random ponderings of post-apocalyptic worlds.

Am i right in thinking that there's no reasonable way that folks would be able to build replacement batteries powerful enough to run a laptop for any useful amount of time without first rebuilding industry?

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@masukomi I think building batteries would be difficult, but scavenging some could be fine. Also rigging up a small solar panel would easily allow a Raspberry Pi to run. Something like a kindle could run for weeks with very little energy. Biggest issue would be networking and software, as no internet/app-store.

@Yello @masukomi If this (problematic on many levels) project had had more success, your question would hit different.

@ChrisHouhoulis @Yello how so? I mean the battery in those will eventually die meekly or dramatically.

If we assume there’s an apocalypse, what options do we have to keep computers running in 100yrs? Power cords run to bicycles or dams through a power regulator?

I think options like that are our only option and the bikes one is dangerous to the, now precious computer, if the power dips

@masukomi @Yello good point, you are right. I was only thinking about recharging, not dying (as batteries will)

@masukomi @Yello Multiple bicyclists through a regulator should be mostly fine, but over decades it'd be a potential failure point

@masukomi @Yello moving water to a higher point against gravity and then drawing power from it as if through a dam is an actual technology now

@ChrisHouhoulis @Yello I think, that this is probably one of the best options, but unfortunately I just realized there’s a secondary electrical problem with the keeping computers alive over the long term: capacitors. The problem with capacitors, is that they eventually explode just like batteries, although less impressively.

if you leave a computer sitting around long enough it will eventually quasi-self destruct as the capacitors eventually burst

@ChrisHouhoulis @Yello and that brings us right back to the problem of needing complicated multi step processes involving chemical and mechanical … industry.

@masukomi @ChrisHouhoulis on one hand, I would hope that if mankind had a hundred years, they could rebuild quite a bit, maybe even do some development beyond the potato battery with lead and acid instead. Depends a bit how much infrastructure is left and how many people are there. If there is a Benjamin Franklin around it might be quite fast (he died only 230 years ago)

@Yello @ChrisHouhoulis

I think it depends on the level of devestation. with regards to Ben Franklin, he was already in an industrial world. So...

a little research has revealed that you can, in fact, create a capacitor and transistor out of stuff you'd easily be able to scrap so, if you had a group of people who preserved the knowledge you could keep computers alive.

also, you could build new radios. Think WWII foxhole radios

@Yello @ChrisHouhoulis

the next problem would be powering a big transmitter but @ChrisHouhoulis already pointed to Dams, and storing power via the motion of heavy objects.

Given the value of radio communication, AND the number of Ham Radio geeks in the world, I think it's realistic to say that if humans continued to exist in any notable numbers, radio would probably never die before the next industrial revolution.

@Yello @ChrisHouhoulis

So, now I'm wondering what the implications are on a functionally medieval tech level that we'd be mostly thrown back to, BUT with pervasive long-distance communication?

and then, once i wrap my head around that, what happens when you throw magic into the mix?

@Yello Solar panels aren’t a long term option. They dramatically degrade in output on the after a few decades. They’re dramatically effected by weather and season, and… most importantly you need a battery to store the output.

So, given the discussion of creating replacement batteries, they’re a non-starter.

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