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silva
My only concern with is that the 50s technologic milieu seems too old (and implausible) for todays standards.
So, what do you guys suggest? I thought about bringing the wireless world from the 70s to the 50s. And miniaturizing all electronic gears, along with cyberdecks too (palm-sized?).

Have some of you made this? Playing in the early 50s, but altering it in a way it doesnt sound too anachronic? Thanks!
Ol' Scratch
SR4's tech is just as implausible as anything from the previous editions. There's no way the tech they describe in the game would ever be allowed to become all-invasive. Not with the raging security issues it has. Even the dumbest guy in the world can blow a couple hundred nuyen (or just join a warez site) and instantly start hacking into anyone's commlink, stealing their entire lives away from them with painful ease. Spend a few hundred more (or revisit the site) and they can pretty much do it without getting caught or even noticed. There's absolutely no security at all available. Whatever defenses exist are easily outclassed by offensive options in order to facilitate gameplay. Even a Firewall 6 is a joke.

And the second spam started popping up whenever you were out walking around, people would start shutting their commlinks off for good and just go back to using a regular cellphone.
hobgoblin
i dunno, those hacking programs are restricted. And to get the right warez you need to know your way around.

hell, it would not surprise me of those warez-variants where stuffed with worms, either as a kind of leetness test (spot and remove them, and your someone in the know, if not, your script kiddie with dreams of power).
nezumi
Right. SR4 doesn't require any less suspension of disbelief than SR3 and, in fact, it's easier to 'update' SR3. Just ignore the weights and accept that wireless devices like we believe in exist, an internet like we use exists, etc. and decking stuff is only required for computer experts, not for normal users.
PBI
I stick with the 50s as written. My justification si that ASIST doesn't work via wireless, the connection is too unstable. Wireless is there, but no one uses it (why use a Tandy when you can have a modern machine?)
Karoline
Got to decrease the essence cost of a built-in cellphone though. Those things are crazy huge essence cost considering how tiny we already have them, and that most of the size requirements now-adays are more for the sake of being able to press keys than anything else.
Mercer
A good example of outdated SR3 tech would be the Pager, which is listed in the Electronics section even though at the time I was playing a lot of SR3 (say late 90's), I hadn't personally known anyone with a pager in years.

But then pagers actually had a very useful function in the system, since they couldn't be used to triangulate your position like cellphones; so it behooved paranoid characters (also known as "characters") to keep your cellphone off and use your pager.

Also, pocket secretaries should probably have a better concealability than the katana. Actually you could probably add 10 to the concealabilities of all electronics-- or ignore them altogether on the theory something designed to be usuable on your wrist is pretty easy and beyond that it's not really worth worrying about.
Malachi
I think my favourite "retro" moment was when I picked up a copy of Queen Euphoria because I was planning to convert it to SR4 and run it. In the description of the super luxurious building where Euphoria has her condo it talks about the store having a "fax" where all the super-rich stars can request the latest "newsfax" and have it brought up to them by a staff member. I was thinking, "Wow, a fax! And the super luxurious condo building has one of them! Woohoo!"

I don't think SR4 technology is not plausible because of security concerns. Have you driven around any city in NA these days and seen how many unsecured wireless networks exist? I mean Hackers wouldn't even need to hack to steal someone's identity. How many people still fall for "we ned to update ur account, plz senz us all your credit card numbers and passwrds"?
Brazilian_Shinobi
QUOTE (Karoline @ Nov 25 2009, 12:26 PM) *
Got to decrease the essence cost of a built-in cellphone though. Those things are crazy huge essence cost considering how tiny we already have them, and that most of the size requirements now-adays are more for the sake of being able to press keys than anything else.


Zoolander's cell phone?
hobgoblin
iirc, there was a last errata for SR3 that included a long list of consealability and cost modifications for electronics...
etherial
QUOTE (Mercer @ Nov 25 2009, 10:43 AM) *
A good example of outdated SR3 tech would be the Pager, which is listed in the Electronics section even though at the time I was playing a lot of SR3 (say late 90's), I hadn't personally known anyone with a pager in years.

But then pagers actually had a very useful function in the system, since they couldn't be used to triangulate your position like cellphones; so it behooved paranoid characters (also known as "characters") to keep your cellphone off and use your pager.

