For mor information on security issues, contact me. Most security systems put the data out for anybody to take. Most are very dumb systems and that is why teenage kids can get at your data.

I only help private companies. Authoritarian agencies will not receive any of my help.

Tip two: be careful of your cloud systems. Are you sure it is safe? Lol.

See and read it all here and now.

Animation on the UPGRADE01A YouTube channel. Read other information here.

Science fiction and politics is covered mostly at this space-time, but every category listed is mentioned in a blog, story or commentary here.

The free exchange of ideas, hopes, dreams, goods, services, peace and love should prevail. Education is alive and free online and in the world’s libraries.


The Slingshot crews were in charge of shooting gigantic ice rocks, and hydrogen encased in water ice toward the Earth, from various points in the outer solar system. Their aim was so precise, that the gigantic chunks would end up orbiting the earth, waiting to be picked up by the ice ships. This provided plenty of fuel and water for The Station at very inexpensive prices.

Slingshot crews were serving multiple functions, and they were assisted by a myriad of intelligent machines. The sling shots were constructed by binding together very long nanotubes, by the millions, into a mile-long “rubber band”. Computers and mechanical devices to control the gigantic cable are intertwined into the fibers, so that the rubber bands do not need to be attached to anything and is a self-contained system.

The gigantic cable slingshot machines are autonomous robots that know how to sling any rock, by utilizing their powerful hydrogen thrusters, so that it will reach the Earth with little likelihood of smashing to bits before it ever reaches there.  Jon’s slingshot crew would decide which comet or astroid field would be next and what strategy to deploy. Meanwhile, they researched and mined other precious material that they would eventually return with to Earth.

The ice rocks were constructed by special machines that attached themselves to comets and asteroids. The machines were designed to detect water, hydrogen and other valuable resources, extract the material, and dispense of it in the form of gigantic ice-rocks. Some of the material was saved for local use. Machines were designed with self-repair in mind.

Jon’s crew consisted of 17 humans, 23 very intelligent androids, and over 100 special-purpose robots. The craft reached its destination by traveling from Earth, accelerating at one-G from low-Earth orbit where the ship was constructed. At slightly more than 1/2 way to its current destination, the craft began to decelerate down at the same, one-G, rate. Ceiling and floor would exchange places, while the crew momentarily floated from one to the other. A computer program ensured that all went as smoothly as possible for the humans.

The ship utilized solar and fusion power to generated the large amounts of energy required to fuel its 19 ultra-modern, ultra-efficient ion rocket engines. These new ion engines were very light, because they were made atom-by-atom, and molecule-by-molecule from the latest, strongest, lightest composite nano-materials.

The engine’s magnets were the most powerful, yet the lightest ever built. Ion engines performance had improved several hundreds of times since their initial introduction in the late 20th century.

In addition to the ion engine’s, Jon’s Solar System-class ship was equipped with a solar sail. The solar sail, along with whipping around the giant planets, was another way to accelerate the ship beyond the one-G rate for relatively short periods of time. The more power generated from external energy sources, the better!

Most of the material to be brought back to Earth, along with a good chunk of a percentage of the ice and hydrogen, would be deployed for the next-generation, outer-space class ships. These new ships will dwarf Jon’s ship in both size and capabilities. Some of the ships were designed to reach prolonged acceleration rates of up to five-G and would be used to send machines only.

These next-generation machines will eventually explore the nearby stars, well in advance of the arrival of the humans in their one-G ships. All of the ships will be built in Earth’s orbit, several thousand miles from The Station, and communications satellites.

Jon and his crew were all candidates for one of the human star ships. By the time the first ships were to be completed and ready for launch, slingshot crews like Jon’s would no longer be needed, because the systems are expected to become completely autonomous within the next five years – well ahead of the launch dates.

It was a good thing that Jon and his crew all had had special DNA upgrades that would give them another few hundred years of life in high-radiation space. It was a good thing that the new materials were expected to block a good deal more of that radiation, although there was still no possible way of blocking all of it. In addition, Jon and his crew had bodies that were well-trained in fairly long three-G acceleration spurts, giving them a tremendous advantage over the vast majority of human crews.

Jon’s girlfriend remained on the Earth, but Jon had a replicant android with him instead. Mary could communicate with Jon through the android/cyber-bot interface. The android’s skin was cloned from a few dozen of Mary’s own skin stem cells. The android’s brain was initialized with Mary’s brain patterns, so that it contained all of Mary’s memories and life experiences. Mary had a Jon-bot of her own, back at home in New Los Angeles. The bot’s neural networks would update their patterns everytime that their host interfaced with them.

The unmanned and manned ships will reach speeds of over 600 million miles-per-hour, but some of the unmanned ships will achieve 97% of light speed, before decelerating to begin preparations for the humans and cyborgs.

The machines will construct a livable space station ahead of the people who will inhabit it. This “first” station will be built from materials mined from our own solar system on a remote, roaming planetoid, recently discovered just 3 light-years away from our home planet Earth. The rock is about 2000 kilometers in diameter, full of useful, raw materials, and traveling away from our system. It will be converted into a giant, roaming space station for humans and machines to utilize as a stepping-stone to the stars.

By the time Jon’s crew reaches the planetoid, it will already have been converted into a gigantic, livable, 1G space station. They will rest and work at the station for about two months before heading out again.

At each milestone on their journey, they are guaranteed living quarters, built by the machines that travel well ahead of them, along the way. New fuel supplies await them. They will first utilize hydrogen fuel upon leaving each milestone, to first kick into high-gear, before switching to ion drive. The straight hydrogen pulse allows them to achieve around 3G for about 5 straight hours, a force well within their enhanced bodies’ limits.

