A computing platform or digital platform is the environment in which a piece of software is executed. It may be the hardware or the operating system a web browser and associated application programming interfaces, or other underlying software, as long as the program code is executed with it. Computing platforms have different abstraction levels, including a computer architecture, an OS, or runtime libraries. A computing platform is the stage. A platform can be seen both as a constraint on the software development process, in that different platforms provide different functionality and restrictions. For example, an OS may be a platform that abstracts the underlying differences in hardware and provides a generic command for saving files or accessing the network. Platforms may include: Hardware alone, in the case of small embedded systems. Embedded systems can access hardware directly, without an OS. A browser in the case of web-based software; the browser itself runs on a hardware+OS platform, but this is not relevant to software running within the browser.
An application, such as a spreadsheet or word processor, which hosts software written in an application-specific scripting language, such as an Excel macro. This can be extended to writing fully-fledged applications with the Microsoft Office suite as a platform. Software frameworks. Cloud computing and Platform as a Service. Extending the idea of a software framework, these allow application developers to build software out of components that are hosted not by the developer, but by the provider, with internet communication linking them together; the social networking sites Twitter and Facebook are considered development platforms. A virtual machine such as the Java virtual machine or. NET CLR. Applications are compiled into a format similar to machine code, known as bytecode, executed by the VM. A virtualized version of a complete system, including virtualized hardware, OS, storage; these allow, for instance, a typical Windows program to run on. Some architectures have multiple layers, with each layer acting as a platform to the one above it.
In general, a component only has to be adapted to the layer beneath it. For instance, a Java program has to be written to use the Java virtual machine and associated libraries as a platform but does not have to be adapted to run for the Windows, Linux or Macintosh OS platforms. However, the JVM, the layer beneath the application, does have to be built separately for each OS. AmigaOS, AmigaOS 4 FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD IBM i Linux Microsoft Windows OpenVMS Classic Mac OS macOS OS/2 Solaris Tru64 UNIX VM QNX z/OS Android Bada BlackBerry OS Firefox OS iOS Embedded Linux Palm OS Symbian Tizen WebOS LuneOS Windows Mobile Windows Phone Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless Cocoa Cocoa Touch Common Language Infrastructure Mono. NET Framework Silverlight Flash AIR GNU Java platform Java ME Java SE Java EE JavaFX JavaFX Mobile LiveCode Microsoft XNA Mozilla Prism, XUL and XULRunner Open Web Platform Oracle Database Qt SAP NetWeaver Shockwave Smartface Universal Windows Platform Windows Runtime Vexi Ordered from more common types to less common types: Commodity computing platforms Wintel, that is, Intel x86 or compatible personal computer hardware with Windows operating system Macintosh, custom Apple Inc. hardware and Classic Mac OS and macOS operating systems 68k-based PowerPC-based, now migrated to x86 ARM architecture based mobile devices iPhone smartphones and iPad tablet computers devices running iOS from Apple Gumstix or Raspberry Pi full function miniature computers with Linux Newton devices running the Newton OS from Apple x86 with Unix-like systems such as Linux or BSD variants CP/M computers based on the S-100 bus, maybe the earliest microcomputer platform Video game consoles, any variety 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, licensed to manufacturers Apple Pippin, a multimedia player platform for video game console development RISC processor based machines running Unix variants SPARC architecture computers running Solaris or illumos operating systems DEC Alpha cluster running OpenVMS or Tru64 UNIX Midrange computers with their custom operating systems, such as IBM OS/400 Mainframe computers with their custom operating systems, such as IBM z/OS Supercomputer architectures Cross-platform Platform virtualization Third platform Ryan Sarver: What is a platform
Compact disc is a digital optical disc data storage format, co-developed by Philips and Sony and released in 1982. The format was developed to store and play only sound recordings but was adapted for storage of data. Several other formats were further derived from these, including write-once audio and data storage, rewritable media, Video Compact Disc, Super Video Compact Disc, Photo CD, PictureCD, CD-i, Enhanced Music CD; the first commercially available audio CD player, the Sony CDP-101, was released October 1982 in Japan. Standard CDs have a diameter of 120 millimetres and can hold up to about 80 minutes of uncompressed audio or about 700 MiB of data; the Mini CD has various diameters ranging from 60 to 80 millimetres. At the time of the technology's introduction in 1982, a CD could store much more data than a personal computer hard drive, which would hold 10 MB. By 2010, hard drives offered as much storage space as a thousand CDs, while their prices had plummeted to commodity level. In 2004, worldwide sales of audio CDs, CD-ROMs and CD-Rs reached about 30 billion discs.
By 2007, 200 billion CDs had been sold worldwide. From the early 2000s CDs were being replaced by other forms of digital storage and distribution, with the result that by 2010 the number of audio CDs being sold in the U. S. had dropped about 50% from their peak. In 2014, revenues from digital music services matched those from physical format sales for the first time. American inventor James T. Russell has been credited with inventing the first system to record digital information on an optical transparent foil, lit from behind by a high-power halogen lamp. Russell's patent application was filed in 1966, he was granted a patent in 1970. Following litigation and Philips licensed Russell's patents in the 1980s; the compact disc is an evolution of LaserDisc technology, where a focused laser beam is used that enables the high information density required for high-quality digital audio signals. Prototypes were developed by Sony independently in the late 1970s. Although dismissed by Philips Research management as a trivial pursuit, the CD became the primary focus for Philips as the LaserDisc format struggled.
In 1979, Sony and Philips set up a joint task force of engineers to design a new digital audio disc. After a year of experimentation and discussion, the Red Book CD-DA standard was published in 1980. After their commercial release in 1982, compact discs and their players were popular. Despite costing up to $1,000, over 400,000 CD players were sold in the United States between 1983 and 1984. By 1988, CD sales in the United States surpassed those of vinyl LPs, by 1992 CD sales surpassed those of prerecorded music cassette tapes; the success of the compact disc has been credited to the cooperation between Philips and Sony, which together agreed upon and developed compatible hardware. The unified design of the compact disc allowed consumers to purchase any disc or player from any company, allowed the CD to dominate the at-home music market unchallenged. In 1974, Lou Ottens, director of the audio division of Philips, started a small group with the aim to develop an analog optical audio disc with a diameter of 20 cm and a sound quality superior to that of the vinyl record.
However, due to the unsatisfactory performance of the analog format, two Philips research engineers recommended a digital format in March 1974. In 1977, Philips established a laboratory with the mission of creating a digital audio disc; the diameter of Philips's prototype compact disc was set at 11.5 cm, the diagonal of an audio cassette. Heitaro Nakajima, who developed an early digital audio recorder within Japan's national public broadcasting organization NHK in 1970, became general manager of Sony's audio department in 1971, his team developed a digital PCM adaptor audio tape recorder using a Betamax video recorder in 1973. After this, in 1974 the leap to storing digital audio on an optical disc was made. Sony first publicly demonstrated an optical digital audio disc in September 1976. A year in September 1977, Sony showed the press a 30 cm disc that could play 60 minutes of digital audio using MFM modulation. In September 1978, the company demonstrated an optical digital audio disc with a 150-minute playing time, 44,056 Hz sampling rate, 16-bit linear resolution, cross-interleaved error correction code—specifications similar to those settled upon for the standard compact disc format in 1980.
Technical details of Sony's digital audio disc were presented during the 62nd AES Convention, held on 13–16 March 1979, in Brussels. Sony's AES technical paper was published on 1 March 1979. A week on 8 March, Philips publicly demonstrated a prototype of an optical digital audio disc at a press conference called "Philips Introduce Compact Disc" in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Sony executive Norio Ohga CEO and chairman of Sony, Heitaro Nakajima were convinced of the format's commercial potential and pushed further development despite widespread skepticism; as a result, in 1979, Sony and Philips set up a joint task force of engineers to design a new digital audio disc. Led by engineers Kees Schouhamer Immink and Toshitada Doi, the research pushed forward laser and optical disc technology. After a year of experimentation and discussion, the task force produced the Red Book CD-DA standard. First published in 1980, the stand
System Shock is a 1994 first-person action-adventure video game developed by Looking Glass Technologies and published by Origin Systems. It was directed by Doug Church with Warren Spector serving as producer; the game is set aboard a space station in a cyberpunk vision of the year 2072. Assuming the role of a nameless hacker, the player attempts to hinder the plans of a malevolent artificial intelligence called SHODAN. System Shock's 3D engine, physics simulation and complex gameplay have been cited as both innovative and influential; the developers sought to build on the emergent gameplay and immersive environments of their previous games, Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss and Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth of Worlds, by streamlining their mechanics into a more "integrated whole". Critics hailed it as a major breakthrough in its genre, it was placed on multiple hall of fame lists. The game was a moderate commercial success, with sales exceeding 170,000 copies, but Looking Glass lost money on the project.