Also, pocket secretaries should probably have a better concealability than the katana. Actually you could probably add 10 to the concealabilities of all electronics-- or ignore them altogether on the theory something designed to be usuable on your wrist is pretty easy and beyond that it's not really worth worrying about.


I was talking to a doctor friend about his pager. Apparently, the technology is built for different purposes. For example, getting a signal through is far more reliable than with a cellphone.

QUOTE (Wikipedia)
They are the ideal solution for very quick, very reliable personal or group messaging. Unlike many other mobile communications networks, they continue to work in times of emergency or disaster as they do not suffer from network overload as has been proven many times (September 11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina). For this reason, they are still very popular with emergency service personnel, medical personnel, and information technology support staff.
Mercer
That's a good point etherial, although one would hope by 2050 cellphones would be more reliable.
Karoline
QUOTE (Mercer @ Nov 25 2009, 01:42 PM) *
That's a good point etherial, although one would hope by 2050 cellphones would be more reliable.


Doubtful wink.gif

The main problem with cellphone reliability is the number of towers in an area. But putting up more towers is expensive, so why should a company bother doing so? It works fine as is 99% of the time, so why spend millions for that 1% of the time when emergencies happen?

For instance, where I live, I get no bars with my verizon phone, even though they claim to have coverage basically everywhere. They'll never be motivated to build a new tower to cover me though, because it would cost them a fortune, and only be useful for a handful of customers. Even if everyone that lived in my area threatened to boycot verizon if they didn't build a new tower, they still wouldn't be all that motivated because the loss of revenue likely wouldn't be equal to the cost of a new tower.

With as money hungry as companies in SR are, I'd imagine this problem to be magnified even more. Especially if you are out in the barrens or something. They really don't care what kind of coverage you get out there.
Mercer
On the other hand, having a cellphone that works in the barrens is a major marketing point for people that don't want to get stranded in the barrens (which is everyone who doesn't live in the barrens). Likewise things like DocWagons bands operate on wireless technology, and the worse the neighborhood is the more you want things like that to work.

Cellphones are a relatively new technology. I would say the difference between phone technology today and 2050 should be roughly anagolous to the difference phone technology in 1960 and today. They probably won't work "like magic" but significant improvements don't seem unreasonable, especially since other technology (electronics, cybernetics and so on) have all advanced.
hobgoblin
the thing about pagers, is that most of them are one way. you will have to find some other way to respond to whatever the message is.

mobile phones are two way, and that means you have to get both ends to agree on who should talk when, and thats even more troublesome when you have one antenna at one end, and maybe 1000 at the other end (a really saturated cell).
3278
QUOTE (Karoline @ Nov 25 2009, 07:59 PM) *
The main problem with cellphone reliability is the number of towers in an area. But putting up more towers is expensive, so why should a company bother doing so? It works fine as is 99% of the time, so why spend millions for that 1% of the time when emergencies happen?

As long as we're speculating, I think probably by 2070 we're going to have complete, high-bandwidth coverage over most of the Earth's land surface, by one means or another; that's perhaps optimistic, but with technology, it usually pays to bet big. Certainly, we're not going to be using the current cell phone infrastructure, with its current range, capacity, frequency, and bandwidth limitations. And the commlink range limitations of SR4 will almost certainly appear laughable in 2070, as they do today.

The incentive for greater coverage and bandwidth is perhaps nowhere made more clear than in the recent Verizon vs ATT "There's a map for that" controversy. The trend is certainly upward in terms of capacity, range, and bandwidth, and that trend will continue for the foreseeable future. Yes, rural coverage is problematic, and will always lag behind urban coverage [and services], because, as you say, of customer density issues. But if you look at coverage 20 years ago, 10 years ago, and today, I think it's clear that coverage in 50 years will be extraordinary. And considering SR4's mesh network and miniaturization, rural communities could be serviced by a network of millions of low-range wireless routers built into roadside reflectors or installed atop telephone poles, with photovoltaic power. [Although in real life, I don't think that's quite the solution we'll be using.]

QUOTE (Mercer @ Nov 25 2009, 08:08 PM) *
Cellphones are a relatively new technology. I would say the difference between phone technology today and 2050 should be roughly anagolous to the difference phone technology in 1960 and today. They probably won't work "like magic" but significant improvements don't seem unreasonable, especially since other technology (electronics, cybernetics and so on) have all advanced.