Each station is moving about twice the speed of the previous “station”, so that not as much energy is wasted, just to stop, and rest. Each station has velocity, but little acceleration.

The machines know what they are doing. They build while orbiting around rock planets, asteroids, or planetoids, whenever they can. They constantly grab up water, hydrogen, and many other elements to generate whatever they need, and to create a life support system. Replicated machines simply continue on to the next construction sight. Humans will tend to colonize these spots, as some of the ships will stop permanently, splitting off from the convoy.

Some of the other stations will be moving along at fairly high speeds (.1 to .5 of the speed of light), but not accelerating, so they must spin to achieve 1G for the humans. The space stations will act a good deal like space ships, in a giant orbit around our sun and half a dozen other neighboring stars, only they will not utilize fuel for thrust, except to maneuver. The machines will construct them while traveling away from the earth at high speeds, but no longer accelerating, or decelerating.

Newer technologies will allow for faster and much improved flight. Neutrinos now rush out of the back of the ion, and plasma hybrid drives. The newer machines will eventually catch up and take over construction from the outdated machines of decades and centuries ago Earth time. Satellites and data now whiz along together around the sun and it’s neighbors, in all directions. Electro-magnetic waves of all possible frequencies make up the spokes. Data can take years, but there is a pipeline of continuous data updates throughout the system. Eventually, quantum data helps somewhat, but progress was disappointing in that area.

Old technology, and some humans will eventually return to our system and may be studied or upgraded. More than thousand years will have passed on Earth, and Jon will have become pure machine by then.

In the beginning, technology flow will mostly be from Earth to the space pioneers. Technology and information exchanges will take place more and more bi-directionally, as the populations move off the home planet Earth. Over time, the Earth will gain as much or more knowledge from it’s colonies.

Mars will have become another biosphere and filled with people, should the machine, Jon ever decide to return.

At each stage, the machines and then the cyborgs, like Jon, will lead the way and pave the way for the other humans. Eventually, they will harness the power of entire stars and perhaps learn to warp space.

Eventually, many of the humans and machines merge so that the humans may survive on fewer recourses, and withstand longer, and faster, and more dangerous journeys.

It was beginning to look a lot like the humans and their machines might beat extinction for a little while longer now. There would be warp drive soon! The engine required the power of a couple dozen stars.

The machine, Jon, wanted to go! Now machines could build ships as gigantic spheres. Human bodies could be produced and live on the inside. Jon would be one of them! They would live and re-live their previous lives, along with many of the “what ifs?” at will, partially in a virtual world and partially in reality.  It was as if Jon had become his own, personal god!

Meanwhile, back on Earth, there were still fairly ordinary humans, living ordinary lives of only 120 years, or so.  As ordinary humans, these people were highly intelligent, but they were largely highly dependent upon the machines and more advanced humans for their survival.  They would all be considered wealthy, by early 21st century standards, but they lived as primatives. compared to the rest of the world.

“At least they were happy”, Jon thought.  Jon considered himself to be quite happy and he enjoyed the entertainment of ordinary humans from time-to-time.  Many wrote interesting music and poetry.  Others were tremendous dancers, painters, other types of artists, actors, and comedians.  Some tried to be scientists, but they simply could not keep up with the current state-of-the-art science and technology, unless they installed digital interfaces and added comlementary processors to their brains. Some worked on the police force to assist with human and human/cyborg legal disputes.

Jon wondered what had happened to Mary.  “Oh!”, he thought, as the data automatically flowed into his consciousness.  She had remained in New Los Angeles, until about three years ago, when she had died on a routine, commercial flight to the Earth’s moon base.  Now, the data was flowing around the Earth and the neighboring stars at near light speed, in all directions.  The data was transmitted like spokes inside of a gigantic sphere of near-light-speed satellites racing around the systems at near-light-speed.  Some data could be years old, and other data only hours or minutes.  The quality and amount of data coming from the colonies was on the verge of passing that of the Earth – at least this far out in space.

Jon’s human replica began to cry, as the Mary android sat there, stuck in less-and-less accurate simulation.  Jon reached over, and shut her off.

Data Storage by Element

Author:  David S. Ullery

Date: May 8, 2009.

See time stamp on original version and latest version.

There have been several updates and refinements.


MAY 8, 2009


Every element within the periodic table of elements contains unique properties that may be exploited for a new kind of data storage system.

For example, the full electrical charge capacity, mass, reflection of visible light and atomic light spectrum signature combine to form a unique set of values that can be read in up to four different ways simultaneously.

Elements that are solid at room temperature are ideal, because the cost is lower.  A slide, for example, could contain a message in the corner made up of some ideal combination of solid elements such as gold, copper, silver, platinum, carbon, silicon, lead, calcium, or other economical-to-obtain elements.  Perhaps carbon could serve as a kind of “end-of-program” marker, if there are three (or some agreed-upon number N) in a row, for example.

One reader or a combination of readers could be utilized to find and scan the atomic-sized message (data, text, ID TAG, program file, etc.).  An amplified electromagnetic signal could help distinguish electrical charge differences among the various elements deployed (“elements deployed” refers to which elements will be utilized after research, ROI analysis, and probably a form of standardization at some level).  Increasing the number of atoms at each “bit”, and/or varying the number (varying would be based on the specific element type to further increase the differences between bits.

If gold and silver where utilized, then it may be, just as an example, that a three-to-one ratio of gold-t0-silver atoms is required to economically or technically distinguish the difference) may serve as amplification for all three types of readers mentioned. There are other ways that may be exploited as well.  Perhaps multiple readers could be exploited to do a faster read utilizing statistical analysis, fuzzy logic, an AI “Expert System”, or some combination to optimize the accuracy of each ‘READ’.

