Author : Jae Miles, Staff Writer

Have you ever grown your own computer? It’s not like they show on MeVee. There’s a lot more liquid blend used because spillages occur all the time. The damn things sweat out unused elements constantly, overflowing the moulds. On a hot night, it can even overflow the trays you stand the moulds in. And that image of the girl in her skimpies leaping lithely across the room to get cloths to mop a spill? Utter tosh. Any leakage puts a near-frictionless layer between skin and any surface. You crawl to the towels with your hands and knees wrapped in stray clothing. If clothes are out of reach, duvet or sheets will do.
Very important: you’d better be using nanomachine-enhanced detergent or you’ll fuse the dryer and your element-soaked laundry into a whorled sculpture. Great conversation piece at parties, but it isn’t covered by your home insurance.
For pity’s sake don’t use the ‘quicksilver fastwiring’ hack. It does work, but, mercury is poisonous and doing this – unless you’re growing somewhere with always-on industrial extraction fans – turns the element sweat and its fumes toxic. You will die, along with your family, and possibly take the neighbours with you!
And, last but by no means least, we come to those fumes. The term ‘godawful stench’ doesn’t quite capture the sheer horror that overwhelms everyone on first encounter. It’s appalling and has the ability – like the odours of some cooked food – to impregnate certain clothing fibres. Unlike the cooking odours, it doesn’t wash out. Not even a commercial nanowash can shift “the smell that can make a Litran Skunk-horse puke”, to quote one victim. It also reacts to heat. That’s right, your stinking clothing will only smell worse if you wear it or hang it somewhere warm.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t grow your own. It’s the only affordable way to get access to the Versingloban datanet, and for remote outposts, it can transform communications and entertainment, providing desperately needed mental resources and a way to secure physical assistance on demand.
(Speaking of remote outposts reminded me: if you’ve got old interfaces, just slot examples into the ‘connectors’ mould during the ‘populate’ stage, remembering to etch how many of each you want onto the ‘iterate’ substrate.)
I’m just saying you should be aware of the real costs. Depending on your colony’s cultural background, you might encounter problems. My mainly Euro-origin colony was horrified when they found the computer that made their lives better needed a diet of fresh meat. I was catching rodents and feeding them to my computer for months before the colony council insisted that ‘humane considerations’ should take precedence.
Yes, I live on Prospect, home of the politico-religious drive to ban Versingloban carniculture technology as it’s ‘an unnatural way to perpetuate digital dependency’. I’m not going to get into the ‘blood machines’ arguments here. I’m just getting some real-life details out there for anyone who wants to grow their own.
Now, any Versingloban will happily give you a seed, it’s a goodwill custom of theirs to carry and give. However, because of my homeworld’s actions, it’s probably not a good idea to make a big thing of getting one. Find it at a location away from your local haunts and be dead snaky on your way home. No need to make it easy for any fanatics to follow you.
That’s it. Good luck, grow well, give freely. Remember to check-in at carniputers.everywhere on v.Earthnet and say hello when you’re up and running.

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