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#216861 - 02/11/11 03:23 PM Re: Rebuilding Society [Re: Russ]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 1840
Loc: Emerald City, OZ
Originally Posted By: Russ
Speaking of landfills, where do all the old computers we have go? Recycled computers and old radios would have lots of circuit boards, transistors, power supplies, fans et al . . . or were all those smoked in the "event"?

Even if a computer was new out of the box in 2012, it would be thirty-eight-years-old in 2050. Even in a best case scenario, disk drives stop functioning. Flash drives have an even shorter life span (unless technology has improved) than mechanical hard drives.

Originally Posted By: Russ
If electronics can be salvaged, that multi-tool may be a very useful thing to have . . . maybe not for you, but your computer and automobile building compadre' may find it rather useful.

There has been a lot of talk about multi tools but think. Well-made hand tools do not break down so I do anticipate that there will be many hand tools still around. Craftsman tools have a one-hundred-year warranty. Sears would not have such a warranty on their tools if they were not built to last. I chose to include an RSK Mk3 to have on my person because it has a good design and if it were left in my room for forty years, it would not have been maintained and therefore rusted. Tools regularly used would be maintained and therefore they would be around and usable in 2050.

Which would last longer, a computer or a screwdriver?

That said, since my player-character is based on myself, Jeanette would have a computer and other electronic devices. Now if a friend had the forethought of unplugging all of her electronic devices and removing all the batteries after Jeanette disappeared, even the battery backup in the computer, it would be safe to assume they would work if some maintenance were done before turning them back on.

Jeanette Isabelle
_________________________
"When you're up to your [neck] in alligators, it's hard to remember that your initial objective was to drain the swamp." -- Floridian proverb

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#216862 - 02/11/11 03:27 PM Re: Rebuilding Society [Re: Blast]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 1840
Loc: Emerald City, OZ
Originally Posted By: Blast
Quote:
where do all the old computers we have go? Recycled computers and old radios would have lots of circuit boards, transistors, power supplies, fans et al . . . or were all those smoked in the "event"?


It's my understanding that most compter fans are DC which means they can work as a small generator. However I suspect after 40 years of neglect their plastic peices and wire coatings would be trashed.

You are right. I forgot about the plastic used for the fans.

Jeanette Isabelle
_________________________
"When you're up to your [neck] in alligators, it's hard to remember that your initial objective was to drain the swamp." -- Floridian proverb

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#216863 - 02/11/11 03:45 PM Re: Rebuilding Society [Re: unimogbert]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 1840
Loc: Emerald City, OZ
Originally Posted By: unimogbert
Some electronics could be useable. But you still have the issue of obtaining power.

As mentioned earlier, the settlement does have a functioning power plant.

Originally Posted By: unimogbert
Unless the character is a total ham-radio geek nerd tinkerer, the electronics won't be of much value.

That is where my friend's player-character, Professor Hikaru Pointer, comes in. Professor Pointer is the one building the steampunk computer and a replica of a 1904 Rolls-Royce.

Jeanette Isabelle
_________________________
"When you're up to your [neck] in alligators, it's hard to remember that your initial objective was to drain the swamp." -- Floridian proverb

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#216865 - 02/11/11 04:00 PM Re: Rebuilding Society [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2927
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: JeanetteIsabelle
Flash drives have an even shorter life span (unless technology has improved) than mechanical hard drives.


Hard drives last longer in hours spinning. Flash drives have a limited lifespan in terms of write operations but are far more robust than hard drives when not in operation. The chances of a 40-year-old hard drive still working is too small to measure. A 40-year-old unused or gently-used flash drive might have as much as a 30% chance of working.

Quote:
I chose to include an RSK Mk3 to have on my person because it has a good design and if it were left in my room for forty years, it would not have been maintained and therefore rusted.


I'd guess than an S30V blade treated with a Tuf-Cloth and then left in a drawer would have a decent chance of surviving 40 years. I'd worry more about the handle materials breaking down.

Quote:
That said, since my player-character is based on myself, Jeanette would have a computer and other electronic devices. Now if a friend had the forethought of unplugging all of her electronic devices and removing all the batteries after Jeanette disappeared, even the battery backup in the computer, it would be safe to assume they would work if some maintenance were done before turning them back on.


After 40 years? Something entirely solid-state might work if you could power it. Anything with electrolytic capacitors, spinning fans or hard drives is much less likely to work. Someone with tools, skills and time on his/her hands would have a good shot at fixing fan issues. Hard drives require a clean room, at a minimum, for any meaningful mechanical maintenance.

If I was planning to step out for a 40-year errand, with nobody available to maintain my stored information for me, I'd print everything on acid-free paper. Stored in a cool dry place, 40 years would be no problem. Stored in nitrogen it could last much longer.

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#216866 - 02/11/11 04:06 PM Re: Rebuilding Society [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3077
Quote:
Even if a computer was new out of the box in 2012, it would be thirty-eight-years-old in 2050. Even in a best case scenario, disk drives stop functioning. Flash drives have an even shorter life span (unless technology has improved) than mechanical hard drives.


