Watching Terminator 2 again, I find the statement
"The T-1000 can't form complex machines"
to be intriguing, mainly in the sense that the T-1000 itself is a complex machine. This got me thinking about how the T-1000 operates as a machine, in particular the computing side of it, and specifically how data is stored within it. It is clear that the T-1000 contains some very sophisticated programming (by our standards). Its abilities include:
- participating in natural language conversations (to at least some extent)
- mimicing voices that it hears
- reshaping its appearance to nearly perfectly match humans that it only briefly encounters
- seeking and acquiring information required to track a target, and strategizing for the disposal of that target
- operating a wide variety of machinery: cars, trucks, helicopters, etc.
The first ability above is a significant marker of the programming sophistication behind the T-1000, but so too is the third: it implies that its programming includes extremely robust algorithms for convincingly simulating the mechanics of a person's gait, visage, skin, and clothing from only brief samplings of these components' motion.
How are the T-1000's programming (almost certainly very extensive) and its memory stored within the liquid metal? Without moving parts, how are particular routines or memory files accessed? Related to this, when the T-1000 is separated into many little blobs, how are its programming and memory recombined? If data is distributed diffusely throughout the liquid metal, would the T-1000 suffer data loss (or display programming errors) if one of the blobs were lost?
This would give a nice explanation as to why he waits for the last blob to rejoin his foot before resuming the attack on John Connor and the T-800 near to the end of T2.
In-universe information is preferred, including facts gleaned from novelizations, DVD extras, interviews, etc.