Some set of elements that are both solid at room temperature, and widely distributed within the periodic table, may be the best set of candidates for scientific research in this area.  If both the masses and electric capacity are quite distinguishable among each of the selected elements, then it may be a good set of elements to select, provided the read/write/production costs are all reasonable.

If five elements may quickly and easily be distinguished in an economical manner, then a base five (radix 5) system could be employed to read and write the system. An ink-jet-printer-like device, with containers of each of the elements utilized (based on research and ROI), could be utilized to write the elements onto whatever material is desired.  A simple converter-mapper interface could be utilized to convert the system to whatever hardware or software interface specifications (including the radix change-over mapping to binary) that may be desired.


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Thanks! David S. Ullery ( uPgRaD3 z3R0 0n3 A)


The following is a long list of brainstorming ideas.

Idea number “0” is of fundamental importance and serves as a basis for the remaining concepts, although they are mostly not directly dependent on it.  My belief is that without at least acknowledging the individual, there is little point in carrying on.

Post Update Note: If a concept interferes with basic individual liberties, these concepts need to be re-examined. Perhaps the spirit of an idea did not translate well into words at the time of the writing, or the contradiction was simply not apparent, due to the nature of  ” brainstorming” as applied on this blog.  Concepts may only sound good in a superficial way, or perhaps they stray from original intentions.

Needs more editing, but there is no time.

0. Part A.  Individual Liberty and Misplacing Blame

Do not blame “the free market” for the problems of this world.  A true free market does not exist.  A free market is what results when people are free. It means that people voluntarily exchange goods, services, and ideas. It means that the people involved are not committing fraud, stealing, or utilizing coercion in any way, shape or form.

A moral society demands that all individuals have a right to their own lives, their own liberty, and their own pursuit of happiness.  It took each of us 13.7 billion years to arrive, and we are here for a short time.  No individual, or group of individuals should be so arrogant that they feel that they can morally impose their will on anyone else: Not Ted Kennedy, not George Bush, not Jesus, not Jacobal Lectomen,  nor even Upgrade01A .  Nobody and no machine, no matter how sophisticated,  is qualified to know what is best for you or any individual; only the individual can decide.  The individual is ultimately responsible for her actions.  Not even the “majority” of people have a right to tell you what to do, because that is just mob rule.

To prevent people from stealing from other people (by taking their wealth or by interfering with their individual rights of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness), I propose that we set up an institution that is designed to prevent that sort of thing from happening.  This institution will replace or serve as a modification to existing governments.  This time around, let’s place limits on their power (those in charge of running the institution) in very explicit terms, since the institution has a unique monopoly on power in that they have the authority of the use of force in order to pursue and capture criminals.  Such an institution, with those awesome powers ought not be involved in other activities, less they use these powers on corruptible ways.  So far as I know, this concept has only been tried one time in the history of civilization, but the mistake was that too much power was granted to it, and too many loopholes were written into it’s contract (it’s constitution).
The truth is, regardless of what type of society we have, we need some way to manage criminal activities, thus the same issues and problems and imperfections will apply, so that should be kept in mind when criticizing any plan.  All systems have the core issue:  “better that N guilty people go free than  to have M innocent people unjustly punished” There is no way around it.  The ideal that has so far not been achieved is to set both M and N to zero.  That is the ideal goal, but is not realistic.  Realistically, for M to be zero, N will be 100% (no institution) and the reverse is true (totalitarian) with M at 100% and all of the guilty holding the keys, guns and whips.

If we cannot protect the minority of the individual, then we have no hope of protecting any minorities, not the least of which are the poor, neglected people in the third world.  A large group of individuals.
Part B.  Consumption Costs and Taking Responsibility for One’s Actions
Something like 80% of the cost of virtually all products consists of the cost of energy.  Since all individuals have equal rights, then each individual is responsible for paying for the cost of any energy she requires in order to produce any goods, services or information.  Once she has paid for everything associated with it’s production and gas done so without violating the rights of anyone else, she has the right to do whatever she likes with what she has produced, including trading it voluntarily with someone else.  If anyone interferes with that process, they are immoral and arrogant.  It is at that moment, when the institution we have set up may act.
Now, suppose an individual decides he no longer finds any value with an item, and he decides he would like to dispose of it.  Of course, he is responsible for paying the cost of disposal.  He may find that there is a disposal service that will dispose the item.  The disposal service must do that without interfering with the rights of others.
There is no requirement for any individual to consume more than they freely choose.  They may choose to consume only small amounts of food and large amounts of information.  Only the individual has the right to decide for herself.
Individuals are free to negotiate the price of any goods, services, or information, including giving away the items for free, if they so choose. I do that, for some things, as do most.

