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"One can see the free software movement as a precusor for a "free hardware" or "free wetware" movement--one that will provide free libraries of designs for biological or nanotechnological products that replicators can be programmed to churn out."
- Charles Stross

Palm Plate  
  A device that scanned for a palm print prior to opening a door.  

Nyeeda, the personal secretary to the Matriarch who administered all of Earth, wanted access to Comain, the supercomputer that provided predictions and instructions. Not everyone was provided with unrestricted access to Comain, however.

An elevator carried Nyeeda deep into the heart of the building and she left the cage at a point three hundred feet below sea level. A metamen, its scanning eyes flaring with ruby light, stepped before her, then, as she gave the password, stood aside and let her pass. A short passage opened into a wide area, and crossing it, the girl pressed her palm against a sensitised plate sunken into the wall beside the thin slit of a closed door. Machinery hummed as the lines of her palm registered on the plate, and, the pattern tripping electronic relays, the door slid smoothly to one side, exposing a small chamber.
From The Mechanical Monarch, by E.C. Tubb.
Published by Ace Books in 1958
Additional resources -

The palm plate is an early description of what we would today call a biometric identification system.

Compare to the palm lock from Dune (1965) by Frank Herbert.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Mechanical Monarch
  More Ideas and Technology by E.C. Tubb
  Tech news articles related to The Mechanical Monarch
  Tech news articles related to works by E.C. Tubb

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