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Daeglan

Rogue one and what it taught us about computers...

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So lets discuss what we learned from Rogue one and how to use it in a game. 

We have the Archive with stores data tapes...

We have the data tape its self... looks like it is not a common reader interface and looked like it was encumbrance 2...

The Radio transmission could not go through a planetary shield...

You could plug into a ground station to get radio off the planet to the orbiting fleet

the same data on the data tape seemed to fit on a small card. And like our world the small card is probably much more expensive and negligible encumbrance.

What do you guys think? Mechanics stuff? fluff how would you incorporate this new info? 
 

Edited by Daeglan

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Actually, Rogue One introduced a huge plot hole. We see that the card that Leia fed into R2-D2 contained the Death Star plans. Which begs the question: what happened to that card? It wasn't found on the Tantive IV, nor did R2 have it. Was it somehow disintegrated in the seconds that Leia had between the time she loaded the data into R2 and she was stunned by stormtroopers? Mission Impossible: this card will self-destruct in 5 seconds, good luck Princess. Self-destructing data cards would be a new thing in Star Wars.

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So lets discuss what we learned from Rogue one and how to use it in a game. 

We have the Archive with stores data tapes...

We have the data tape its self... looks like it is not a common reader interface and looked like it was encumbrance 2...

The Radio transmission could not go through a planetary shield...

You could plug into a ground station to get radio off the planet to the orbiting fleet

the same data on the data tape seemed to fit on a small card. And like our world the small card is probably much more expensive and negligible encumbrance.

What do you guys think? Mechanics stuff? fluff how would you incorporate this new info? 

 

So a few things - transmission bandwidth is an issue. Ship to ship transmissions through a planetary shield don't work - they need a boost from a groundstation; possibly the even need that crazy dish to do so. 

 

FtL transmissions from system to system are possible, but large files (like the Deathstar plans) can't be sent. Presumably this is also why hologram transmissions tend to have such crappy resolution (all blue, scaled down, static, etc.). 

 

Another thought as to why the info was stored on a big tape, but could be put into a smaller card - durability. It's entirely possible that the archives are stored in a manner that will survive long term, but that the data on the card will degrade relatively quickly. For that matter, the card is almost certainly more fragile than the clunky tape. 

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Actually, doesn't Luke try remove it on Tatooine and accidentally set off the message?

That's what I always thought. 'Somethings jammed in here...'

 

Come to think of it, you're right! That has to be the data card. R2 must have, somehow, caused the feed/eject mechanism to jam the card in place.

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The data density of Star Wars devices has to be a lot greater than what exists in our real world. Otherwise, artificially intelligent droids couldn't exist. And we can store the "Death Star plans" in a chip that's a lot smaller than the data card we see in Rogue One.

 

There really isn't much of a rational explanation for the bulk of one of those "data tapes", unless the internals contain a lot of redundant storage as well as lots of other circuitry. A droid brain is roughly the same volume, and certainly holds more data.

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Or the tape had ALL the information on the Death star. Like everything, schematics of all kinds, invoices, records of construction materials, architectural drawings and interior design... All they needed was the exhaust port.

The Death Star is a military project, so it does make sense that all records pertaining to it are on the drive.  The rebels had the information for a little bit of time so they could have isolated just the "technical readouts of that battlestation" and stored it on the card for temporary use.  And I have no doubt R2 copied the data to his own hard drive once it became clear the card's safety was in question.

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The data density of Star Wars devices has to be a lot greater than what exists in our real world. Otherwise, artificially intelligent droids couldn't exist. And we can store the "Death Star plans" in a chip that's a lot smaller than the data card we see in Rogue One.

 

There really isn't much of a rational explanation for the bulk of one of those "data tapes", unless the internals contain a lot of redundant storage as well as lots of other circuitry. A droid brain is roughly the same volume, and certainly holds more data.

Tape is still routinely used for archive storage in the modern day. When not archived on tape, critical data is often stored as multiple copies on arrays of disks too, so you can spot any corruption in one copy by checking it against the others.

 

These are the plans for a superweapon that took twenty years to design and build. It really wouldn't be surprising if they were stored in triplicate on massive tapes to keep things absolutely safe.

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What they're calling "tapes" in Rogue One may not actually be tapes, or even any sort of magnetic media. It could well be a holdover term from a great many millennia past when actual magnetic tape was used. Those bulky cartridges could be optical (crystalline matrix) storage media, or even organic media.

