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Biocomputing

One of the defining features of near-future games is the ubiquity of computers. Many adventures center around so-called "net runs," intrusions into secure computer networks by talented hackers with cutting-edge equipment. Biotech computers can take the place of traditional electronics, and may make elements of cyberpunk worlds more feasible.

The first step to biocomputing is the inclusion of vatbrain computers (GURPS Biotech, p. 28). Bigger and more power-hungry than traditional computers, vatbrain computers have the benefit of mimicking the human brain, running sapient software more efficiently. This leads to more prevalent AI, with human-level volitional intelligences running on expensive microframes at TL9 and portables by TL10. At TL10, sponge computers become feasible, eliminating the bulky life-support equipment of vatbrains. By TL11, sponge computers can be ingested and grown inside the human body, replacing computer implants and puppet implants.

Below are some sample biocomputers that represent basic units in a biotech setting.

House Brain (TL9): This computer is a cube about 18 inches on a side designed to coordinate the domestic operations of an average home. Its vatbrain core is powerful enough to run an IQ 8 non-volitional AI with Housekeeping-12, which comes pre-installed. Users control the system by voice command; the computer is networked to microphones and speakers throughout the home. The house brain is Complexity 5 and stores 100 TB. $6,800, 10 lbs., 2C/10 hrs. or external power. LC3.

Vatbook (TL9): This portable computer is about the size of a thin hardback book and features a touch-sensitive video skin display. It is soft and slightly warm to the touch, even when powered down. The vatbook comes equipped with a cable jack, a microcommunicator, and a removable datachip drive.  It is Complexity 4 and stores 10 TB. $210, 1.05 lbs., 3A/10 hr. LC3.

Neural Interface

The second necessary component of cyberpunk gear to be replaced with biotech is the neural interface implant. This electronic device connects a living brain to a computer system, allowing operation at the speed of thought. Using biotronic components such as smart sensors, a biocomputer can interface with other biocomputers, with traditional electronics, or even with a living brain that has been properly modified.

Bio-neural Interface (TL9)

This biomod enables the brain to accept input from a smart sensor implanted in the skin (usually under the hairline at the back of the head). By attaching a corresponding smart sensor and an optical cable, the character can communicate with computers and other equipment that can accept a cable link.
Operation: $15,000 (one week recovery). LC3.
Statistics: Cable Jack (Sensie, +80%) [9]. 9 points.

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