on a cellular level has been long examined in the scientific community.
Basically, mutation on this level is an error which occurs when an organism's
genetic code is copied wrong. The purpose of this experiment is to examine
whether computers may at sometime mutate it's "genetic information" on
files that are being copied over and over.
hypothesis of this experiment is that computer mutation exist. Support
for this hypothesis are several observations of files becoming "corrupt",
floppy disk not working, and a host of other problems exhibited by single
in this experiment include a laptop 386/25 Pc computer, Word 2.0, one word
document file, one
file to execute replications (click
here to view).
first step is to construct a word file complete with alphabet or any series
to provide a place for mutation to occur. Create a directory while in dos
called exp. Move the file into this directory. Move the file which
will create replications into this directory as well. Make 3 directories
in this directory called exp1, exp2, & exp3. Copy the word file into
the 3rd directory. Return to the c:\exp directory and run exp.bat Allow
replication to run for maximum amount of time. Stop the program (ctrl-break)
and view the last replicated file in the word program, compare against
an unaltered version and record results.
Replication was continued for 46 minutes, at an estimated 2.5
replications per second, this works out to roughly 6,900 replications. The
two files looked identical, and no mutation was observed.
Conclusion: Although no mutation was discovered,
this experiment only stands as a glimpse into the possibility into computer
mutation. In humans, mutation of a single base pair occurs once in roughly
replications. If mutation occurs in computers it would surely occur even
less as slight mutation in favorable (in a evolutionary sense) for living
organisms while not desirable for computers. Unfortunately, for searching
for such occurrences, the computer used would need to be left on for roughly
1.27 years just to reach 108 replications.
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