1. Encourage telecommuting  (I am working from home at the moment, and my company encourages it).  You save lots of energy and resources that way.
2. Reduce interventionism, starting be pulling out of Iraq.  Gradually phase out intervention in the 130 or so countries we live in now.
3. Create charities that help people live in their own countries.  The Bill Gates Foundation is a wonderful example of this, where the foundation is working on wiping out malaria.  Warren Buffet, Obama’s chief economic adviser is the largest contributor (other than the Gates family).  Most of these countries need plenty of pure drinking water, which I get to later down my list.
4. Legalize Hemp.  Legalize medical marijuana.
5. Teach children around the world how to use the internet to do research.  Follow the model of MIT and create free, online, open source schools with language translation software, high-speed connections.  Encourage “out-of-the-box” brainstorming and thinking.  Encourage ideas like the ones here, some are good, some not so good. Some will stimulate other ideas that will work better.  We should no longer be restricted to working in one narrow field.  All of us have ideas.  Some will spark others.  Let the memes replicate!!!!  Let them mutate!  Write open source storie!  Write open source poems that include links to other ideas including music, science and poetry! Write open source philosophy!  Make your own movies and tv shows! Think of new ways of storing and manipulating data.
6. Come up with ways to create products directly in the home or at something like a Kinko’s.  Print your products and contribute to the design.  Print your own chairs.
7. this is an idea I have been thinking about by integrating various known technologies:  Instead of pumping carbon into the air, when burning coal to generate electricity, for example,
(a) pump the pre-scrubbed gas directly into a large cavern under the ground.  The cavern will be quite large and deep.  The cavern may contain an algae pond at the bottom
(b) punch thousands of tiny holes at the top of the cavern over a few acres of land so that the gas may escape over several locations spread out evenly.  There may be
air pressures involved, causing gradients that may be exploited for additional energy recapture.
(c) Populate the ground above the ground with carbon-loving bacteria and thousands of soil eating earthworms closer to the surface.
(d) cover the ground with a ground plant that loves carbon
(e) cover the ground with trees.  research the best trees
(f) cover the roof of the coal plant with solar panels, if they are efficient in the area where the coal plant is, which should be built very close to the actual coal deposits.  Use the
solar panels to generate the power consumed by the plant itself
(g) float helium-filled generators over the roof, at least 300 feet above, to the height where the wind is always blowing to generate additional power.
(h) supplement the trees with air-carbon extraction units.
8. Another idea I have thought about: Build a fish-recognition “net”.  Just as Las Vegas Casinos, have very sophisticated face-recognition technology, we could develop fish-recognition software to do this.   High-protein, common fish would be directed down one path.  Fish of interest to scientists would be sent down
another path (very wide tube).  This path can be activated and deactivated so that it captures only a certain number of fish of any kind desired.  Endangered fish and dolphins could be directed into another direction.
9. Stop corn subsidies since it is a waste and based on the same logic as a perpetual motion machine, stop tobacco subsidies, stop water subsidies to alfalfa growers in California.  Not only does the alfalfa suck up a lot of water, since the farmers can get their water on 10 cents on the dollar, it makes red meat much cheaper which is bad for health in large quantities.  Animal-based food is less efficient than directly eating plants.  Cutting off subsidies will automatically be reflected in price differences.  Meat will be more expensive
10. Utilize ocean water for the toilet facilities that are near the ocean.
11. Recycle water like the Toyota Financial Services facility in Torrance does.  They filter the water and reuse it to wather their landscape and to use in their fountains and toilets.
12.  As we pull out of oil producing counties and as we use up more oil, the prices will naturally rise.  Once it hits $200 per barrel, then solar power technology as of the year 2000 becomes economical.   Surely the progress in this field is improving so that the newer technologies will become cheaper and cheaper.  There is much work in this area, where the entire spectrum of the sunlight can be used.
13.  There are new and improved technologies that are much more economical to desalinate ocean water and others that can use any water (see the guy who invented the Segway’s invention).  Utilize these technologies as a carrot to countries in Africa and Asia to help find terrorists like Bin Laden.  The point is to encourage the capturing of criminals and discouraging the bad war paradigm that does not work.
14. Since Global Warming will cause the ocean levels to rise, we should be using technologies to help us remove this excess water and make use of it.  One is converting the ocean water into drinking water, another is capturing the minerals such as salts and gold using nanotechnology.  A giant space station will need billions of gallons of water to protect life from gamma ray and other cosmic ray bursts.  We can build electro-magnetic rails inside near-vacuum tubes that will have very low friction to create extremely high-speed rails to slowly increase the speed of a rocket full of supplies, such as water, into space. The external engines could be attached to the end of the rail launcher and attached to the rocket at the last moment.  The launching tube could be several miles long, on the equator to exploit the high speed of that location due to the rotation of the earth.
15. Private space exploration can retrieve Helium-3  from the moon and economically harnessed to generate non-radioactive fusion power (when combined with with deuterium – FROM THE OCEAN mostly)
16. Build a city on the ocean to integrate many of these ideas.  Oceanographer would work side-by-side with other scientists to study the earth’s ocean, extract deuterium, generate wind power, develop new battery technology, capture protein from fish, purify drinking water, extract hydrogen.  The city would be a series of specially design craft able to link together and separate, so that many parts of it could move to different areas.  It would be situated outside of major storm areas.  Microorganisms could be filtered, captured and converted into nanomachines of various types.  The city could be covered with solar nanopaint.  Windmills could be covered with solar panels and used as another type of hybrid energy generator.  They could be attached to new battery technology or air pressure chambers – both can store energy for later use.
17. Exploit resources on asteroids.  Start by going after the ones that are close to Earth and may someday threaten the Earth.
18. Exploit resources on Mars, on comets, on Jupiter’s moons.
19 Utilize already existing technology to project holograms of people so that they need not travel to give presentations.
20. Synchronize traffic lights and include integrated technology inside cars. Have the cars slow down, but avoid stopping as much as possible. Synchronize the cars so that they do not need to stop most of the time.  Volvo already has breaking technology that could be adapted for this.  They use AI neural nets modeled after dragon fly brains that are used to avoid collisions by automatically applying the breaks.
21. Put motion detectors on street lights, so that they need not stay on all night.  One motion could trigger a chain of lights in front of the driver who may be the only one on the road at 3 AM.
22. Utilize technology to eliminate the need for assembly line technology.  Use little robots to move the inventory around.  This is already being done in some situations
23.  Develop a robot that can put a pillow case on a pillow.  Develop a robot that can change the oil on your car and do simple repairs on its own.  These are two hard problems, much harder than playing chess or even walking.
24. Have electric charging “slots” at traffic lights.  A little latch (like a those on a slot car) can lower itself down and recharge the car while it is waiting.  Wireless recharging could be utilized even cheaper.  This is new technology that is almost ready for prime time.

