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Message no. 1
From: Gurth <gurth@******.NL>
Subject: [Stuff] Cheap Smartlink
Date: Sun, 14 Sep 1997 13:06:50 +0100
An Improvised Smartlink
Gurth <gurth@*****.nl>

>>FILEDUMP /SIGs/rec.guns.smartlinks/logs/580215.140912-143150.log

(>) Here's an idea I came up with when someone asked me to repair a
damaged smartlink system the other day: wouldn't it be possible to write
some software that does all the things smartgun cyberware does insidwe
your head, but without the need for the implant?
(>) Rusty

(>) Sure, it's not even very hard. All you need to do is write a program
that interprets the signals given off by the smartlink built into your
gun; the real problem is making it useful -- you can have it project
something on a computer screen easily enough, but projecting crosshairs
and an ammo counter onto someone's eye isn't quite that easy. The main
problem I see is that headware memory doesn't have any processors
attached to it, so it can't run programs, only store data.
(>) Chat

(>) That's an easy enough to solve "problem," if you ask me. An encephalon
has all the processing power you'll ever need for an app like this, and
you can make do with an I/O SPU coupled to a display link as well if you
have to. Hell, you could write it so that a cranial deck does all the
processing if you really want to show off your programming skills.

The only REAL problem is in the interpretation of the code. Just having
some code and a processor isn't enough, you have to write an emulator for
the smartlink's processor, run that on the encephalon (or whatever) and
only then can you start the smartlink software.
(>) ASDF

(>) It's also pretty easy to integrate the emulator and the smartlink
software into one program, for easy uploading. It's not as if the emulator
will be used for anything else than playing smartlink, after all.
(>) Young Again

(>) Oh, and if you can get your hands on the headware module of smartlink
cyberware you don't even have to write any code for the smartlink side of
the program. Just open it up and read the code straight out of the chips
-- stick them in an EPROM reader and there's half your coding done for you
(>) ASDF

(>) And the gun connects to all this in which way? There's no induction
pad in your palm, so I assume it's going to be through a datajack.
(>) Parker

(>) Let's recap: to do all this, you have to have a datajack to get the
signals coming from the gun to the software. Also some headware memory to
store the program in. Next to that, you either need an I/O SPU plus
display link, or an encephalon. Then you do some coding (preferably using
a real smartlink to borrow some code from) and load that into your
headware memory.

(>) Rusty

(>) That should do it, yeah. I suppose you can also run the code on a
computer linked to a HUD to create makeshift smartgoggles, if you don't
like going under the knife.
(>) Young Again

(>) The only thing I don't understand is why anyone would want to do this.
All the stuff you're describing costs more nuyen and is more invasive than
getting a simple smartlink installed.
(>) Parker

(>) Perhaps because you don't want to go under the laser unless you really
have to? Or because the doc's told you that another piece of 'ware is
going to kill you? Or because you don't have the money for a smartlink?
There are lots of reasons.
(>) Leah



Since a smartlink isn't much more than a small computer devoted to
interpreting the signals coming from a smartgun and then displaying them
either on the user's retina or on goggles, the setup described in the
filedump should be easily possible.

The easiest way to write the software is if the character has access to a
"real" smartlink -- either the cyberware or smart goggles -- of the type
that is to be copied (level I or level II). Also needed is someone with
all the required hardware (see Rusty's last post) in the second half of
the coding process, in order to test and debug the code, and, naturally, a
gun equipped with the relevant smartlink type.

To get the code from the smartlink's chips, access to a Computer Shop
(SRII page 259) is required. This is a one-time requirement that takes
only an hour or so once the smartlink has been disassembled; after this
the Computer Shop isn't required anymore. For the programming itself the
character needs access to a computer with at least 50 Mp of memory for a
smartlink I system, or 75 Mp for smartlink II.

The actual coding takes about two weeks, or four weeks if a smartlink
isn't available to copy from. The character makes a Computer (5) test,
using the Software concentration or the Interface Programming
specialization. Add a +1 target number modifier if the character is trying
to write a smartlink II system. The task bonuses from pages 101 and 102 of
Virtual Realities 2.0 apply.

If the Computer test succeeds, the program is done and can be loaded into
headware memory (or even a chip plugged into a chipjack, if required) and
the character effectively gains a smartlink as long as the code is being
accessed by the encephalon.

Gurth@******.nl -
Go see the profiteer
-> NERPS Project Leader & Unofficial Shadowrun Guru <-
-> The Plastic Warriors Page: <-

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Message no. 2
From: Mark Steedman <M.J.Steedman@***.RGU.AC.UK>
Subject: Re: [Stuff] Cheap Smartlink
Date: Mon, 15 Sep 1997 14:01:36 GMT
Gurth writes

> (>) Oh, and if you can get your hands on the headware module of smartlink
> cyberware you don't even have to write any code for the smartlink side of
> the program. Just open it up and read the code straight out of the chips
> -- stick them in an EPROM reader and there's half your coding done for you
> already.
> (>) ASDF
(>) Works just fine as long as the corp that built the thing didn't
configure the chips security bit on to stop just this trick. The
other possible problem being they probably used a hard coded chip for
such a high volume application which cannot be read. Given enough
technology you could take the chip appart and image the contents but
breaking into the designers office and borrowing the origonal design
specification would probably be easier :)
(>) Tech Trak

This is a common feature now to make it at least a little hard for
some 2 bit factory in the 3rd world to clone our products. By Sr the
chip may well be optical but again the fact that hard coded ROM is
cheaper than EPROM now probably won't change because you don't need
the read/write circuitry.


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