A long time ago we came up with the idea of Deep Rot, a supercomputer made using a vast number of Skeletons.
That was fun, but overall impractical for the resources required. How would computational devices most likely be developed for the whole of a magical society?
I can't really imagine principles such as binary being developed in a magical world; the first computers were created to help solve complex equations, weren't they? A Wizard would just summon something and ask it the answer.
Discworld had the right idea; minor demons and devils bound to a small device to perform a rote function with some degree of independence and skill beyond human ability. Such as the ubiquitous cameras that were just boxes with a demon in them who painted really really fast. Or the "Personal Disorganizer" which was a demon in a box that would remember your appointments and keep notes and tell the time for you.
I was thinking you bind an elemental from the elemental plane of knowledge or whatever.
Microgolems sound good to me. A real personal assistant. Kinda like Grundy was in the early Xanth books.
>I can't really imagine principles such as binary being developed in a magical world
"Binary" is a concept that really only makes sense with electrical current as it's very simple to work with a machine where current is on or it is off. Something built off fantasy has no reason to use that. For example, a necromancer doesn't need a billion skeletons to flap their arms about in sequences to look up something on Fantasyland Wikipedia. He can just create a skeleton to search an incredibly large Tome of All Knowledge and then read the entries to him.
>A long time ago
That reminds me, I ran a Deep Rot oneshot about a month ago, and never told /tg/ about it. It went surprisingly well, the party didn't figure out what the machine was until it Plane Shifted itself into the Negative Energy Plane, thusly killing the party. Fortunately, this happened after an epic bossfight, so the players were not too upset.
Seriously though, this is a good book. It's esoteric as fuck, but it's great. /tg/ keeps going on about how envisioning magic like a programming language, but they never manage to get it quite right. This book teaches you how programming languages are designed, and also compares computer science directly to magic.
If you have any interest in computer programming or computer science at all, I highly suggest you at least try to read this book. The license is very permissive, so you can easily find a legal digital copy of it online.
Computers were developed to fulfill tasks which humans can't do, or at least not in a practical time-frame.
What such task there could be? Perhaps a computer could employ dynamic conjuration, launching a sequence of spell or magical energies in speeds which humans couldn't, while at the same time fine-tuning the casting as necessary for the best results.
Such a device might be free of the "spell" package which inhibits the development of the magical arts and/or sciences.
Perhaps a kingdom-wide mandala of ley lines could employ geomantic energy and microspirits (like gigelorum) to stimulate crops?
It would be an ethereal equivalent of biogeocomputing with narrow aplication.
I hope this doesn't anger the earth-goddess.
or perhaps it is her origin?