Tron Discussion and Philosophy
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So Kevin Flynn's been missing for twenty years, and everyone except maybe Alan assumes he's dead.

Alan doesn't know about the Grid.

The Arcade has been shut down for a very long time.

How is it that the Grid has had enough power to run all this time, including power to the digitizing laser, which has to be a major drain?

Of course Alan might be paying, but you'd think he'd have found the Grid before and investigated if he knew there was a consistent power leak at the Arcade.

Generators and batteries only run for so long. Never seen one rated for twenty years.

Solar power doesn't seem like it would be enough, and there's no sign of solar panels. And again, that's the kind of thing the owners of the arcade should have noticed.

Please don't tell me I'm thinking about the details too much, as that is completely the point of this forum. :) Any ideas?

12/31/2010 #1
Raven's Spark

I don't care much for this problem but I'll talk about some of it. the Arcades 'Owner' is Kevin Flynn and Ultimately Same Flynn. And Alan probably gave money for the power just so he could make it so no-one would claim the place if it had power. If he did he probably didn't pay much attention to it.

12/31/2010 #2

Maybe Kevin Flynn had the power hooked up to Encom Tower. He certainly would have been able to find a way to do that.

12/31/2010 #3

Ooh, pirated power. That does sound like Flynn. But it's quite a distance, isn't it? Not easy...but maybe possible. Best possibility I've found so far, I think.

And yes, I know it technically belongs to Sam. I figure Alan would be Flynn's choice for looking out for his property, but even someone with lots of money to spend ought to have noticed how much power something like the Grid used. If something is using power in a closed building, then something is a fire risk. Even if Alan wanted to keep it hooked up, he should have known the system was on.

Unless he had investigated and just couldn't figure anything out, but that seems very unlikely given how easy it was for Sam.

Or the Grid is incredibly power-efficient.

Hm. If Flynn had died, in say a car accident, did he have any kind of provision set for the folks in the Grid? Or would they just have been completely abandoned?

I keep coming to the conclusion that Alan should know more than he acts like he does.

12/31/2010 #4
Lord of the Saiyans

Actually, the answer is pretty simple.

Its standard procedure to keep power functional in sites such as old arcades or places with a lot of space which can be re-purposed or that are not scheduled for demolition. This is, quite simply, because its cheaper in the long-run to keep up the power so that alarms are continued than to actually have to repair the place if a bunch of people break in or a fire starts. Especially if its only abandoned for a while or they don't know if its going to be used again.

So yeah, its not uncommon to keep the power on.

12/31/2010 #5

Ooh, I didn't know that! Makes a lot of sense. Still, if the Grid was pulling very much power (and old server-size computers really did, in our world, not to mention the laser!) someone should have noticed it.

For twenty years, though? If no one bought the place, it was because Sam and Alan weren't selling, so it would have been their oversight and not a power company's.

12/31/2010 #6
Lord of the Saiyans

Indeed; but I would say its fairly easy for the standard policy to kick in and then for one of the two (Sam or Alan) to kick up a fuss if they tried to disconnect since Sam is probably the legal owner and probably pays for it anyway and they decided it just wasn't worth the bother

12/31/2010 #7

And if the bill was a bit high, they probably thought it was inefficient wiring or something. *nods* That works. I didn't realize that they would want to have all the alarms running, but of course they would.

Still, I think the Grid must be really efficient to escape notice. Er, and to keep going for twenty years. That's good workmanship.

12/31/2010 #8
Lord of the Saiyans


But then again, would it be too far fetched for the Grid to be designed to last? I'm fairly certain we can do that with computers nowadays. We could build them to last ten, twenty years easy. We just don't because its not economically feasible. (Why build a computer to last twenty years when it'll cost up to ten-twenty times as much, and still be outdated in half a year if you're lucky?)

12/31/2010 #9
Black Mesa

well, the laser itself only fires once the program is that dose use a large quantity of power for a short period of time, however. We should take into account that the grid itself (at least the portion that stores the server and memory banks) is most likely in the ENCOM building, while keeping the portal in the arcade.

1/4/2011 #10

I think Alan was secretly keeping the place powered because he knew Flynn was still in there. It seemed like he was aware of it when he told Sam about the page in the movie. Maybe I'm just sentimental though :D

1/10/2011 #11
Flynn also mentions he thought of what we call wifi back in85. Maybe was using solar.
1/12/2011 #12

I'd think that either Sam or Allen would keep the place powered on, just for sentimental reasons. For Sam, it's not like he's hurting for cash. As for Alan, maybe he's hoping that Flynn will come back and pick up where he left off.

Either way, both of them seem like guys who would keep the Arcade running "just because I can"

1/12/2011 #13
Cmdr's Monkey

I think Alan knew more than he was letting on and never told anyone for the following reasons: A) No one would believe him, B) Sam wasn't old enough to both understand and to know and C) he was probably hoping Kevin would send him a message such as the pager. And as to why he didn't do anything, he probably didn't understand it and wasn't going to risk trapping himself with Kevin and thus be completely useless to him OR he did not want to mess with it for the risk of killing Kevin.

Anyway it is my impression that he knew more than he let on.

4/22/2011 #14

I think Legacy may have been all about passing the torch as well.

4/23/2011 #15

Yes, the canon verse never states if Alan and Laura know what's going on. On purpose maybe? I kind of like how they keep it cryptic and open there...

5/12/2011 #16
Yeah, the new movie is pretty open to interpretation aside from fanaticism.
5/12/2011 #17

Actually, the TV Tropes website went into this question, and my theory was that, as stated, the power was kept on for alarms and such. Generally speaking, however, A. Alan was almost certainly the one paying the bills because he was the one who had the keys in case of trouble. B. He probably wasn't paying the bills personally, he probably has an accountant or Personal Assistant actually writing the checks, which also means he doesn't even see the bills. He probably simply told the accountant or PA to pay all the bills at such-and-such address, and that person doesn't care where it is or how much power it's using - as long as it's consistent month-to-month, and therefore there are no unusual spikes indicating something wrong. The only time Alan would be notified of something going on there would be if the alarms went off or something.

As for power consumption of the server: The laser is certainly powered down, and I would guess the server is in stand-by mode, and therefore drawing the least amount of power possible. Which is still a decent amount, but see note "B" above.

9/21/2011 #18
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