A computer is a machine which manipulates data according to a set of instructions. In the Fallout universe, computers range from simple terminals to an Automated Personality (AP) to full blown Artificial Intelligence (AI).
One of the major effects of the timeline divergence is that instead of working to develop supercomputers and miniaturized electronics (in the process creating the first semiconductor, the transistor, in 1947), post-World War II humanity in the Fallout universe invested its technological efforts in further harnessing the atom and robotics.
As a result, computers are far clunkier than the ones in our world and most still use monochromatic, text-based displays. The personal computer was never developed due to these limitations on compactness, and all computers exist as large mainframes which can take up whole rooms. The users access them via terminals. Nonetheless, some mainframes are highly advanced in terms of processing power, such as those capable of running an artificial intelligence.
It should be noted, however, that typical 80's/90's desktop computers are seen as map props in Fallout 1 and 2.
An Automated Personality refers to a computer or a robot created with specific skills and having an automated personality able to speak but only on a preprogrammed set of responses keyed to certain inputs atop a standard operating system. They are not able to have logical deduction and reasoning and are less advanced and different to a complex AI computer. An example of an AP would be in the The Sink in Big MT and appeared only in the Fallout: New Vegas add-on, Old World Blues.
In colloquial parlance, Artificial Intelligence refers to a computer or a robot that is "self-aware" - it is capable of not only logical deduction, reasoning and communicating, but knows of its own existence, the possibility of its own mortality (and immortality), and possesses creativity, desire, and, in many cases, emotion. Several AIs have appeared in the Fallout games.
List of computers in the Fallout gamesEdit
- Pip-Boy 2000 (Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout Tactics)
- Terminal (Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout 3, and Fallout: New Vegas)
- Pip-Boy 3000 (Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas)
- Lil' Pip 3000 (Van Buren)
- Super PIP Boy (Van Buren)
- Biological research station
- Blind Diode Jefferson
- Book Chute
- Light Switch 01
- Light Switch 02
- Sink Auto-Doc
- Sink Central Intelligence Unit
- ZAX 1.2 (Fallout)
- ACE (Fallout 2)
- Skynet (Fallout 2)
- John Henry Eden (Fallout 3)
- Harkness (Fallout 3)
- Armitage (Fallout 3)
- M.A.R.Go.T. (Broken Steel add-on)
- Jane (Fallout: New Vegas)
- Mr. New Vegas (Fallout: New Vegas)
- Yes Man (Fallout: New Vegas)
- Victor (Fallout: New Vegas)
- Calculator (Fallout Tactics)
- CALIX (Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel)
- ODYSSEUS (Van Buren)
- ZAX at Boulder Dome (Van Buren)
- ZAX-29 (Van Buren)
- Journal-It Software
- Softlock Solutions, Inc. - locking software
- Robco Trespasser Management System
- Reign of Grelok [beta]
- Unified Operating System
- Robco Termlink (terminal BIOS firmware)