Latest By

Artificial Intelligence
Data Storage
Input Devices
Living Space
Space Tech
Virtual Person

"In my mind I have gone all over the universe, which may make it less important for me to make piddling little trips... I did enjoy seeing Stonehenge. It looked exactly the way I thought it would look."
- Isaac Asimov

  Errors introduced in data storage media when recording under improper conditions.  

This phenomenon (on computer tape drives and disk drives) was probably known by the time Dick wrote the novel, but he makes epic use of it.

In this scene, Fred is watching holographic surveillance data and notices a problem.

And then, as Fred watched, Connie's hard features melted and faded into softness, and into Donna Hawthorne's face...

Standing, Fred walked into the holo-cube, into the three-dimensional projection, and stood close to the bed to scrutinize the girl's face.

Halfway between, he decided. Still half Connie; already half Donna...

...maybe it's a visual interruption or breakdown electronically, he pondered. What they call printing. Holo-printing: from one section of the tape storage to another. If the tape sits too long, if the recording gain was too high initially, it prints across. Jeez, he though. It printed Donna across from a previous or later scene, maybe from the living room.

From A Scanner Darkly, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Not Known in 1977
Additional resources -

It's interesting to compare what Philip K. Dick describes in the novel with actual software used to retrieve images from damaged hard drives. This from a document on using Symantec Norton Ghost:

Incorrect operation and use of the Ghosting programs may lead to very serious consequences, as the data previously held on the hard disk that is to receive the image will often be completely overwritten. This is not always the case though, as sometimes the disk receiving the image may be considerably larger than the original disk. Ghosting to a disk of this type will almost certainly destroy the file system and root directory structure but some of the data that was previously on the hard disk may still be recoverable. Other problems exist too, such as Ghosting in the wrong direction, unexpected program termination or system crash...

In the novel, Dick finishes manipulating the reader by having Fred continue watching the hologram. Arctor watches Donna sleeping, then watches her face turn into Connie's. It was not technical interference.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from A Scanner Darkly
  More Ideas and Technology by Philip K. Dick
  Tech news articles related to A Scanner Darkly
  Tech news articles related to works by Philip K. Dick

Articles related to Computer
Illustris: The Next Generation Of Universe Simulation
Atomristors - Atomic Memristors - Using Thin Nanomaterials
RNA-Based Biocomputing Device
Loihi Chip Mimics Human Brain's Neurons And Synapses

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.





Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.





More News

Save Your Brain's Connectome, Upload Yourself Elsewhere
'You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?'

TMS Decreases Belief In God, Increases Belief In Immigrants
'... setting up the same currents, the same basic ideas, in them all.'

Loomo Mini Transporter Robot Companion You Ride On
'Slowly the [robot] horse raised its head, wiggled its ears, blinked twice, gave a tentative whinny.'

Soft Robotics - Now With 3D Printed Sensors!
'A series of chemelectric afferent nerve-analogues, which permitted it to gauge to an ounce the amount of pressure necessary to snap a bone...'

AI Tool Lynx Insight And The Cybernetic Newsroom
'The structure,... was once a great homeostatic newspaper, the New York Times. It printed itself directly below us...'

Espresso Telescope Searches For Exoplanets
'These instruments were the wonderful ones our astronomers had perfected.'

Dune Fans! Metal-Organic Frameworks Make Science Fiction Real
'Dew collectors,' he muttered, enchanted by the simple beauty of such a scheme.

Manned Maneuvering Unit From 1984
'The glittering little rocket bolted to the black iron behind him.'

Astronaut Gets Younger In Space
'So what we're looking for now is not an antibiotic - an anti-life drug - but an anti-agathic, an anti-death drug...'

Blockchain Used To Verify Election Results
'Any adult could punch into the phone his or her code, followed by a yes or no.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise | - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.