Saturday, February 28, 2009

You would think

That a guy who worked, long ago, on machines that were fed their instructions on paper tape, would remember the difference between a byte and a word.

Setting up the new ansible for the new droid, I configured the machines to read the data stream in 32 bits, and the robot and the machine were communicating nicely but wouldn't pass data. They yapped back and forth for four hours but would not give me the data I wanted for love nor money.

I kept scratching and never did figure out what was going on, so I put on the headset and linked directly in.

Anyone who has never been inside has only a dim idea what it's like, and it ain't pretty. Imagine being in a barrel where you can hear the voices of a thousand people all apparently reciting numbers at random. You have to somehow find and zero in on the data stream you want, while ignoring the ones you don't like. It can cause madness but I'm a little more immune to it than others, having been slightly modified during my recovery when I hit the planet.

Anyway, I put on the headset and listened until I could hear the distinctive voice of my droid, and the machines it was speaking with. I managed to drown out all the other voices on the subnet, and I could hear the pinging back and forth, and I ended up having to unplug the headset for a minute to back down the baudrate so I could understand better. I jacked in again and saw the stream loud and clear, and then it dawned on me, the data coming out of the droid was two words and the machine wanted four, the machine sending four and the droid expected two.

Odd how that hundreds-of-years-old convention is still biting us in the ass, after all this time.

No comments:

Post a Comment