Questions tagged [computers]

For questions specifically involving (usually non-robotic) computers in a science-fiction work. Use the AI tag for artificial intelligence-themed questions.

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50
votes
1answer
7k views

Old story where computer expert digitally animates The Lord of the Rings

Back in the 1960s there was a story about the head of a corporation in the late 20th or early 21st century who discovered that his computer expert was using the mainframe to digitally animate a ...
5
votes
1answer
343 views

What is the name of this Sci-Fi Circular Interface Seen on Computers and Holograms?

Many Sci-Fi movies and video games have this circular interface used on touch-screens and interfaces (the Iron Man movies or the class select screens from Mass Effect are two examples). What is ...
13
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0answers
203 views

Dystopian short story about a home computer, likely written 1970s (1970-79)

Looking for futuristic short story about a man who brings a new device home called a "computer" which soon takes an increasingly central role in its owner's life to the point of literally reaching out ...
11
votes
1answer
321 views

Intergalactic human space ship encounters another ship, character gets shunted off beyond known universe, reality starts collapsing

This question reminded me of a very vaguely recalled short story, most likely from the early '00s or '90s (and probably in a magazine like F&SF, Asimov's or Analog), of a space ship that can ...
8
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1answer
291 views

M5 and Beta 5 computers in Star Trek TOS; who designed the props and what inspired the circular computer screens?

Star Trek TOS has (at least) two computers with round screens, the M5 and the Beta 5 described below. This is an out-of-universe question on the design of the props. Both remind me of the early PDP ...
32
votes
1answer
2k views

Robotic Spaceships have a human prisoner to maintain them

Cant remember if it was a book or a tv show (like Outer Limits/Twilight Zone) or movie. (I don't think it was a movie) At least 20 years old. Whatever format it would have been in English in the USA. ...
7
votes
1answer
641 views

Series about proxy space battles via implanted computers in kids

The premise of the story is that there are 2-3 main coalitions on Earth and they fight over resources in the edges of the solar system with spaceships that are controlled from Earth by kids with ...
4
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2answers
1k views

Trying to recall a sci-fi book about elitists uploading their mind into computer to gain immortality [duplicate]

I vaguely remember reading this book in which there was an elitist group trying to gain immortality by uploading themselves into a computer(simulation). Each created their own world. Our hero somehow ...
4
votes
1answer
102 views

90's (?) chapter book: young boy creates a computer clone, switch places

I read this book back in Elementary School in the 90s. The young boy doesn't exactly like school so he makes himself a computer clone and they switch places and the clone goes to school and starts ...
0
votes
1answer
460 views

What do the images of the system in the Jurassic Park book actually mean?

In Michael Crichton's novel Jurassic Park, a system was created by Dennis Nedry to operate the park almost autonomously with minimum staff. Images of its interface are provided in the book. Do the ...
9
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5answers
456 views

Old anime people trapped in a computer

I need help identifying one old anime that was about people getting trapped inside a computer. I don't remember much about it but I remember that there was a mad scientist that put himself on ...
8
votes
1answer
171 views

Movie Id Where Hacker Has No Monitor

I remember seeing a movie when in the late 90s on basic television that was about some sort of AI or computer virus that was taking over. It may have been hurting/killing people via their monitors ...
1
vote
0answers
107 views

Why does computer data get destroyed when it gets downloaded? [duplicate]

Whenever an enemy ship downloads something from the board computer or whenever a hologram gets transferred, the data gets removed from the board computer. It's almost as if the data was a physical ...
16
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2answers
1k views

Two computers buried under the earth

As a teenager - like 40 years ago- I read a science fiction book about earth were two supercomputers were buried deep down under the surface. One in the north, one in the south. Their goal as I ...
4
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0answers
90 views

Comic from late 80s with self-aware mainframe

I remember back in the late 80s there was comic strip in an IT publication that featured a mainframe computer that shared its thoughts on the jobs it was running. One of my favorites was when the ...
6
votes
1answer
260 views

Story identification: A novella about a computer that becomes sentient and can control everything in the universe except the human mind [duplicate]

There is a computer that is being built with the ability to manipulate space using (wormholes)? Right as the computer is becoming sentient, it's creator realizes what is happening and puts in a rule ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Which programming languages are used in the Star Trek universe?