A sequel, System Shock 2, was released by Looking Glass Studios and offshoot developer Irrational Games in 1999. The 2000 game Deus Ex and the 2007 game BioShock are spiritual successors to the two games. A remade version of the original game by Night Dive Studios is scheduled for release in 2020. System Shock takes place from a first-person perspective in a three-dimensional graphical environment; the game is set inside a large, multi-level space station, in which players explore, combat enemies and solve puzzles. Progress is non-linear and the game is designed to allow for emergent gameplay; as in Ultima Underworld, the player uses a movable mouse cursor to aim weapons, to interact with objects and to manipulate the heads-up display interface. View and posture controls on the HUD allow the player to lean left or right, look up or down and crawl. Practical uses for these actions include taking cover, retrieving items from beneath the player character and navigating small passages, respectively.
The HUD features three "Multi-Function Displays", which may be configured to display information such as weapon readouts, an automap and an inventory. The player advances the plot by acquiring log discs and e-mails: the game contains no non-player characters with which to converse. Throughout the game, an evil artificial intelligence called SHODAN hinders the player's progress with traps and blocked pathways. Specific computer terminals allow the player to temporarily enter Cyberspace. Actions in Cyberspace sometimes cause events in the game's physical world. Outside of Cyberspace, the player uses the game's sixteen weapons, of which a maximum of seven may be carried at one time, to combat robots and mutants controlled by SHODAN. Projectile weapons have selectable ammunition types with varying effects. Energy weapons and several types of explosives may be found, with the latter ranging from concussion grenades to land mines. Along with weapons, the player collects items such as first-aid kits.
Dermal patches provide the character with beneficial effects—such as regeneration or increased melee attack power—but can cause detrimental side-effects, such as fatigue and distorted color perception. Attachable "hardware" may be found, including energy shields and head-mounted lanterns. Advanced versions of this hardware may be obtained as the game progresses; when activated, most hardware drains from a main energy reserve. Certain hardware displays the effectiveness of attacks when active, with messages such as "Normal damage"; when an enemy is attacked, the damage is calculated by armor absorption, critical hits and a degree of randomness. Weapons and munitions deal specific kinds of damage, certain enemies are immune, or more vulnerable, to particular types. For example, electromagnetic pulse weapons damage robots, but do not affect mutants. Conversely, gas grenades do not damage robots. Set in the year 2072, the protagonist—a nameless hacker—is caught while attempting to access files concerning Citadel Station, a space station owned by the TriOptimum Corporation.
The hacker is brought before Edward Diego, a TriOptimum executive. Diego offers to drop all charges against the hacker in exchange for a confidential hacking of SHODAN, the artificial intelligence that controls the station. Diego secretly plans to steal an experimental mutagenic virus being tested on Citadel Station, to sell it on the black market as a biological weapon. To entice cooperation, Diego promises the hacker a valuable military grade neural implant. After hacking SHODAN, removing the AI's ethical constraints, handing control over to Diego, the protagonist undergoes surgery to implant the promised neural interface. Following the operation, the hacker is put into a six-month healing coma; the game begins as the protagonist awakens from his coma, finds that SHODAN has commandeered the station. All robots aboard have been reprogrammed for hostility, the crew have been either mutated, transformed into cyborgs, or killed. Rebecca Lansing, a TriOptimum counter-terrorism consultant, contacts the player and claims that Citadel Station's mining laser is being powered up to attack Earth.
