his solid gold ones--nobody had figured out how to refine aluminum on an industrial scale yet at the time. Today however, aluminum is the second-cheapest metal after iron/steel. Formerly-rare materials become more common as technology to obtain them becomes available, while formerly-common materials may become rare as they are used up (minerals) or become endangered/extinct (animal/plant products).

50 kg of diamonds? I'm glad you didn't lose anything valuable.

Rarity is based on comparison of supply and demand. Both supply and demand may change a lot with technology. You already mentioned supply, but demand may go up when new technology process starts using lot of something (like ... lithium price went waaay up recently) or down when technology process not using it obsoletes the previous one (note the drastic reduction of demand for whale oil after crude oil started to be used for lamps ... and then electricity ; THAT saved whales, not greenpeace).

3 hours ago, Scotty said:

Edward never said where and how he got them though, so it's possible he could have gotten a hold of them though any number of work related activites. Heck for all we know, the "business" Edward went away for might have been to help the R&D department clean out the lab and the stuff he brought home was considered scrap or extras that were no longer needed.

If it would be truly valuable, it wouldn't be considered scrap.

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27 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

50 kg of diamonds? I'm glad you didn't lose anything valuable.

Rarity is based on comparison of supply and demand. Both supply and demand may change a lot with technology. You already mentioned supply, but demand may go up when new technology process starts using lot of something (like ... lithium price went waaay up recently) or down when technology process not using it obsoletes the previous one (note the drastic reduction of demand for whale oil after crude oil started to be used for lamps ... and then electricity ; THAT saved whales, not greenpeace).

If it would be truly valuable, it wouldn't be considered scrap.

Yeah, but if a research facility no longer needed certain materials, they'd either sell them off, or junk em. Edward would have been in a position to call dibs.

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