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What is a gas-powered computer?

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What is a gas-powered computer?

Old 05-11-20, 05:48 AM
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What is a gas-powered computer?

I don't have a whole lot of detail about this because I came across this idea about 20 years ago and have had other things to occupy my mind in the interim. I used to work for a company that produced online educational content and one course (I honestly don't remember what it was about) mentioned 'gas-powered computers'. Again, this is an online course we're talking about, not some Steampunk or Dieselpunk fanfic.

I never did get a chance to ask the author of the course what the hell he was talking about...he buggered off or the course was dropped or something like that. So I was left wondering about that phrase for years.

I had forgotten about 'gas-powered computers' until I stumbled upon a Quora thread where someone suggested plugging a computer into a gas generator for portable computing. (Buying a laptop, smartphone, or tablet would seem to be an easier solution in my book.) But that's a regular computer the guy was talking about; it still runs on electricity, only the power source is gas-dependent.

Thanks to that Quora post, I'm back to wondering about what a gas-powered computer is. Any guesses/thoughts/theories?
Old 05-11-20, 08:44 AM
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re: What is a gas-powered computer?

The only practical "gas powered" computer I can think of is one with a battery that can be charged by a gas powered generator.

Gasoline releases energy too fast to be practical to use directly.
Old 05-11-20, 09:01 AM
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re: What is a gas-powered computer?

If there is such a thing, a lot of people appear to be using them these days. Gasbags, I mean to say. Interestingly, they're the people who simultaneously talk about how they're "not going to live in fear" but who are terribly, terribly afraid that they'll never be able to get their hair cut or go to the beach again.
Old 05-11-20, 09:25 AM
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re: What is a gas-powered computer?

Old 05-11-20, 09:31 AM
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re: What is a gas-powered computer?

Some type of coolant? Like using freon to keep the insides cool?
Old 05-11-20, 12:23 PM
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Re: What is a gas-powered computer?

Originally Posted by L Everett Scott View Post
I don't have a whole lot of detail about this because I came across this idea about 20 years ago and have had other things to occupy my mind in the interim. I used to work for a company that produced online educational content and one course (I honestly don't remember what it was about) mentioned 'gas-powered computers'. Again, this is an online course we're talking about, not some Steampunk or Dieselpunk fanfic.

I never did get a chance to ask the author of the course what the hell he was talking about...he buggered off or the course was dropped or something like that. So I was left wondering about that phrase for years.

I had forgotten about 'gas-powered computers' until I stumbled upon a Quora thread where someone suggested plugging a computer into a gas generator for portable computing. (Buying a laptop, smartphone, or tablet would seem to be an easier solution in my book.) But that's a regular computer the guy was talking about; it still runs on electricity, only the power source is gas-dependent.

Thanks to that Quora post, I'm back to wondering about what a gas-powered computer is. Any guesses/thoughts/theories?
How about those freaky Boston Scientific robotic animals that run. They ues gas engines to power the hydraulics and probably generate electricity for onboard control computers.
Old 05-11-20, 03:04 PM
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Re: What is a gas-powered computer?

I've never hooked up my computer to our gas generator, it doesn't sound like a good idea, you'd probably need a lot of protection for your computer due to the nature of the power source. Same would go for any sensitive electronics. A fridge or freezer, sure, but a computer?

Old 05-11-20, 04:03 PM
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Re: What is a gas-powered computer?

I would do it if it was an inverter generator, though I'd also put a small UPS between the generator and the computer to give me time to shutdown in case I ran out of gas.
Old 05-11-20, 04:18 PM
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Re: What is a gas-powered computer?

When I was in the military we had all of our equipment hooked up to a building-wide UPS but it only lasted 3 minutes. However as soon as it kicked in the gas powered generator housed in it's own building behind ours would come to life and that could power the building for hours. It would take about a minute to speed up all the way and the power shifting was seamless. I had to go out there every month and run it for 30 minutes and put fresh gas in it. It always freaked me out to pour gas into it while it was running but it was built for that. And it was so loud! Horribly gratingly loud.
Old 05-11-20, 06:23 PM
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Re: What is a gas-powered computer?

Originally Posted by cultshock View Post
I've never hooked up my computer to our gas generator, it doesn't sound like a good idea, you'd probably need a lot of protection for your computer due to the nature of the power source. Same would go for any sensitive electronics. A fridge or freezer, sure, but a computer?
I do this all the time when we have a blackout. The computer is on a UPS, but not the other electronics. It is an inverter generator, but everybody seems happy playing together.
Old 05-14-20, 06:10 PM
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Re: What is a gas-powered computer?

Cars have computers and run on gas! Mind blown.

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