In the Star Trek franchise, a number of characters "reprogram a computer" or "write a holodeck program" or do similar sorts of programming. Has is ever been identified what sort of languages are in ...
12
votes
1answer
429 views

Short story about a man who pretends to be a supercomputer

I read a short story in a collection of sci-fi stories a few years ago. It was about a supercomputer on which humanity relied upon to answer difficult questions (much like Isaac Asimov's Multivac). ...
6
votes
2answers
321 views

How does the on-board computer answer multiple nearby people without overlap?

Onboard Starfleet computers, personnel can ask the computer questions vocally and get an audio response. Presumably on a ship of that size, the computer is doing this in parallel all the time — e.g. ...
6
votes
1answer
298 views

Name and Author of book where man creates computer called Satan

I read (but never finished) a book in the 1980's where a man has dreams to build a computer. He draws all the schematics and builds it. On powering it up he asks the question - Who Are You? (Or ...
3
votes
2answers
746 views

How was Neo ever in the Train-station? Brain wi-fi? Why did nobody know about Brain-fi?

I'd be interested to hear if anybody can squash this one for me. Some questions explain 'what the Train-Station is' and 'how he got there' (he touched the source and ooh that caused him to be ...
5
votes
1answer
873 views

Science fiction story that ends with “Let there be light”

Very many years ago (I think around the late 1950s) I read a very short story (about 4 pages) about computers at a time when they were in their infancy. The story started in the past but then went ...
9
votes
1answer
433 views

Can anyone remember a film where a damaged ship can't count down sequentially during a self destruct?

When I was a child, I'm sure I remember part of a film or maybe TV movie where a boy or maybe a teenager is in a spaceship. The ship has an intelligent computer. Somehow the computer becomes damaged ...
8
votes
1answer
189 views

70's/80's Short story man uses PC to compensate for progressive memory loss then they die in suicide pact

I've been looking for years for a short story I read in late 1970's or early 80's. I think I remember it was in a collection of award winners, book may have come from Scholastic or similar program. A ...
3
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0answers
98 views

Trying to find story: “Knapsack” encryption with prisms and computers

I'm trying to find a story I read in a printed book in the UK around 1990. It was aimed at kids, probably about computers, and had some line drawings. The only bit I can really remember is a couple ...
5
votes
1answer
146 views

Trying to find a book about AI embedded in human brain

There was a book I read when I was younger, probably around 2000 at a guess. Its main character was a woman who I seem to remember had a photographic memory but I can't remember how that tied into the ...
13
votes
1answer
357 views

What is the first example of “sandboxing” an adversarial sentient program?

Reading this BBC News item reminded me of the TNG episode Ship in a Bottle (episode 6x12, first aired: 25 January 1993) where the holodeck character Moriarty is tricked into moving into an off-line ...
8
votes
1answer
238 views

Identifying an '80s TV episode or movie with a boy whose consciousness was programmed into a computer

I remember watching a TV show in the eighties - either a standalone movie or an episode of a series, I can't be sure which. The plot was about a young boy (teenager or late preteen) who was a genius ...
1
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0answers
90 views

Are there software developers in Starfleet? [duplicate]

Starfleet personell obviously uses a lot of software (e. g. LCARS) on their vessels, stations, handheld and wearable devices. Thus, it would seem to me that there must be a lot of software engineers ...
6
votes
1answer
207 views

Late 70s - Early 80s Story about an evolving computer virus [duplicate]

Around 1980/81, a car-pool buddy told me of a story that he had read about a computer virus that constantly evolving. I vaguely remember that it's human programmer had created several early variants ...
10
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0answers
372 views

What is the format of Ender-universe email addresses?