My 27 year old Oric computer still works OK. There are some who still like to tinker.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEv6MmYKYF8

Even with todays technology solid state machines i.e solid state hard drives are available which will retain there memory for upto 100+ years just like the twin 8K EPROMs in my Oric have not gone senile with old age. wink Even magnetic platter drives are pretty robust its usually just the mechanical parts such as the drive and read/write head actuators that fail. An OS optical disk can easily be transferred to an SD card.

As for the idea that everything turns to dust, such as carbon steel over a period of just 40 years then how on earth there are working machines such as this singer sewing machine



Even the example I have available works perfectly OK, even the leather treadle belt is still original after 110 years occasional use. But I guess they made things to last back then.

I think some folks have fallen it the consumerist mindset that modern consumer products rapidly fail or wear out, the reality that they are most likely replaced due to fashion is nearer the mark.

I think I still have some 25 year old bicycle Vittoria and Conti tubulars in the loft somewhere, I will have go and check to see if they haven't rotted away to nothing. I suspect that they have not.








Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (02/11/11 04:13 PM)

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#216868 - 02/11/11 04:28 PM Re: Rebuilding Society [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 1840
Loc: Emerald City, OZ
Originally Posted By: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor
As for the idea that everything turns to dust, such as carbon steel over a period of just 40 years then how on earth there are working machines such as this singer sewing machine

I'm not saying carbon steel would turn to dust but if a carbon steel knife sat in storage for forty years, some restoration would be needed.

I have no idea how Tuf-Cloth would hold up after forty years so my player-character has it on her person just in case.

Jeanette Isabelle
_________________________
"When you're up to your [neck] in alligators, it's hard to remember that your initial objective was to drain the swamp." -- Floridian proverb

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#216869 - 02/11/11 04:41 PM Re: Rebuilding Society [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Russ Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4901
Loc: SOCAL
I've got a knife here that is carbon steel from the early 50's -- made from a saw blade. It was stored in a leather sheath and all it needed was a touch up to resharpen the edge. The leather washer handle needed much more work.

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#216870 - 02/11/11 04:58 PM Re: Rebuilding Society [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Mark_F Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/24/09
Posts: 714
Loc: Kentucky
I would be most interested in the tire situation. Many muscle car enthusiasts put their cars on blocks during long storage periods to avoid dry rot damage to the tires (probably some other reasons to store them this way as well, such as wear and tear on the shocks, springs and other suspension components although the biggest reason I had heard was the tires).

I also agree that properly stored carbon steel items will not necessarily be subject to succumb to the ravages of rust. Even improperly stored carbon steel can last for a surprisingly long time. I recovered an old carbon steel corn knife that belonged to DW's side of the family. It had been stored in an old smoke house that had been converted into a storage building. The smoke house walls were not closed off so the blade was subjected to years of being ravaged by weather made worse by a leaky roof. Granted the blade is rusted badly, handle long gone, and I have not yet checked to see if it will hold up under hard use, but it LOOKS like it could be serviceable. Our best guess on the age/storage length is at LEAST 20 years. So if an improperly stored blade lasted that long it is certainly not out of the question a properly stored blade would be useful. Given a return to older technology, I would also venture a guess that a blacksmith of some sort would become a VERY prominent member of this community anyway, so it is not unthinkable that a new knife or replacement parts for other technology could be forged in some way. Computer parts and other more delicate electronics are probably out of the question but other larger mechanical devices shouldn't be a problem.

While it is fun and informative to speculate on what may or may not survive the 40 years and what could be made or improvised with the available tech, it appears we are moving WAY off topic. Shame on us laugh

So to get us BOT, I have some questions. Is the game master making the rules, or at least the final call, on what may or may not survive the ravages of time? Also you mention that the other people playing the game are actually building things based on older plans and technology. Is this part of the rules of the game also? I mean, if it can't be built it can't be utilized? Or is this just part of the preparations these people are doing for the game, or during the game, or for their own amusement? Also a more general question. Is it unthinkable that if one computer broke down it wouldn't be cannibalized for parts to keep other computers in the community operational? Personally I would still prefer to have a lot of info either in manuals or from training tho. FWIW and YMMV.
_________________________
Uh ... does anyone have a match?

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#216872 - 02/11/11 05:17 PM Re: Rebuilding Society [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
paramedicpete Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
While not 40 years old, we still have a TI99/4A, which is 30 years old (released in 1981), which still works fine. I would think that there would still be computers that would 40+ years old and still function.

Pete

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#216873 - 02/11/11 05:26 PM Re: Rebuilding Society [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
paramedicpete Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
Quote:
I'm not saying carbon steel would turn to dust but if a carbon steel knife sat in storage for forty years, some restoration would be needed.


Perhaps if the environment was excessively damp or wet, but I have many knives and tools that have been in my basement (which can get quite damp during the summer) for 30 years and toys from when I was a kid that are at least 50 years old and are in fine shape. Heck, I have 18th and 19th century tools in my basement that are in still great shape, many of which I still use (and no, I am not that old grin).

Pete

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