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Several Novel Ways of Storing and Manipulating Data
Version: 3.4

Author: David Saxton Ullery


The information in this posting may not be copied or used to create any technology without permission. Not-for-profit uses are permitted. Please comment and include any suggestions and questions that you may have.  Thanks!



This article briefly outlines a few novel approaches that could potentially lead to dramatic increases in the amount of information that may be stored and manipulated at the nanometer scale,  and shift the paradigm in the way information is traditionally manipulated and perceived. Some techniques demonstrate how a large amount of  data could be stored directly as symbols or shapes, others outline possible alternative approaches to storing data by exploiting different properties of atomic elements that may offer insight into radically different approaches to the very problems that nanotechnology companies and researchers are working on today.

New approaches in thinking about exploiting previously unconsidered yet readily differentiating properties, opens the door to the thinking of the technologies that are researched and ultimately employed as a viable commercial product. Thus, the goal is that reading and pondering the concepts presented here will help trigger new ideas that will lead to much more economical approaches, new ways of thinking of computation, and ultimately newer, more powerful computational machines that do not necessarily follow the traditional Von Neumann architecture.

When examining future nanotechnologies for reading and writing information, storing data at a higher symbolic level of information other than only utilizing simple binary format should be examined as an alternative approach to the current standard architecture in today’s storage technologies. The approaches given here deal with the storing  of information at the nanometer size, but are not directly exploiting quantum mechanical properties, nor do they depend on DNA or wetware.  Instead, they depend upon both exploiting the unique properties  of the atomic elements, and our increasingly sophisticated ability to move atoms to form any physical shape we desire, including directly storing symbols in their “natural” form. By purposefully positioning groups of atoms into various patterns, they may be interpreted in new and unique ways by the technology that reads, writes and manipulates the data.

Storing information may be enhanced in another way: More economical and useful ways of reading, writing, and manipulating data can be achieved by exploiting the informational differences inherent in different elements, along with the differences in a single element and its various isotopes.  Different elements, isotopes, and molecules each have properties that could be exploited other than their quantum mechanical properties, and other common approaches that nanotechnology researchers are already examining.  For example, every element has its own unique mass, atomic number, number of electrons, electromagnetic properties, chemical properties,  size, shape, and so on. Shapes are especially interesting when configured in simple molecular structures, crystal structures or when atoms are physically moved in a purposeful manner atom-by-atom to form simple text or other symbols that can later be read and interpreted utilizing relatively simple algorithms.

Mixing and combining each of these and other ideas presented here and extrapolated upon by the knowledgeable reader would enhance all of these approaches in a synergistic manner. It opens up possibilities for alternatives to the traditional Von Neumann, binary-based architecture, yet does not force such a change.

Element Detection

Hydrogen (H) and Deuterium (D or ²H)

Alternative approaches for storing binary data using an element and its isotope.

Note: An element other than Hydrogen may be a better choice, but the concept is the same. However, Deuterium is very stable, not radioactive, and relatively plentiful in ocean water.

Since hydrogen and deuterium have their own unique atomic weight and emission spectrum, it should be eventually possible to detect tiny amounts of either, and use them to represent binary information.  Another element/isotope pair should be considered, if there are known techniques for detection (reading) differences, and more efficient ways of switching states between the element and its related isotope. Other elements and their isotopes may have other properties, such as differing diameters that may be exploited more economically than hydrogen.

Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Use hydrogen, with mass number 1 to represent the zero (“0” or “off” or “no”) state.
  • Use deuterium with mass number 2 to represent the one (“1” or “on” or “yes”) state.
  • Read the values using mass spectrometry , infrared spectrometry, other non-destructuctive  spectrometry methods utilizing much shorter wavelengths such as UV, or perhaps bounce a single photon off of each.  A photon bounced off of a single hydrogen atom would behave differently than one bounced off of a single deuterium atom.  Another approach may be to utilize a modified version of the technology of the scanning tunneling microscope STM, if it can be refined to the point where it could read the difference between an element and its isotope. Utilizing new forms of spectrometry (or other electromagnetic techniques), which use  much higher frequencies than ultraviolet may  someday utilized to detect size, position, mass, electromagnetic properties.
  • To write data: Store the gases of each type and inject the atoms one by one into the bit containers. Another approach may be to find a way to push atoms into place, perhaps utilizing a modified, greatly shrunk down version of STM (see sections that follow for a bit more on this).  Perhaps a neutron beam could be used in a novel way to convert H to D, thus “burning” ones into memory in a manner analogous to PROMs and EPROMs.
  • Each tiny collection of atoms can be stored inside a single carbon buckyball, with each “bit” separated by an empty buckyball or by some other means, such as a tiny number of silicon atoms to separate each bit, such that the state of each atom or tiny cluster of atoms are not easily disturbed. Another approach may be to load up a nanotube or a column-like structure created using a few nanotubes.  Each atom, or atom cluster would be fed into one end of the column,  possibly followed by a separator element (consisting of a either a string or clump of one or more atoms such as silicon, or a buckyball), followed by another atom or atom cluster.  Each atom or cluster would represent a zero or a one and could be read from one end of the column one at a time until the last atom is read… More on this in sections below.