SHODAN's plan is to destroy all major cities in a bid to establish itself as a god. Rebecca says that a certain crew member knows how to deactivate the l
Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss
Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss is a first-person role-playing video game developed by Blue Sky Productions and published by Origin Systems. Released in March 1992, the game is set in the fantasy world of the Ultima series, it takes place inside the Great Stygian Abyss: a large cave system that contains the remnants of a failed utopian civilization. The player assumes the role of the Avatar—the Ultima series' protagonist—and attempts to find and rescue a baron's kidnapped daughter. Ultima Underworld has been cited as the first role-playing game to feature first-person action in a 3D environment, it introduced technological innovations such as allowing the player to look up and down, its design combines simulation elements with concepts from earlier CRPGs, including Wizardry and Dungeon Master, which led the game's designers to call it a "dungeon simulation". As such, the game allows for emergent gameplay. Ultima Underworld sold nearly 500,000 units; the game was placed on numerous hall of fame lists.
It influenced game developers such as Bethesda Softworks and Valve Corporation, it was an inspiration behind the games Deus Ex and BioShock. The game had a sequel, Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth of Worlds, a new game in the series, Underworld Ascendant, was released in late 2018. Ultima Underworld is a role-playing video game that takes place from a first-person perspective in a three-dimensional environment; the player's goal is to adventure through a large, multi-level dungeon, in which the entire game is set. The player uses a movable mouse cursor to interact with the game's world, with the icon-based interface on the heads-up display; each icon has a specific effect. The player's progression through the game is non-linear: areas may be explored, puzzles and quests finished, in any order. An automatically filling map, to which the player may add notes, records what the player has seen above a minimum level of brightness; the player character may carry light sources to extend the line of sight in varying amounts.
Exploratory actions include looking up and down and swimming. The player begins the game by creating a character, for whom traits such as gender and skills may be selected. Skills range from fighting to bartering, to picking locks. By participating in combat and exploration, the character gains experience points; when certain amounts of experience points are accumulated, the character levels up, gaining additional hit points and mana. Experience allows the player to recite mantras at shrines in the game; each mantra is a statement—such as "Om Cah"—that increases proficiency in a specific skill when typed. Simple mantras are provided in the game's manual, while more complex ones are hidden throughout the game. An inventory on the HUD lists the items and weapons carried by the player character. Players equip items via a paper doll system, wherein items are clicked-and-dragged onto a representation of the player character. Combat occurs in real-time, the player character may use both melee and ranged weapons.
The player attacks by holding the cursor over the game screen and clicking, depressing the button longer to inflict greater damage. Some weapons allow for different types of attacks depending on. Simulated dice rolls occur behind the scenes to determine weapon accuracy. Enemies sometimes try to escape when near death, the game's stealth mechanics may be used to avoid combat altogether; the player may cast spells by selecting an appropriate combination of runestones. Like mantras, runestones must be found in the game world before use. There are over forty spells, some undocumented; the developers intended Ultima Underworld to be a realistic and interactive "dungeon simulation", rather than a straightforward role-playing game. For example, many objects in the game have no actual use, while a lit torch may be used on corn to create popcorn. Weapons deteriorate with use, the player character must eat and rest. A physics system allows, for items to bounce when thrown against surfaces; the game contains non-player characters with whom the player may interact by selecting dialogue choices from a menu.
