Billy Brown (
Mon, 12 Apr 1999 10:41:00 -0500

Michael S. Lorrey wrote:
> One thing I haven't noticed with nanotech research is that
> nobody has yet developed a normal scale universal assembler,
> not to mention one that can replicate itself. From what I've
> seen, all nanotech companies are trying to build the final
> generation at the nanoscale first, which seems awfully
> bassackwards to me. Thats tantamount to having an R&D project
> during WWII to build a Pentium III chip. I say build a human
> scale assembler, that you can program to create any item
> wanted (especially items larger than itself), and then
> develop an assembler that can not only do that but replicate
> itself. Once this is achieved, work on making successive
> generations smaller until you get to the nano scale..

Making a macro-scale general-purpose assembler would be inherently far more difficult than making a nano-scale device to do the same thing. The difference is that the nano-scale device is working in a universe of standardized parts (i.e. atoms), whereas the macro-scale device has to handle an essentially infinite variety of parts (i.e. any possible arrangement of atoms).

Billy Brown, MCSE+I