Bob and George
Saturday, January 17th, 2004 #1370
Helmeted Preparations Running Cliché
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Many people think this is one of the dumbest ideas in science fiction. How could turning off a holographic generator possibly kill the inhabitants inside? The problem is that holodeck isn't just a holographic generator; it's a holographic generator mixed with a replicator, and that's where the trouble lies.

You see, if a person was going to physically interact with an object repeatedly while in the holodeck, it might make more sense to replicate the item rather than repeatedly using a very complicated and energy-consuming system of force fields to simulate the object virtually. That's also why characters can occasionally take things out of the holodeck. Presumably when the program is shut off, those replicated objects are them dematerialized, and the problem is that if the system shuts down abnormally, it might decide that you're one of the objects it needs to dematerialize when shutting down.

Of course, if that is indeed how it works, you'd think the obvious solution would be to set the holodecks to not dematerialize anything upon accidental or forced shutdown, then let the IT guys deal with all of the left over objects later.
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