Multiple Element

This idea may be practical for memory storage of the more permanent kind, because writing may prove to be exceedingly slow for rapid computation.  The ability to distinguish between different elements may be more practical for reading, but writing with multiple elements may prove to be difficult.  A technique inspired by an ink jet printer could work – the valves would need to be extremely tiny – perhaps made from carbon nanotubes.

  • Use any two elements that are easy to distinguish when only one or two or three atoms of each type is present.  Binary numbers would be represented using one element as the zero, and the second element as the one value. Using a large atom such as lead to represent the “1″ value, and a much smaller atom, such as hydrogen to represent to the “0″ may prove beneficial.
  • Use multiple element types, with each element representing a different value. The radix of the system would depend on the number of easily readable elements that can be stored into a tiny space using one, two, three or any tiny number of atoms each.

Using this scheme,  hydrogen could represent a “zero”, helium a “one”, …, oxygen a “seven”, and so on (Atomic Number minus 1) for each element.  The radix may be octal, decimal, base 36, or any base up to the number of elements used. Carbon, silicon  and  perhaps gold may need to be skipped since they are needed to construct the memory containers and may interfere with the readings.  Rare elements may be avoided due to their cost or radioactive effects.

Similar to the two-element technique, it may be of benefit to select elements that vary in their atomic number (and mass) by large amounts rather than selecting closely related.  Selecting elements from different groups within the periodic table may prove to be exploitable and therefore useful.

  • Another binary alternative would be to stick to a single element.  Use one atom, perhaps xenon to represent a “0″, and use two side-by-side atoms of the same element to represent a “1″.  A variation on this theme could be to use zero atoms to represent “0″, and a cluster of one or more atoms to represent a “1″.
  • Another approach is to use atoms of dramatically different size to represent differing values. The heavier elements are much larger than the lighter elements.  Technologies may exploit these differences.  Combining a few larger atoms together would increase these differences.  Atoms may either be placed side-by-side or stacked one upon the other to produce a taller, nanometer-scale mountain. Using this approach, the data may be interpreted either digitally or analogically.  Analogically if the mountains, or side-by-side, or some combination are made of varying elements with different sized atoms. One can imagine a nanometer sized head, not unlike a tiny record needle reading analog data, with an interface taking in the data; then, depending on the architecture of the future computing device, the context of the data, manipulating the data directly as analog data or digitizing the data.  Multiple versions of digitized data are envisioned here; depending on the context once again:  (a) interpret atomic-sized mountains over a certain threshold as a “one”, or (b) interpreting varying heights, or other features (total mass, …) as an analog value to be converted to a digitized value; (c) interpret the atomic stack of various element types as a stack of bits, (d) interpret data in any manner where it is economic to read, write and manipulate

For any approach selected, it may turn out that only elements that are solid at or near room temperature are practical, thus ruling out all of the gases and liquids.  Alternatively, simple molecules, such as NaCl, or other salts could be used, if there are better techniques for reading and/or writing molecules. Even H2O – water molecules could be employed if the data is kept cool enough – erasing this data would obviously be very simple.

Reading and Writing the Atoms for Each Alternative Technique

In either the element/isotope or the multi-element concept, one could “write” the atoms (or molecules) into a nanometer sized tube that is transparent enough for electrons or photons to bounce off of each atom, one at a time. It may be necessary to use one element (may need to be several atoms long to insulate the properties of each “bit”) as a type of tag or marker to separate the information atoms, especially if more than one of each element is needed.

As an alternative to bouncing electrons or photons off of each atom, a reading head and writing head could be created using a technology based on already existing scanning tunneling microscopes (STM). This approach may be particularly useful in the single-element approach where a pattern (0 or 1; 1 or 2 groups) are used.

Exploiting the unique particle velocities or resonance frequencies generated of elements or molecules of different mass may be combined with other technologies to measure differences between atoms or molecules to read the atoms from different elements.  Acoustic and electromagnetic waves may be utilized to generate frequencies to induce large amplitude vibrations within a system of atoms lined up in patterns.

The nanotube structure could be used to keep the atoms or atom clusters (molecules) in place, like so many beads on a string, or more like a line of different color peas inside a transparent straw.  The design close up may resemble chicken wire. It may not be a completed tube, but merely a trough or rain drain-like structure that is “U” shaped from the end instead of “O” shaped.

Rows of these tube or trough-like nanotube structures could be connected together to create a two dimensional matrix, or a single, very long structure could be wound up into a disc, like a CD or DVD disc and read from the inside out.

It is interesting to note here, regardless of the selected alternative, that an STM reader could conceivably read large chunks of atoms at a time, projecting different shapes that could then be decompressed by  shape-recognition software into standard bits, bytes, or any other form, including the original form.  A string of ones and zeros physically represented by atoms or small clusters of atoms would form unique shapes due to the distribution of mass, electromagnetic, and other properties.  To read these shapes as chunks may require the trough to have a certain amount of “wiggle room” so that the atoms may not form a completely straight line. Different elements or molecules may be readily coaxed into specific shapes by subjecting them to different electric charges, magnetic fields, chemicals, or simply by squeezing them into or through other nano-sized machines or templates (like a tiny cookie cutter).

Nanometer Scaled Symbolic Writing

The following outlines the concept of storing data more directly as high-level text or other types of high-level symbols, thus effectively compressing much more information into bit-sized areas for simple text messages. In some cases, depending on current state-of-the-art, an “atom” may be replaced with “a cluster of atoms”, or “a molecule” or “a cluster of molecules”, but the concept is such that in any alternative, the real estate used must be substantially smaller than the current space required for a single bit on today’s storage systems.  Given that a nanometer is 10 to the -9th meters, a typical atom’s ranges from about 0.1 to 0.5 nanometer, and today’s memory chips are storing bits at the 45-nanometer level, it seems we have some room to work with.