From Ender in Exile (the only sequel I have to hand), Ender gets a different email address on practically every email: GovNom%Colony1@colmin.gov GovDes%ShakespeareCol@ColMin.gov/voy Gov%...
25
votes
1answer
4k views

Identify this 80's movie about a force-field shaped like a bubble

I have this vague memory from when I was a kid of a movie that involved a few kids and one of them, somehow, creates a force-field in the shape of a bubble. My memory is faint but I seem to remember ...
13
votes
1answer
670 views

Story Identification: Computer destroys itself to create a new universe

I am looking for a story in which a computer/AI lacks new input and therefore decides to destroy itself to create a new universe (akin to the Big Bang). Every particle of the computer becomes part ...
11
votes
1answer
790 views

Book with boy with one different colored eye

I once read a sci fi novel where the protagonist was a boy with one different colored eye, maybe gold colored. It must have been sometime in the 70's. It was written in English. Unfortunately I have ...
4
votes
2answers
188 views

Trying to identify a story about a kids' personal computer that responds only to the user it “bonds” with

I'm trying to identify a story from ages back (well, 1970s or '80s) where a guy brings a computer back for his kid to play with and the kid and the computer form a sinister "bond" to the extent where ...
14
votes
4answers
596 views

Book read/published in the late 90's - early 2000's about a bank robbing computer-virus

Characters Genius Hacker Kid - Developed Worm/Virus, trusts this leader dude who might be a priest (pretty sure it's something similar). Might have a sister that's being leveraged against him near ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Does the Flash have use for a computer/programming and if so how does he deal with their slowness?

I have a question that no amount of Google-Fu will help. Searching for the flash, computers and programming only yields results in the computing realm. Given the following image: And a calculation ...
8
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0answers
150 views

Why the internet and PCs never became a staple of science fiction? [closed]

I just came out of a screening of Lo and Behold: Reveries of the connected world , a documentary by Werner Herzog about the past, present and future of the internet (very recommended indeed.) One of ...
8
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0answers
124 views

Short story with audible computer networks

I am looking for a short story where all the computer to computer communications were audible to humans. After being exposed to this for long enough the younger generations start creating music ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What can we infer about the programming language used in “Jurassic Park” (the book, not the movie)?

In Michael Crichton's novel Jurassic Park, disgruntled programmer Dennis Nedry sets up a backdoor in the computer code controlling the park. To untangle Nedry's mess, park engineer Ray Arnold goes "...
0
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0answers
264 views

Why does Picard order 'Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.'? [duplicate]

The Enterprise-D's computer shows us on multiple occasions that it can deal with natural language input. One notable example of extended conversation is in TNG '11001010': PICARD: Computer, ...
5
votes
1answer
339 views

How come Star Trek starships don't have better computer security? [duplicate]

I'm curious if there's a good in-universe explanation for this. In Star Trek II, we see Admiral Kirk have to give a retinal(biometric) scan to access Project Genesis data. Memory Alpha also lists ...
3
votes
1answer
317 views

What title of space movie where girl's hologram asks: “to be or not be that's the question”?

A sci-fi movie maybe from 90s, where cargo spaceship with some people on it that try to unlock spaceship computer that has recorded women hologram that asks various questions and riddles, one of them "...
15
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1answer
1k views

Story about two men and a supercomputer with all answers

I am looking for a short story where 2 men (very old and young) looking for a planet with supercomputer, who knows answers for all questions. Finally, they find it. But computer is not giving straight ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Short story about elections being determined by one vote

I'm looking for a short story that I read a while ago, about a future where one person in the US is asked a couple of questions, and based on that, a supercomputer determines the results of all of the ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Why are Starfleet computers so noisy?

Starfleet computer consoles are rather noisy. I can understand — especially with 24th Century touchscreen LCARS consoles — why they might be designed to emit sounds when pressed. (This ...
2
votes
1answer
645 views

What computer display technology is used in The Force Awakens?

What kind of computer technology do they use in The Force Awakens? I am trying to remember if they showed footage of computers in any of the command-base scenes or anything.
22
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2answers
3k views

What programming language is used in The Martian?

What is the programming language displayed on screenshot?
6
votes
2answers
918 views

How would the act of networking Galactica's computers allow the introduction of a computer virus?

In Battlestar Galactica, the Colonial fleet is separated from Galactica when they are forced to jump to the emergency FTL jump coordinates. Battlestar Galactica is left behind, and after they realize ...
2
votes
0answers
1k views

Short-story about a boy's obsession with a video game about war

I have been searching for so long now for the title of a short-story I read in the late 1990s, I think. Possibly early 2000s. The plot goes along something like this. There is a boy, I think he may ...