In fact, the growth of technology is exponential, for precisely the reason you mention: because other technology also advances. The advancement in telecommunications in the last 50 years will be utterly dwarfed by those we will see in the next 50. The limiting factor will be resources available to pursue the technologies we develop; as more people achieve the first world's current level of technology, the resources our technology is founded on will be stretched increasingly thin. The ideal solution, from many perspectives, would be VITAS, although a much higher death toll would probably be extremely helpful.
Heath Robinson
Remember that SR4 tech works on a self-healing mesh. You don't have towers because other devices are routing nodes.

Look, I know that it is utterly alien to anything we have right now, but the fact is that the more mesh-enabled coffee-makers there are in your neighbourhood, the better your bandwidth is. The more wireless devices there are in your local area, the more throughput you have. Malls have awesome throughput because they have thousands of random wireless devices there every day. Really.

Okay, so if you still don't quite understand: each device is also a cell tower.
hobgoblin
one start to wonder where the signal gets buried in noise...

especially ones a techie kid figures out how to exploit the frequency/time sharing algorithms...

but thats a level of engineering that one really should not aspire to in SR-like games, as they become potentially unplayable unless everyone at the table is a EM engineer...
Stumps
QUOTE (Mercer @ Nov 25 2009, 03:43 PM) *
Also, pocket secretaries should probably have a better concealability than the katana. Actually you could probably add 10 to the concealabilities of all electronics-- or ignore them altogether on the theory something designed to be usuable on your wrist is pretty easy and beyond that it's not really worth worrying about.

I did away with the term and replaced them with only slightly future versions of the smart phones we see today...tada! Same thing...smaller box.


To the OP:
QUOTE (silva @ Nov 21 2009, 09:50 PM) *
My only concern with is that the 50s technologic milieu seems too old (and implausible) for todays standards.
So, what do you guys suggest? I thought about bringing the wireless world from the 70s to the 50s. And miniaturizing all electronic gears, along with cyberdecks too (palm-sized?).

Have some of you made this? Playing in the early 50s, but altering it in a way it doesnt sound too anachronic? Thanks!

Here's what I tell all players, regardless of the version of SR that I'm running:
"Shadowrun is best thought of as an alternative universe to this one; another path that might have been if J.R.R. Tolkein's Fantasy world truly existed and aged into what we would consider a 'modern' era. It's best not to think of it as a future of this world, but the future of Tolkein's world."

So the technology level doesn't really matter...because it's not our technology we're messing with.

It's another world's techology that we're messing with.
And in that world, some rather interesting approaches to similar ideas we have were done.

That's actually part of it's charm honestly.
Fuchs
We switched to SR4 tech ("It was always like that") in mid-game without switching to the SR4 timeline, so it's easily doable.
jgalak
I'm having the opposite problem - I'm trying to run some early modules (Harlequin 1 and 2, Corporate Punishment) under SR4. Most things are easy enough to adapt, but I'm having a much harder time with Matrix stuff. All the matrix sites are full of Red-6 this and orange-4 that, and I can't figure out how to convert that into SR4 terms. The fact that I never played SR3 and haven't touched SR2 in more than a decade doesn't help...

Suggestions?
kzt
QUOTE (Mercer @ Nov 25 2009, 12:08 PM) *
On the other hand, having a cellphone that works in the barrens is a major marketing point for people that don't want to get stranded in the barrens (which is everyone who doesn't live in the barrens).

The barrens isn't like the south side of Chicago, where people drive through it, or even Juarez. It's like Mogadishu. You don't go there unless you are willing and able to fight your way out of it without outside help. Nobody is coming to help you if your car breaks down, so you better have a plan for that. There might well be someone putting up a wireless network there, but it's for the people who live there. It might well work for you too, but with a catch. It's going to be cheap obsolete tech (though backwards compatible with current tech) and you need to realize that the people who run this network probably are willing to play nasty games with your calls to help out the people in the barrens that they need to keep happy.
kzt
QUOTE (Heath Robinson @ Nov 25 2009, 02:24 PM) *
Remember that SR4 tech works on a self-healing mesh. You don't have towers because other devices are routing nodes.