Let us examine some potential ways we might represent information at the atomic level.

  1. Store text, including entire computer programs using ordinary text, but write the text at the tiniest possible size. Remember the I.B.M. Logo?  All three letters contain a total of 35 xenon atoms (atomic number 54). Each atom is spaced at what looks like one or two atom widths apart on average.  According to the article from the link above: “In 1989, IBM scientist Don Eigler was surprised to learn that in addition to using an STM to look at tiny things he could also use it like a pair of tweezers, to move things as small as a single atom.”  Suppose that the text could be crushed down to use no more than 8 atoms per character –  the same number of bits used in today’s binary ASCII code, yet still be kept in the same general shape as the actual letters, or perhaps some new, more compressed, yet easily recognizable set of shapes. It may be easier for a technology to read the entire glob as a shape than it would be to read each atom as a single bit.
  2. Use lines of atoms of different lengths to represent different values. Example: “.”=0, “-”=1, “–”=2, “—”=3; where each “-” is one, two or three atoms in length…perhaps larger clumps would be needed or more economical.  Molecules could replace atoms, if kept very tiny (whatever is the least number of atoms or smallest size molecule that can be detected at high speed).  This is simply a variation of “1″ above, but keeping each shape more or less as a line, however the length of each symbol would grow with the number of characters represented.  If we kept the number of symbols small, say to 10 or less, then the longest line would be only  10 atoms wide. One could imagine building a code based on combining various symbols without necessarily resorting to a number system.  It would be constructed  like a kind of short hand.
  3. Use different shapes to increase the symbol set, without increasing the number of atoms.  Example:  “+”, “^” could be represented using four and three atoms respectively.  This is really no different than option “1″, but could be interpreted as a variation on option two or a hybrid between 1 and two where the atoms are allowed to occupy more than a single row.
  4. Use marker symbols to distinguish the representation of any of the above representations to create a hybrid.  Marker symbols may be actual text-like or at least shapes or combination of shapes not unlike XML tags, or they may be atoms of a different elements or molecules as discussed in previous sections. A processor configured to read multiple symbolic representations may have the ability to reconfigure its actual hardware, or load different algorithms into its memory.  It may be that the actual processor is of a traditional silicon/binary type with a suitable interface that acts like a connector/adapter/translator/mapper between the computer and the storage.  Alternatively, it may be that the entire computer is constructed to directly manipulate these symbols or to at least readily convert them in a  much more tightly coupled manner than a traditional computer would be able to do.
  5. The symbols used may not resemble any of the symbols familiar to us like those on our keyboard.  It may be more convenient to exploit the shapes that clusters of atoms tend to form when combined together.  Crystals are one example, but they tend to have several variations.  The point is that the shapes need to be as easy as possible to construct, be stable, yet be consistent and deterministic. If a given element, with a limited number of atoms forms the same set of shapes, it may be possible to filter them so that they can be used to represent a set of symbols.
  6. Utilize binary or some other radix where needed, or where more generalize information is needed.  Binary data may still be stored as a shape rather than utilizing the atoms or clusters of atoms as simple zero-one bits.  More is discussed about this below.
  7. A two-dimensional photograph could be compressed down as a simple black and white photo (atom/no atom),  or a color photograph (1,2, or 3 atoms; where one=”red”, two=”blue” and three=”yellow”).  Simple markers could be used to (A) tag that it is photo information, and (B) tag the next row of an array, or simply tag the actual “bit” length of each “row” of pixels – in other words to mark out how many patterns or “1″ “2″ and “3″ would be needed.  Note however, that three or even four characters can be represented in binary, using just two bits (atoms): “00″,”01″, “10″, “11″.

Once again, a modified scanning tunneling microscope (STM) technology can be used to write and read the data using either technique or any hybrid combination.

Rather than storing information as bits, the information is stored and read directly at a  symbolic  level.  Simple software algorithms would be used to translate the characters and shapes to be used  and interpreted as needed.

For example: a Java program may be stored as source code using a tiny number of atoms to represent each character.  The java program would be read using the STM-based reader, then translated (decompressed) into byte code  and run on a conventional computer, if desired.  Alternatively, an entire CPU architecture could be build around the new storage technique that directly manipulates the stored symbols.  Literal XML tags could be used, if desired to mark code and data sections.

The multiple  techniques presented in this section and the previous section could be combined.  Use the one/two atom pair technique (to store binary code.  Separate the code with special tags (atom-by-atom XML or otherwise).

Perhaps the text could eventually be shoved into super long, nanotube-based structures and wound up into a disk storing up trillions of times the data currently stored on today’s high definition DVDs.  This would be similar to the device describe in the previous sections.

In scenarios where memory reads could be relatively slow, then it would make sense to pack more data, using less atoms to represent the data.  The link above shows that using current technology, at least 3 letters can be written and read using an STM.

Once the concept of reading symbols sinks in, it becomes apparent that the most general form of information can be represented in binary, and it may seem that information could be compressed better if data is always represented this way, but the concept of utilizing symbol recognition could enhance this most general case.  Using just two atoms (or groups or molecules), we can arrange them in the following ways:

( 1 ) “- “      [just one atom followed by no atom, or “10”] ,

( 2 ) “–”     [two atoms next to each other, or “11”],

( 3 ) ” -”      [no atom, followed by one atom, or “01”]

( 4 ) “=  “    [two atoms, one above the other, with no atom next to it, or “1010”],

( 5 ) “\ “      [two atoms at an angle, down and to the left, or “1001”]

( 6 ) ” /”      [two atoms at an angle, down and to the right, or “0110”]

( 7 ) “_ “      [no atoms on top an one atom below, or “0010”]

( 8 ) ” _”      [no atom on top, and one atom below and to the right, or “0001″

Of course, in theory, there could be up to four atoms within the given space, thus allowing for 15 values, but the reader and writer must both be able to distinguish all of those patterns in the same tiny space.  It may be the case where multiple atoms packed closely together will not retain a stable pattern.

