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We're about to turn Moebius Squared in, so I thought I'd share a little piece with you -- in which the modern (post-Continuum) team plus Jack plan a little jaunt into the past!



Daniel shook his head. "Ok, they unburied the gate and dialed out. What, it was open for a few hours in several hundred years? There's no way we can know exactly when."

"Actually, maybe there is," Carter said, looking down the table, and that was his regularly scheduled Carter, always coming up with a technical solution. "At any given moment most of the Stargates in the galaxy are inoperable. We found that out back in the first year of the program. If you just randomly dial gate addresses out of a database, less than fifty percent will connect. Now, some of those are gates that are permanently offline, destroyed or inoperable for one reason or another, and some of them are busy. The gate is already being used, and that's especially true of worlds that have a lot of traffic. It may take sixty or seventy repeats to get through because somebody is always dialing in or dialing out."

"Like trying to call the cable company," Jack huffed.

"Exactly like, sir," Carter said.

"Daniel Jackson has used the telephone analogy before," Teal'c said.

"It's exactly like a phone." Carter turned to Daniel. "So what do you do if you need to call someone, but their line is always busy? You know they have to get off the phone sometime, but you don't know when. Especially if you have a lot of numbers you have to call."

"Leave a voice mail?" Mitchell suggested.

Daniel sat up straighter. "You use a predictive dialer."

"Ok, kids," Jack said. "What's a predictive dialer?"

"It's a program you use for phonebanking or telemarketing, sir," Carter said. "It dials dozens or even hundreds of numbers at once, and then only puts through to the live operators the ones that get a connection. That way you don't waste time having your employees dial numbers that are inoperable."

"It's that little click click click on the line you get when a creditor is calling you," Daniel said helpfully. "That way you can hang up before they put a live person on and they'll think it was a bad connection."

Jack blinked. He wasn't generally pursued by creditors. After all, he'd had a steady salary since 1973, give or take the year he was retired, and he was the kind of guy who paid all his bills on the fifteenth of the month, every month.

Carter looked like she was trying not to smile. "Because if you don't say anything their computer can't recognize that the call wasn't dropped."

"Oh, hey, my car loan does that all the time," Mitchell said. "I didn't realize what that was."

"Same with Bloomingdales," Vala said, patting his knee.

"My college loans can't tell," Daniel said. "They've got that dialer turned up so high they can't tell if they've got a live person or not."

Mitchell blinked. "I didn't know your college loans were chasing you."

"Yeah well, your rich Uncle Sam may have paid for your school, but I still owe nearly $30,000 on my doctorate." Daniel shrugged. "I figure I'll have it paid off by the time I'm sixty."

"Can we focus here?" Jack said.

"Sorry, sir," Carter said, though of course it hadn't been her being the peanut gallery. "My point is that Baal's device must have a predictive dialer program. Otherwise it would spend a huge amount of time and memory displaying inoperable functions." Jack opened his mouth, but she was right ahead of him. "It would waste resources displaying inoperable gates. It seems to display the options available at any given moment, calculating the gate that would need to be dialed and the temporal deviation caused by any one of a dozen possibilities. For example, the wormhole passing through a single solar flare could have a dozen different outcomes depending on which gate beyond it the wormhole was connecting with. These are immensely complex and memory intensive calculations. There is no reason to do hundreds of extraneous ones every few minutes when you can eliminate the unworkable ones with something as simple and low tech as a predictive dialing program."

Jack nodded slowly. "So you're saying you should be able to use Baal's device to tell when Earth's Stargate was operable?"

Carter nodded. "It should work, sir. Essentially, it's like having a predictive dialing program call your phone every thirty seconds until you pick up."

"My car loan does that too," Mitchell said to Daniel under his breath.

"I thought that was illegal," Daniel said.

Jack gave them a quelling look.

"It is," Carter said.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
ssagey
Jul. 5th, 2011 05:14 am (UTC)
they are so entertaining...
and looking forward to the book more and more
thanks for sharing with us...
hugs
jo_graham
Jul. 5th, 2011 03:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I hope you like it!
aeryn_b
Oct. 13th, 2012 11:30 pm (UTC)
Just like the show. :) Tech that needs Sam to explain it, but needs Daniel, Jack, and now Cam and Vala to dumb it down for the rest of us. ;) Great job! Can't wait 'til it comes out. :D
jo_graham
Oct. 14th, 2012 10:29 am (UTC)
I'm glad you like it! After all, time travel is just like telemarketing! ;)
aeryn_b
Oct. 14th, 2012 04:24 pm (UTC)
LOL! And now your LJ cut title makes sense. *shakes head* I can be an idiot at times.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )