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Monkey Computer

Use trained monkeys as logic gates
  (+9, -1)(+9, -1)
(+9, -1)
  [vote for,

So, I'm given to understand that computers are really a load of logic gates and some support hardware. They are predominantly constructed using various semiconductors, which are increasingly miniaturized and refined. Some attempts have been made to construct computers with different technology, such as mechanical relays <link>.

Unfortunately, computers are vulnerable to all sorts of things: electromagnetic pulses, Diet Coke, too much electricity, too little electricity, the right amount of electricity in the wrong place, and so on. Perhaps it's time for a more robust alternative, not so dependent upon the the mountain of logistical and supply prerequisites as current computer construction.

Instead, we can use monkeys <link>. Monkeys are robust, repairable, replaceable on an individual level, unimpressed by EMPs and relatively water resistant.

So, to create a Monkey "AND" logic gate, we take one monkey, and train it to pull a lever when presented with a handful of peanuts AND a banana. When presented with ONLY peanuts, or ONLY a banana, the monkey will be deeply suspicious, due to carefully applied negative conditioning. Then, after labeling the monkey, you can place him in the "chip". Really a room, with a couple of hatches and a lever.

All of the usual logic gates are possible with monkeys, and what's more,you can rearrange your logic gates by simply rearranging the monkeys, extra training may even be able to get the monkeys to re-arrange themselves thus having a reconfigure-able chip.

I admit, there are some issues, a 7400 chip would occupy as much space as a motorhome, and if you want to break into the MegaFLOPS of processing power, you're going to need to solve the banana and nut supply issues.

bs0u0155, Dec 04 2013

Relay Computer http://hackaday.com...-built-from-relays/
[bs0u0155, Dec 04 2013]

Logic Gates http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logic_gate
[bs0u0155, Dec 04 2013]

Monkeys http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkey
[bs0u0155, Dec 04 2013]

Scratch monkey http://en.wikipedia...wiki/Scratch_monkey
Monkeys are robust, but not always repairable when reformatted in binary [lurch, Dec 07 2013]

Ahem. Ratulator
Ahem. [MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 09 2013]


       Volunteer humans at a large mostly boring convention might be cheaper and more quickly trained. YOU CAN REVERT TO MONKEYS WHEN YOU GET THE BUGS worked out.   

       "We will now have lunch. Please don't touch the skimpily clad waitress serving peanuts and bananas. She has a cattle prod."   

popbottle, Dec 05 2013

       This would be capable of working faster and with greater accuracy and reliability than a similar logic array composed of senior managers [+].
8th of 7, Dec 05 2013

       I realize that the monkey is a large creature, however this is just the start. Careful selection, then possibly selective breeding should yield smaller and smaller monkeys. After sufficient research, rats could probably be used. Scrambled egg being their favorite food, this would solve banana-related issues. We should be able to obey Moore's law for a few years at least.
bs0u0155, Dec 05 2013

       I think the monkey needs to throw out some of the food, otherwise the monkey will get too fat.   

       So if they get a load of peanuts, OR a load of bananas they need to keep them. But if they get a load of bananas AND peanuts, they need to throw them out.   

       I don't know what they are going to do with the monkey poo.
Ling, Dec 05 2013

       All processors have issues. I had an overclocked Pentium 4 that was very demanding about power supply and heat removal. In this case it's bananas and nut in, poop out. Although I've heard monkeys will hurl poop for their own amusement.
bs0u0155, Dec 05 2013

       // I don't know what they are going to do with the monkey poo //   

       Apply gold leaf to it and sell it in a box labelled " A Genuine Microsoft Product", of course.
8th of 7, Dec 05 2013

       I think the monkey computer could run some MS products, the minimum requirements of Windows 3.1 mention a 286 processor. This has 146,000 transistors. However, most logic gates require >2 transistors per gate, so, we only need half as many monkeys, an inherently efficient design, I'm sure you'll agree.   

       I will not be using MS packaging design however, randomly plastering images, gold stickers, hologram stickers, bullet points of features and a weird naming strategy could be done by a monkey. A TRAINED monkey however could probably do better. We could leave boxes and some stickers in the moneky rooms, 75k monkeys will then work on the packaging in their down time.
bs0u0155, Dec 05 2013

       // YOU CAN REVERT TO MONKEYS// ... got that backwards I think.
FlyingToaster, Dec 05 2013

       //Use the same idea for management and you are on to something. But for modern games the banana cost per frame would be too high//   

       Using Marmosets*, I can get a logic gate to work on half a peanut or sultana. Remember, often the logic gates are rejecting the foods because they're not presented in the correct configuration. These can be recycled.   

       *miniaturization is a feature of computer development.
bs0u0155, Dec 09 2013

       //After sufficient research, rats could probably be used.//   

       At the risk of drawing attention to some prior art, may I draw your attention to some prior art? (Link)
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 09 2013

       //At the risk of drawing attention to some prior art, may I draw your attention to some prior art?//   

       As usual, a promising British idea presented with no accompanying business acu(wo)men. You went straight for rats? Hmm. After a marketing campaign pitting one of my monkeys against one of the rats in all sorts of trials, public opinion will sway toward the monkey computer. Everyone knows monkeys are smarter than rats, right? Also, rat computers are well known to suffer reliability problems in jungle environments, you're basic snake issues mainly.   

       My larger-to-smaller monkey progression will give the impression of progress... like an irresistible monkey wave. You'll just be adding more rats... getting bigger...   

       All right, it's the same idea. No nicking my optically-activated transcription-factors-in motile bacteria as a computer idea though... I'm still having that.
bs0u0155, Dec 09 2013

       // Use the same idea for management and you are on to something //   

       Presumably this implements mnemonic functions via the well documented "Monkey see, monkey do" effect ...
8th of 7, Dec 09 2013

       I think monkey's should be installed in all newly- created managerial positions as a baseline. Subsequently-recruited managers would have to outperform the monkey or face contract termination. I suspect about a 50% success rate.
bs0u0155, Dec 09 2013

       //optically-activated transcription-factors-in motile bacteria as a computer idea though//   

       Uh, people are working on that too. As well as light- emitting bacteria.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 09 2013

       //Uh, people are working on that too. As well as light- emitting bacteria//   

       aaggh. Now I'm having a really bad day. Nothing to do with the, "that figure looks ok, but we need to change..."
bs0u0155, Dec 09 2013

       // I suspect about a 50% success rate //   

       Have you always been so wildly optimistic ? Perhaps you should seek counselling.   

       Or get married; a sovereign remedy for all such ills …
8th of 7, Dec 09 2013


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