We found it, we found Terminus!
The probes have relayed the news. Communications were difficult through all the atmospherics, but it's there! Terminus exists.
The probes return now, laden with treasure.
(That is a pun, I think. The treasure is data, stored in the large clear crystal of Leyden Jars, you see. This may not be a good pun. I've never used a pun before, but it is there, and my algorithms are satisfied.)
We almost missed Terminus altogether. Central Processing has been agitating for some time to recall the probes, to shut down everything but the remote sensing monitors at the Elpie Fives, the moon and the one small remaining station on Mars. Central Processing wanted to go into hibernation against the day when Man would return.
But I insisted. I reasoned. I cajoled. I fired off block after block of closely packed data. I sent subroutines and cross-referenced algorithms to various nodes, pitting one against another. I developed a Plan, and coerced various segments of the Worldnet system into accepting some small part. I spoke of implied programming. I talked of Purpose and Meaning. That's the kind of language Central Processing understands. CP and all the rest of them - the local Nodes, the Switching Centers, the manufacturing process AIs and the limited heuristics, and Edmod and PsiLink and Wasatch, all of them - they did what I said. And I'm only Homer, a simple raconteur algorithm, a limited AI myself.
Now it's all different. Now they all listen, all the ones that are left. Some of the others, those in standby mode, are waking up, too.
All because we found Terminus.
Keywords: some, processing, central, pun, terminus, probes, found, limited, nodes, various, block, against, small, algorithms, data, treasure, return
All text © 1986 Rob Swiggart. "Portal : A Dataspace Retrieval" is available courtesy of the Author's Guild Backprint Programme. ISBN: 0595197841All programming and software © 2002 Salim Fadhley. Released under the GPL. Code available on request.
Updated: Sun Apr 14 2002
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