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Could 8th Fleet Have Attacked the Haven System?

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Re: Could 8th Fleet Have Attacked the Haven System?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:32 pm

ThinksMarkedly
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Jonathan_S wrote:Speaking of wrong units; there are a couple spots where RFC got himself out by two orders of magnitude on a missile's acceleration by using KPS^2 when it should have been gees. :D


Those are forgivable for two reasons:

First, they have no impact on the plot and you can readily see what was meant. We don't suddenly have missiles with 100x better performance than anyone else and then they don't exist any more. It's clearly a unit problem, same with that other author. That's unlike the problems that happen in other, less careful works, like the Enterprise travelling to the centre of the Galaxy in 19.6 hours, while it would take Voyager 90 years later more than 30 years to make the same journey.

Second, you can often blame the character for misspeaking. It's not David (the narrator) who got it wrong, it was the character! I was reading Apocalypse Troll yesterday and there's one point where a character is saying they'd detected a signal at 55 degrees of longitude north and 120 degrees of latitude west. That's clearly wrong (and yes, it stood out to me!): latitudes are north and south, longitudes are east and west. But other than swapping the names, the numbers do fit with the story and you can forgive the sergeant for that mistake in the heat of the moment of reporting to the colonel that they'd just seen something that wasn't supposed to be there.

The other moment that stood out was when the direction of something was given in azimuth / elevation and the elevation was more than 90° (it was more than 180° actually, I think it was 290). That makes no sense as we understand azimuth / elevation, but given that they have multidimensional scanning, I had to brush it off.
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Re: Could 8th Fleet Have Attacked the Haven System?
Post by cthia   » Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:44 am

cthia
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Jonathan_S wrote:
ThinksMarkedly wrote:The spreadsheet came only after joining the Forum and with all the discussions here. David is amazingly consistent and we know he does write using spreadsheets, so you can bet that he got the math right (ok, sometimes there are exceptions).
Same. After you've read the series a bunch of times and start arguing over minutia it's time to start digging deeper and crunching some numbers :D
ThinksMarkedly wrote:But I can't help if I make calculations while I read. I can't help counting... I counted the number of loops in an extension cord I rolled up today as I was rolling it. Though usually this is about egregious errors, like getting things orders of magnitude off (which happens when they get their units wrong). Another author I like and who otherwise writes really well keeps using "megameters" (1 million meters) where I think she meant "gigameters" (1 million km).
Speaking of wrong units; there are a couple spots where RFC got himself out by two orders of magnitude on a missile's acceleration by using KPS^2 when it should have been gees. :D



Oddly despite one flipping between gees and KPS^2 only 9 words apart I don't remember bumping on it while reading AoV. (The other was in SftS). I found them much, much, later when cataloging all the missile performance numbers I could find in support of something I was posting about here several years ago. When recording them into a spreadsheet and converting so they're all presented uniformly the wrong units finally jumped out.

Still, despite the occasional mistake he's really good about keeping things consistent compared to many authors I've read. (And that's why it can be fun to dig into those background details that managed to avoid getting covered in one of his tech infodumps)

Well, you certainly shouldn't threaten your first read thru with a slide-rule. However, there are those of us who are guilty of much more unforgivable transgressions, like forsaking the age-old turning of pages for a digital copy.

But I, personally, will never be able to adopt a spreadsheet as a companion even on successive reads. It gets in the way of enjoyment. Besides, the author is the only schmuck who has to do that, because it is his job, and his responsibility to get it right in the first place. And what are your options if you detect problems, write your "do nothing Congress?" Or do you say to yourself, well, we know what the author was intending. In the case of actually changing units midstream, I'd chalk that up to the pitfalls of editing. I'd wonder what passages may or may not have been removed or rewritten.

But for the most part, I'd be much too afraid of using a spreadsheet. The danger of that is too severe, like, well, turning into my sister whose particular detail-oriented mind abhors Sci-Fi. Or perhaps a near savant-like mind simply can't turn that particular routine off.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Could 8th Fleet Have Attacked the Haven System?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:30 am

Jonathan_S
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cthia wrote:Well, you certainly shouldn't threaten your first read thru with a slide-rule. However, there are those of us who are guilty of much more unforgivable transgressions, like forsaking the age-old turning of pages for a digital copy.

But I, personally, will never be able to adopt a spreadsheet as a companion even on successive reads. It gets in the way of enjoyment. Besides, the author is the only schmuck who has to do that, because it is his job, and his responsibility to get it right in the first place. And what are your options if you detect problems, write your "do nothing Congress?" Or do you say to yourself, well, we know what the author was intending. In the case of actually changing units midstream, I'd chalk that up to the pitfalls of editing. I'd wonder what passages may or may not have been removed or rewritten.

But for the most part, I'd be much too afraid of using a spreadsheet. The danger of that is too severe, like, well, turning into my sister whose particular detail-oriented mind abhors Sci-Fi. Or perhaps a near savant-like mind simply can't turn that particular routine off.

Fair enough. And to each his own.

Though I'm not applying spreadsheets in order to find errors, I'm using them to try to reverse engineer some of the underlying rules within the Honorverse so they can
a) be applied to hypothetical situations. (e.g. How long would that transit lock down the wormhole?; or how fast could a ship of that size accelerate?) or
b) find hidden indications of relative technological capability that may not have been highlighted yet in the books. (Like finding that the SLN - for all we decry them as technologically backwards - actually had more capable missile drives than Manticore; so if they ever figure out the "baffle" their MDMs will have more acceleration and range than the Mk23)

Doing the number crunching also highlighted that a) CLACs have a "fatter" length to beam ratio that other warships and have slightly lower acceleration than you'd expect for their listed tonnage. (Which led me to ask Tom Pope of BuNine about it and he said that yes, they've a less efficient hull form and that does make their compensatory field shape that slight bit less efficient.

I find that a cool thing to find/know; even if it may never make it into an discussion in the books.



Also, because House of Steel turns out to have gone with the original design specs for the ships (except when otherwise noted) and because compensators were improving so rapidly, by crunching a ship's acceleration numbers you can actually see which classes were delayed between design and commission because they were originally designed with an older generation compensator; compared to other ships commissioning that year.

So I find that applying spreadsheets to have enhanced my enjoyment of this series. (Though I still very much enjoy simply rereading the series normally; rather than searching through it to fill out a spreadsheet)
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Re: Could 8th Fleet Have Attacked the Haven System?
Post by Fox2!   » Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:19 pm

Fox2!
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Location: Huntsville, AL

ThinksMarkedly wrote:
The other moment that stood out was when the direction of something was given in azimuth / elevation and the elevation was more than 90° (it was more than 180° actually, I think it was 290). That makes no sense as we understand azimuth / elevation, but given that they have multidimensional scanning, I had to brush it off.


If a mechanical tracker has an azimuth limit of, say, 270 degrees to 090 degrees, it may be able to look at the area from 090 to 270 degrees by looking over its back. This could give you a mechanical elevation of more than 90 degrees, depending on how it's encoded at the pedestal. The azimuth and elevation would be displayed as the conventional 0 to 360 degrees az, 0 to 90 degrees el, rather than the "real" 270 to 90 deg az, 91 to 180 deg el.
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