Look, I know that it is utterly alien to anything we have right now, but the fact is that the more mesh-enabled coffee-makers there are in your neighbourhood, the better your bandwidth is. The more wireless devices there are in your local area, the more throughput you have. Malls have awesome throughput because they have thousands of random wireless devices there every day. Really.

Okay, so if you still don't quite understand: each device is also a cell tower.

Except that they are cell towers that don't have a backhaul circuit to the PSTN or the Internet. Without that part you can't actually do anything except hack your neighbors coffee pot. Which has some charm, but limited utility.
Ol' Scratch
QUOTE (kzt @ Nov 26 2009, 11:05 AM) *
Except that they are cell towers that don't have a backhaul circuit to the PSTN or the Internet. Without that part you can't actually do anything except hack your neighbors coffee pot. Which has some charm, but limited utility.

Except the new Matrix completely gets rid of that concept. As he said, every device (not just commlink) is functionally a cell tower. You're connected to every device who's in range of you, and every device who's in range of them, and every device in range of them, and every device in range of them, all the way until nothing is in the range of anyone else. And if even one of them has an active Matrix connection (which the vast most of them do, but for arguments sake let's say only one does), so do you. And so does everyone else in range of you. In fact, the only ones that don't have a connection are likely commlinks as there's no real reason anyone needs to tell their coffee pot to go off the grid.

Towers (which most likely won't even look like a tower at all) and the like are simply massive signal repeaters for areas or regions with device populations too small to sustain that connectivity. Which is pretty rare anywhere in a Metroplex, including the Barrens.

What you think you know about today's technology means two things: Jack and Squat. This is the way the new Matrix works despite your protests to the contrary.
Heath Robinson
QUOTE (kzt @ Nov 26 2009, 05:05 PM) *
Except that they are cell towers that don't have a backhaul circuit to the PSTN or the Internet. Without that part you can't actually do anything except hack your neighbors coffee pot. Which has some charm, but limited utility.

Except that everything is available over the cell network, and you don't have to pay a provider (MSPs don't sell airtime, they sell convenience services).
Snow_Fox
Yeah I miss decks. It was great, you blast the bad guy's decker and scoop up something the size of a key board and head for the fixer, I mean pawn shop. sigh the days of grabing a Fairlight Excaliber. We had a munchkin once shot the decker with the most expesive toys, (NPC) just so he could sell the deck and pocket the change saying "Well the GM will get us another decker, right?" Don't ask what we did with the geek, just knpw there's one restaurant we NEVER dine at anymore.

I do miss Fuchi, the corp, we had a lot of contacts there and work between the divisions hating each other. We followed them through the various changes but I still miss the corp itslef.

a lot of SR tech is out there. I mean the original wrist phone with viewer was something like nuyen.gif 1,500. and that waas just a phone. What do we pay for a cell now that can connect with the internet, the I-phone? Which is almost a deck.

Mercer
QUOTE
The barrens isn't like the south side of Chicago, where people drive through it, or even Juarez. It's like Mogadishu.


I agree, except that it's like a Mogadishu located a few kilometers away. Or if you prefer, a Mogadishu located next to a Juarez next to the South Side next to Manhattan. Plus, "barrens" is kind of a blanket term meaning anything from the D zone you shouldn't go into after dark to the Z zones where gangers have anti-air missile capability.

That said, whether or not it's realistic, the "worst-case scenario" is a selling point, like those Brinks commercials that run non-stop on local television or that On*Star commercial with the baby in the car crusher. (Okay, that wasn't a commercial, but it would be a good one.)
kzt
QUOTE (Mercer @ Nov 26 2009, 10:39 AM) *
That said, whether or not it's realistic, the "worst-case scenario" is a selling point, like those Brinks commercials that run non-stop on local television

One of those stupid "the alarm goes off and the bad guys run away!" commercials? Ignoring that the cops won't be there for >15 minutes 95% of the time, and likely 30-45 minutes and possibly hours. Of course I did had a band of morons spend 45 minutes breaking into the house, do >$2000 in damage breaking the back door, then just leave (taking only a $150 dewalt drill) when they finally popped the door and the alarm went off, so sometimes it works.
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