Chapter 573 Sharpening the Axe  

Aron had advantages that made all of the problems the early pioneers of runic computing encountered complete nonissues. He was the perfect, or perhaps worst, person to have ever gotten their hands on that technology; it only depended on whether you were friends or foes in his eyes.

For the mana requirements, he had an adapter that would convert electricity into mana, even if the ratio was steep. For material needs, he had atomic printers. And for the issues the original creators had run into regarding mass production of runic computers, he’d upgraded his atomic printers with the capability of printing runic constructs. All he would have to do is gather up the pre-printed materials and channel his mana into them for a while.

And even that would cease to be a problem as soon as he worked out a way of automating the process of imprinting intent into runic constructs that were created by his atomic printers.

Aron laughed out loud after he finished explaining his plans. He was quite excited about finally having bought something from his system that wasn’t an immediate necessity in terms of his offensive or defensive capabilities. It was quite refreshing, he thought, that he was finally able to buy something he could afford to play with before putting it into immediate use to counter some crisis or other. From the very beginning of his explanation, Nova had been sending his ideas to the researchers in Lab City. Thanks to all of them being mere digital copies of living people, they didn’t require any extra time to download information into them, so they were able to immediately get started on the projects Aron had outlined in his rambling.

It would spark yet another round of innovation from the enthusiastic researchers, who loved nothing more than getting their hands on new things and using them to innovate. No matter how ridiculous the idea was, it would be tested and researched until it became obvious that it would only ever be viable as an inspiration, rather than reality.

Over the perceived centuries of Lab City’s existence, the researchers had found many “inspirations” like that. And every time they found another one, they would jokingly refer to the “round file”, which was code for a trash can. In a similar vein, when they were at their wits end with an active project, those same researchers would go “dumpster diving in the round file” looking for inspiration to jolt them out of whatever rut their thought processes had ended up in.


“Let’s continue with Project Protagonist,” Aron said after recovering from his manic laughter. He stretched his fingers, as he was about to embark upon a second round of creation, this time ending in the creation of the world’s first three-way hybrid computer. After all, sharpening an axe had never delayed the felling of trees. At least according to Sun Tzu, anyway.

Nova returned to her position standing slightly behind and to the left of Aron, paying close attention to what he was typing. At the moment, he was writing the instruction sets of the runic part of the computer—the motherboard, RAM, graphics card, and a suite of software designed to take advantage of runic speed. The CPU would still be a quantum computer, as would the graphics processing unit in the graphics card, and the hard drives would be purely biological in nature.

Next, he would need to create an entirely new hybrid programming language that would allow all of his hardware to properly work together. But first, he would build one of each computer to give him a better idea of what he would require in terms of programming languages and hardware. The hardware itself was rather intuitive. Quantum computers had immense flexibility and an absolute advantage in terms of running multiple processes on a single CPU. Since each qubit was like a gate that could be open, shut, or simultaneously open and shut, it allowed a relatively small number of qubits to take the place of traditional silicon CPU cores.

That flexibility was an advantage over runic computers, which were capable of insanely high speeds, but limited flexibility. Each line of runic code was capable of performing a single task, but that single task would be completed nearly instantly thanks to a completely dedicated pathway for each individual task. Plus, all of that runic code, no matter how finely it was etched, took up space and limited the amount of data that could be stored in a certain area.

The limited storage space of runic computers wasn’t an issue with biological computers. Take the human genome, for example; when stretched end to end, a strand of human DNA would measure a little over a meter in length. It contains about three billion base pairs, and when acting as binary bits, would allow for around 750 megabytes of storage. When wrapped around a spindle, however, it only took up about ten nanometers of space. But what it gained in compressed storage space, it lost in flexibility and definitely lost in speed. Information transmission via messenger RNA took, at a minimum, seven minutes.

So, intuitively speaking, Aron already had an idea of the hardware architecture of his planned three-way hybrid computer that would take advantage of the flexibility of quantum computers, the speed of runic computers, and the storage capacity of biological computers. The problem he was currently solving was how to get all three branches of computer technology to interface such that it would have the advantages of all three types of computers, while removing, or at least greatly mitigating, the weaknesses.


And to do that, he would do two things: create a new coding language that was capable of interfacing with all three types of hardware, and modify the runic computer components he planned on using in the final product. But in order to do that, he first had to build a runic computer and a biological computer so that he could deepen his familiarity with the technologies and choose which operating systems to make part of his final coding language out of.

Taking advantage of the universal simulation, he could create each component with the wave of a hand, should he so choose. But that would be counterproductive to his goals; he wanted to deepen his familiarity with the system-purchased knowledge, not simply use it as is.