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So lets discuss what we learned from Rogue one and how to use it in a game. 

We have the Archive with stores data tapes...

We have the data tape its self... looks like it is not a common reader interface and looked like it was encumbrance 2...

The Radio transmission could not go through a planetary shield...

You could plug into a ground station to get radio off the planet to the orbiting fleet

the same data on the data tape seemed to fit on a small card. And like our world the small card is probably much more expensive and negligible encumbrance.

What do you guys think? Mechanics stuff? fluff how would you incorporate this new info? 

 

So a few things - transmission bandwidth is an issue. Ship to ship transmissions through a planetary shield don't work - they need a boost from a groundstation; possibly the even need that crazy dish to do so. 

 

FtL transmissions from system to system are possible, but large files (like the Deathstar plans) can't be sent. Presumably this is also why hologram transmissions tend to have such crappy resolution (all blue, scaled down, static, etc.). 

 

Another thought as to why the info was stored on a big tape, but could be put into a smaller card - durability. It's entirely possible that the archives are stored in a manner that will survive long term, but that the data on the card will degrade relatively quickly. For that matter, the card is almost certainly more fragile than the clunky tape. 

 

Kind of like tape storage is used today. I agree. 

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The data density of Star Wars devices has to be a lot greater than what exists in our real world. Otherwise, artificially intelligent droids couldn't exist. And we can store the "Death Star plans" in a chip that's a lot smaller than the data card we see in Rogue One.

 

There really isn't much of a rational explanation for the bulk of one of those "data tapes", unless the internals contain a lot of redundant storage as well as lots of other circuitry. A droid brain is roughly the same volume, and certainly holds more data.

It makes a lot of sense if the data storage is a LOT more rugged and less prone to fail. As other mentioned we do this today with tape storage which is a lot more reliable. It is just slower and a lot bigger. They were getting the data from a data archive facility. It does make sense they would be using something akin to tape. 

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I would definitely agree that facility was focused on data integrity, security and longevity. That vault with those massive racks allow constant temperature, no human interaction and yet it still seems to be at least indexed even if it's not digitally accessible.

The officer in charge of the Base was clearly not looking forward to getting all of the history of a single employee... but it was available. It's therefore likely every single communication related a single project is on that drive.

So, Mechanics? Or really Computers. PC's are unlikely to need long storage solutions, but finding one of those tapes would just be the beginning of reading the data stored on it. Doing a straight data dump should be fairly easy... but finding the correct hardware and software to unencrypt and analyse the contents for useful information could easily span an entire adventure

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I agree. Specialised hardware seems like the way to go.

 

Considering that Scarif was fortified like no other facility we ever saw before, these Tapes are most likely master copies and thus build for long lasting durability.

And since they were in the adequate facility they had access to the necessary hardware to decrypt, convert and transmit the data. Though it seems weird that all that would be available at top of the spire in a manual override panel for the radar dish...   :P

 

 

Speaking of transmissions: The books already provide a lot of what we see in regards to the movie.

Especially Age of Rebellion has some good stuff on high function transmission devices when it comes to off-planet comms and encrypted transmission, military grade hardware.

I'd give a page reference, but I don't have access to my books atm.

Bodhi (the Pilot) says he needs to plug into one of the consoles, since the ship comms alone are not sufficient.

 

And even intergalactic transmission, like they do from the U-Wing while in hyperspace. Pretty sure there is already a specific ship upgrade available to us for this kind of stuff.

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I figured that Jyn and Cassian got the tapes containing project Stardust, but perhaps not only that. To me it seemed like they yanked the entire library shelf it was on so to speak. Jyn then only transmitted the pertinent data (Stardust) which fit on a datacard.

As why the tapes couldn't be accessed without physically removing them, it's probably a safety measure. If they're not in the network, they can't be sliced.

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Considering Star Wars Tech and the size of the Drive/Tape. I would think that it is multiple storage devices set in a RAID Configuration in the Drive/Tape. Giving each one of those it's own independent redundancy.  Something that Data Card would not have. (I am probably way over thinking it.)

For me at least that would make the Vault on Scarif even more impressive. I really want to know if it even survived the blast. I consider it a harden facility probably designed to take planetary bombardment from an Imperial Fleet. It would make sense that the Data Storage System is part of it.  

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