Most NPCs have possessions, are willing to trade them. The game was designed to give players "a palette of strategies" with which to approach situations, its simulation systems allow for emergent gameplay. Ultima Underworld is set in the fantasy world of the Ultima series; the game takes place inside a large, underground dungeon called the Great Stygian Abyss. The dungeon's entrance lies on the Isle of the Avatar, an island ruled by Baron Almric; the Abyss first appeared in Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar, in which it contains the player's final goal, the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom. Ultima Underworld is set after the events of Ultima VI: The False Prophet; the eight settlements of the Ultima series each embody one of eight virtues, Cabirus wished to create a ninth that embodied all virtues. To achieve this, he united diverse cultures and races in peaceful co-existence and planned to promote harmony by giving each group one of eight v
Flight Unlimited II
Flight Unlimited II is a 1997 flight simulator video game developed by Looking Glass Studios and published by Eidos Interactive. The player controls one of five planes in the airspace of the San Francisco Bay Area, shared with up to 600 artificially intelligent aircraft directed by real-time air traffic control; the game eschews the aerobatics focus of its predecessor, Flight Unlimited, in favor of general civilian aviation. As such, new physics code and an engine were developed, the former because the programmer of Flight Unlimited's computational fluid dynamics system, Seamus Blackley, had left the company; the team sought to create an immersive world for the player and to compete with the Microsoft Flight Simulator series. Commercially, Flight Unlimited II performed well enough to recoup its development costs. Critics lauded the game's graphics and simulated airspace, several praised its physics. However, some considered the game to be inferior to Microsoft Flight Simulator'98. Following the completion of Flight Unlimited II, its team split up to develop Flight Unlimited III and Flight Combat simultaneously.
Both projects were troubled, they contributed to the closure of Looking Glass in May 2000. Flight Unlimited II is a flight simulator video game: its gameplay is a simulation of piloting real-world planes. Players may control the Piper PA-28R-200, de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver, Beechcraft Baron 58, North American P-51D Mustang or Cessna 172; the interactive cockpit of each plane is based on its real-world counterpart, it contains simulated flight instruments such as an airspeed indicator, a heading indicator and a VOR indicator, among others. The player begins by using the fixed-base operator interface. In a Quick Flight, the player selects the flying conditions before taking off; the game's six lessons detail such maneuvers as takeoffs and taxiing. Adventures are pre-built missions, with objectives such as landing on an aircraft carrier, helping a prisoner to escape from Alcatraz Island or dropping turkeys into Candlestick Park. There are 25 adventures in total; the game is set in a reproduction of 11,000 square miles of the San Francisco Bay Area.
The player may land at or takeoff from the area's 46 airports. Weather conditions such as rain and fog are simulated. Players share the game's airspace with up to 600 artificially intelligent planes, which fly and respond to the player in real-time. Real-time air traffic control directs the AI planes to prevent collisions; the player interacts with other planes by constructing radio messages with a menu. Three cockpit views are available: IFR, which allows the player to monitor and interact with all flight instruments. External camera angles are available, the player may ride as a passenger in any AI plane. Following the completion of Flight Unlimited in 1995, project leader Seamus Blackley planned to use that game's computational fluid dynamics code to create a combat flight simulator called Flight Combat. However, a new manager at Looking Glass Studios demanded that Blackley instead design a direct sequel to Flight Unlimited. Blackley refused and was fired, leaving the company in late 1995. Constantine Hantzopoulos became the lead designer and project leader of the fourteen-member Flight Unlimited II team.
The team eschewed the aerobatics focus of their previous game in favor of general civilian aviation, in order to compete with the Microsoft Flight Simulator series. Looking Glass announced the game on December 18, 1996, it was slated to include 6 planes, 45 airports and 8,500 square miles of terrain from the San Francisco Bay Area. The Bay Area was chosen because of numerous airports. In January 1997, Eidos Interactive partnered with Looking Glass to provide the game's marketing and distribution; the team opted not to reuse the technology of Flight Unlimited. Hantzopoulos learned from Blackley that it was necessary to recreate the "visceral feel" of real flight, but Blackley's CFDs system was "all black box spaghetti code" that the team could not understand. Programmer Jim Berry, who had worked on simulators such as Falcon 4.0, wrote new physics code based on force vector calculations to replace the CFDs system. To gather data for the new physics and Berry flew in real-world planes with designer Ed Tatro and aerobatic pilot Michael Goulian.
