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  1. #1
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    Default Quaternary Program Coding

    Requires: Mechanism for reading, writing, copying, and moving code where each bit has 4 states (0-3).

    Tag! You're it.
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  2. #2
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    DNA does it in living cells. Can we do it electro-mechanically, or can it only work as a 3D bio-mechanical system?
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  3. #3
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    Off the top of my head, I'd say it could be implemented as a layer of abstraction on top of binary, even a physical layer if that's what you're going for. Each quaternary byte would be composed of two binary bytes.

    A more direct approach might be possible with fiber-optic computing. I don't know squat about how it works except that it's based on light, so maybe you could use four colors.

  4. #4
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    Composing a quaternary byte from two binary bytes, or a quaternary bit from two binary bits, would work as a simulation. However, it would result in compiled code that is twice as long as need be, at least. Still, a simulation of this type would be nice to work with to suss out coding until we get a physical platform.

    Four colors = four frequencies. This could work for the four switch states.

    DNA makes this work with shapes, mostly.

    Any other ideas for a four-state switch?
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  5. #5
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    Default Where are all the nerds???

    Seriously. Is there no one else with input on the subject?

    We have DNA as a prime example of quaternary code, and no one else here has anything to contribute re simulation, fault tolerance, reverse engineering, analysis of how this code was designed and written?

    Within this context, how many bits to a byte, bytes to a word, etc.?

    Can we separate sequences out into commands and data, just like assembly?
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  6. #6

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    I'm not really certain about what you are attempting to accomplish.

    If you want to build a physical implementation, use a double-pole, double-throw electromechanical relay as your "bit". DPDT relays are fairly cheap and widely available. For working out the logistics, you can hook a ton of those up in series or parallel to start building your AND, NAND, OR and NOR gates. That will give you the basics of a working "quaternary" system. From there it's only a matter of endless wiring and lots of napkin drawings. I know it's not "code" in a modern sense, but the logic will be the same.

    A more "codey" approach, following your four lights analogy, would be to use an RGB array structure with designated values of state. Why RGB? Well, there are already hundreds of algorithms for manipulating those which would probably come in handy. You could get freaky complex with transforms that way.

    If you're looking more for a theoretical approach, quantum computing has solved most of the maths and logic involved in working with n-state bits.

    As I said, I don't really know what you're asking so I may be way off base here.

    Best of luck!
    The newest computer can merely compound, at speed, the oldest problem in the relations between human beings, and in the end the communicator will be confronted with the old problem, of what to say and how to say it. - Edward R. Murrow (1964)

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