Topic: TAU


TAU (Terraforming Assistance Unit) runs the tower for the most part. Most of the machinery, including elevators, radlocks, factories, and Chibots, are controlled by TAU's protocols. It doesn't mean they're completely out of human control, though, as illustrated here.

TAU's software is based on a layered architecture of protocols, which can be roughly divided into the following groups. They are explained in the way they should be working, though lately many of the functions have been malfunctioning.

1) The TAU Networking Protocols
The lowest levels of the TAU Networking Protocols simply take care of the data transfer between AI Networking Nodes. Somewhat higher are those protocols responsible for handshakes and error handling. In general, these protocols see to that data can always be tranferred from one AINN to another without problems. Colonists understand most of these protocols. An exception to this is the Necklink Transfer Protocol that converts TAU's signals into neural signals - a very complex procedure that's not understood very well.

Most of the communication is based on wireless links between AINNs.

2) The TAU Utility Protocols
The TAU Utility Protocols are built on the TAU Networking Protocols. They control the simpler, local functions of the different TAU utilities, including the moving of floatbeds and elevators, or running life-support systems or factories. Some of these protocols have been built or modified by the colonists, but a lot of its logic is still unknown.

3) The TAU Database
The TAU Database is also built on the TAU Networking Protocols. It allows the colonists (and TAU itself) access to lots of data, including personal profiles, camera data, and most importantly scientific, technical and a myriad of other kinds of knowledge. The queries into the database aren't very complicated, and colonists have learned to perform them on their own, as well as create their own databases using the same architecture. However, TAU keeps colonists from modifying data they haven't written themselves, in addition to which many parts of the original databases are malfunctioning.

There are (at least) three TAU databases relevant to the colonists:
1) The Main Database in the Speedgrowth Chambers. That's where the colonists get their information during speedgrowth. Unfortunately, it's unaccessible to the Middle Cluster due to TAU's fragmentation.
2) The Middle Cluster Mirror Database. The colonists in the Middle Cluster have access to this database - or would if it hadn't been seriously fragmented by a power spike. It used to contain the same information as the Main Database, but now it takes advanced defragmentation algorithms and lots of guesswork to get any information out of it.
3) The Backup Database. This is the backup database of the Middle Cluster Mirror Database. This one works and is accessible to the colonists. However, it contains only information deemed crucial to survival, such as scientific and technical skills, camera data and personal files.

((Will be edited to finish later.))