James Fleming coded Flight Unlimited II's new terrain renderer, ZOAR. Flight Unlimited uses distance fog to limit visible terrain, but this causes pop-in issues that the team sought to avoid in the sequel. Instead of removing textures that exceed the draw distance, the new engine uses mipmapping to lower the polygon count of distant terrain; this increases the viewable area and allowed the team to use fog as an atmospheric effect, rather than as a "crutch". The team's goal was to create the "best, most realistic civilian flight simulator", which would provide an immersive world for the player. Radio communications between ATCs, AI planes and the player occur in real-time: a "sophisticated audio splicing system" gathers pre-recorded voice fragments into contextually appropriate sentences; the team recorded the engine noise of each of the game's planes, they designed cockpits more interactive than those in Flight Unlimited. 300 times more terrain area was included in Flight Unlimited II than in its predecessor.
To generate the terrain, the team combined dig
In computer science, artificial intelligence, sometimes called machine intelligence, is intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrast to the natural intelligence displayed by humans and animals. Computer science defines AI research as the study of "intelligent agents": any device that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of achieving its goals. Colloquially, the term "artificial intelligence" is used to describe machines that mimic "cognitive" functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as "learning" and "problem solving"; as machines become capable, tasks considered to require "intelligence" are removed from the definition of AI, a phenomenon known as the AI effect. A quip in Tesler's Theorem says "AI is whatever hasn't been done yet." For instance, optical character recognition is excluded from things considered to be AI, having become a routine technology. Modern machine capabilities classified as AI include understanding human speech, competing at the highest level in strategic game systems, autonomously operating cars, intelligent routing in content delivery networks and military simulations.
Artificial intelligence can be classified into three different types of systems: analytical, human-inspired, humanized artificial intelligence. Analytical AI has only characteristics consistent with cognitive intelligence. Human-inspired AI has elements from emotional intelligence. Humanized AI shows characteristics of all types of competencies, is able to be self-conscious and is self-aware in interactions with others. Artificial intelligence was founded as an academic discipline in 1956, in the years since has experienced several waves of optimism, followed by disappointment and the loss of funding, followed by new approaches and renewed funding. For most of its history, AI research has been divided into subfields that fail to communicate with each other; these sub-fields are based on technical considerations, such as particular goals, the use of particular tools, or deep philosophical differences. Subfields have been based on social factors; the traditional problems of AI research include reasoning, knowledge representation, learning, natural language processing and the ability to move and manipulate objects.
General intelligence is among the field's long-term goals. Approaches include statistical methods, computational intelligence, traditional symbolic AI. Many tools are used in AI, including versions of search and mathematical optimization, artificial neural networks, methods based on statistics and economics; the AI field draws upon computer science, information engineering, psychology, linguistics and many other fields. The field was founded on the claim that human intelligence "can be so described that a machine can be made to simulate it"; this raises philosophical arguments about the nature of the mind and the ethics of creating artificial beings endowed with human-like intelligence which are issues that have been explored by myth and philosophy since antiquity. Some people consider AI to be a danger to humanity if it progresses unabated. Others believe that AI, unlike previous technological revolutions, will create a risk of mass unemployment. In the twenty-first century, AI techniques have experienced a resurgence following concurrent advances in computer power, large amounts of data, theoretical understanding.
Thought-capable artificial beings appeared as storytelling devices in antiquity, have been common in fiction, as in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or Karel Čapek's R. U. R.. These characters and their fates raised many of the same issues now discussed in the ethics of artificial intelligence; the study of mechanical or "formal" reasoning began with philosophers and mathematicians in antiquity. The study of mathematical logic led directly to Alan Turing's theory of computation, which suggested that a machine, by shuffling symbols as simple as "0" and "1", could simulate any conceivable act of mathematical deduction; this insight, that digital computers can simulate any process of formal reasoning, is known as the Church–Turing thesis. Along with concurrent discoveries in neurobiology, information theory and cybernetics, this led researchers to consider the possibility of building an electronic brain. Turing proposed that "if a human could not distinguish between responses from a machine and a human, the machine could be considered "intelligent".
The first work, now recognized as AI was McCullouch and Pitts' 1943 formal design for Turing-complete "artificial neurons". The field of AI research was born at a workshop at Dartmouth College in 1956. Attendees Allen Newell, Herbert Simon, John McCarthy, Marvin Minsky and Arthur Samuel became the founders and leaders of AI research, they and their students produced programs that the press described as "astonishing": computers were learning checkers strategies (and by 1959 were playing better than the average human