Kaluce wrote: (1980s era equipment), you'd have access to PROM chips only, and it would require a machine that (at the time) would've been extremely large and heavy, and capable of burning the chips exactly once. If we're going for a Hard Sci-Fi feel, I feel that it would be almost unheard of to put a PROM flasher on the ship. The other option would've been SRAM, which was faster than PROM, but still requires special hardware.
Kaluce wrote:Ok, I'd like to propose extensions to the computer design, and make it a bit more of a full experience, especially since we're going to spend so much time with it in game. This is going to be at 30,000 feet, because I'm way out of practice of writing code. First my ideas mean that you'd be able to stay in-game without needing to go out too much (unless you wanted to).
1980s era 360kb or (much rarer in-game) 800kb floppy. This is in-line with double density floppies for the day, and if you give a maximum of 10 floppies to a person that's 3.5mb or 7.8mb allocated per person. The filesystem could be a flat with no subfolders. Code side, the file could be a container to be loaded or unloaded at will by interacting with a floppy drive and a UI. Bonus points if you give the player a pen, and only a few labels so they have to cross out what was on them before. These floppy files could be stored server side, with a hard limit on the amount of floppies a person could have to avoid the potential of abuse, or possibly putting data on the floppy that could intentionally break the game. A server admin should be able to delete the stored floppies when a user instance is deleted from the server itself.
Realistically, read and write to this file should be low priority on the server code, because real drives were noisy, slow, and in some cases requiring up to 30 seconds to load a floppy into memory. Maximum time I suppose should be 10 seconds for loading a full floppy, because it would be a huge pain in the butt to wait for 30 seconds every time you wanted to load a program. Floppies can be marked Read-Only by the user to prevent accidental overwriting as well.
This could be provided on a floppy installed in the system itself, or using a cartridge
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