Once the technology reaches the level where a single atom could be read, then pure binary representation may be the best technique in 100% of the cases, but using shape recognition may still be the best way to interpret the information. It may be more practical to limit the number of atoms within a given space and interpret the limited number of shapes within that space as a particular value.  It would work in a manner not unlike using braille for the blind. If all of the available space can be filled in with every combination, that is great, but we can still exploit the concept without completely utilizing every conceivable combination and permutation.

Unusual Processing NanoMachines That Eat Data

Another variation on reading of data could be a of the destructive kind.  Read the atoms by grabbing them off of their storage surface and literally pass the data into the processor.  A machine that directly works with shapes instead of bits could process different symbols by filtering them into different locations.  Using lined up symbols like those described in “2” above could direct the data based on each symbol’s length.  Longer symbols could not enter shorter slots.  Data  contextualized as numeric or alphabetical could quickly be sorted by length (spaghetti sort), addition would be fairly straight forward (add the lengths).

In another context, the data could be interpreted as an algorithm for constructing multiple copies of another nano-mechanical machine.  The symbols may consist of various length rods, gears, levers and pulleys as the “data” section; intermingled with short instruction sets. The processor may be cleverly enough designed to be capable of understanding how to manufacture thousands or millions of tiny machines.  The symbol “6” followed by the symbol for a gear could indicate that the machine is to grab the next six gears out of the gear repository or instruct another part of the machined to build six gears built to the size of the “data” gear, and perhaps to use the same element in doing so (the data gear may be made out of carbon or gold, for example).

Utilizing the direct literal “grabbing” of data, the mass of the “bits” could be exploited by a machine designed to take advantage of data in this context.  For example, data could be directly sorted  or added together by mass; larger atoms or more massive molecules could be filtered so that the computing machine would be reconfigured to perform different operations.  Suppose nano-sized gears could only be turned by an atomic mass of greater than or equal to 18 = 2 oxygen or 18 hydrogen atoms.

Grabbing data may be as straight forward as pushing “end of file” atoms into one end of a nanotube, thus allowing the program to push out the other end in a FIFO manner, down into a slot where the calculating machine sits.


We can utilize shape recognition at the atomic or molecular level to store binary information. If a single element is utilized, then the shape alone could represent an arbitrary value.

We can utilize shape recognition at the atomic or molecular level to store information directly as symbols, potentially packing more information into the same tiny space where a single bit may ordinarily be stored.  This same technology could then be utilized to ultimately reduce the information back down to the binary level, but using the same techniques and technology that we use to detect shapes.  It may turn out that multiple shapes are more readily recognized than directly using the atom (or smallest practical “unit”) in the more straight forward way of simply looking at “atom = 1″, “no atom = 0″, or “two atoms = 1 and one atom = 0″ in a linear manner.

We could potentially use different elements or their isotopes to store more information into a single bit without resorting to quantum computer effects, but by exploiting the different spectrum and/or mass, and possibly other differences among the elements. If combinations of elements are used, then atomic number or electromagnetic properties could be utilized to give a single physical shape more than one value.  Two star shapes with different mass could represent two distinct values, for example.  Two squares, made with the same element but with differing numbers of atoms or with differing spaces between the atoms potentially could be exploited.

We could potentially use different elements as markers or tags, not unlike tags utilized in XML.  We could literally create XML tags just like the famous IBM logo was created. Alternatively, we could employ the idea of packing different elements or molecules between sections of data to be interpreted as a change in context.

We could use nanotube to stuff atoms into  – to be read one at a time, or potentially read as chunks with the unique shapes later to be decompressed.  It is even conceivable that a highly sophisticated machine could interpret and manipulate the chunks and shapes directly. The shapes of each chunk may be exploited in the design of the processor itself.  Taken further, the tags or markers could be utilized to directly modify the processor.

We could use a plane surface to read shapes or combine this concept with the nanotube or buckyball concept mentioned earlier.

Processing data at the symbolic level may open up new and unique approaches to computing.  The processing techniques could be simulated using ordinary, binary computers by building a virtual machine designed to manipulate symbols. The simulations would be used as a discovery process so that alternative architectures may be explored.

Finally, we may discover these ideas to not be good ideas at all, yet it may toggle the mind of someone else in science, art or music in some yet unknown way.  Perhaps it is on the right track, but requires another approach that some else may come up with. Perhaps someone in a completely different field may look at this posting, sleep on it, and come up with another novel idea that is directly useful or creates yet another tangent.  A fractal-like graph may result, pointing toward some great idea to solve some totally unrelated problem.  The final result may be four or five or six or one hundred people down the chain – it may loop back around to me…

In the futuristic, on line, open source, science fiction novel “Upgrade 01A“, computers that utilize nanotechnology (some perhaps similar to what is briefly outlined here), some based on DNA, some based on quantum computers, others based on yet unheard of technologies, and some hybrids, are common place.  Many tiny, microscopic computers and robots are integrated inside the bodies, brains, and clothing of the main characters.  Thus,  the characters’ physical abilities, intelligence, and life expectancy are greatly enhanced or upgraded. New devices implanted in a person’s brain are often referred to as “upgrades” and may include a model number that is traditionally denoted as a hexadecimal number. Computers are integrated into virtually every device and object of value.  Please read part one and enjoy…

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