Consider the following. A small fundamental set of computing components is required to produce a computer chip.
One needs to be able to produce a transistor, gates, a clock, a bit, bussing, a power supply, etc.
These of course need to be replicated.
From such a small set of components, entire cores are produced.
Consider that an atom can store information by utilizing quantum orbital states, spin states, etc.
Consider that quantum orbital states and spin states can also store energy.
Starting with either a heat pump, or if you believe it's possible a 'Maxwell gate', store some energy in quantum states so that you have a local power supply.
Consider ways of creating a domino effect so that the stored energy can be transferred to surrounding atoms in a controlled manner, so as to produce quantum state changes in a preferred geometric direction, in a reasonably accurate fashion statistically.
You might have to accept more double-checking and repeated attempts at a calculation than in a conventional computer.
Solve the small set of geometry problems required to produce the fundamental set of required computing components using quantum states in unrefined rock.
You may have to utilize a domino effect to create preliminary state changes to prepare the unrefined rock in a manner such that the unrefined rock will be in a state somewhat similar to FPGA.
Many local power supplies will need to utilize quantum states in a similar fashion, and extract energy from heat so that one does not need to supply power to your unrefined rock.
Software will have to be used to assist in laying out the FPGA like state and the core circuitry as you won't want to disturb the primary chemical bonds, and the atoms will be randomly arranged and will have to be analyzed for usefulness.
You'll be able to 'probe' the surrounding atoms by attempting state changes, and querying for useful results.
Using interference effect, or some other phenomena, layout some FPGA like state into the unrefined rock, then lay in core circuitry.
Install LINUX. Have the first core replicate itself into the unrefined rock, right out to the boundaries of what you are permitted to 'refine'.
If you believe in a standard approach that utilizes the second law of thermodynamics you might want to find a hot spring, or attempt to turn the ducting of your furnace into a supercomputer.
Maxwell fans can consider the entire crust of the earth. It has been argued by reputable modern publications that the second law of thermodynamics does not apply to atomic scale phenomena.
Note that once the first core is successfully produced, and the replication process is perfected, manufacturing costs drop to zero.
PLEASE SUPPORT MINING RIGHTS, I am devoutly non-totalitarian. Do your best not to run over anyone else's processes. Be especially wary of running through mind uploads in unexpected places, radar for thought should
be developed first.
Cheap cloud services.
Extremely high resolution medical imaging, through CAREFULLY running sensors and 'domino bussing' within the brain and body.
Non-invasive surgery and other improved medical procedures by carefully altering primary chemical bonds in place. Clearly the technology would require the capacity to alter a primary chemical bond by utilizing quantum orbital state energy.
Technological Immortality. I think the quantum orbital state technology described here would be preferable to using nanobots to provide technological immortality. Ray Kurzweil describes nanobots that could be introduced into the bloodstream but quantum orbital state technology can pass through cell membranes. You could carry a small device with you that would run the self replicating cores, the quantum state technology could pass through the body on a daily basis to repair primary chemical bonds and make other changes.
Computing that can move itself at high speed to the location desired via 'domino bussing' and core replication.
Concerned individuals might wish to assist in providing security as viruses and hostile computing processes will unfortunately be much more dangerous than normal computer viruses. Please adopt a counterstrike mentality from the outset. Consider investing in technological resurrection rather than taking an aggressive totalitarian approach towards controlling useful technology. Technologically ascending totalitarianism is doomed in a universe that is the size and age that it is anyways. An inverted no-fly zone has been proposed by those concerned about hostile processes running near their bodies and homes. Computing would be kept far underground and near borders, making it easier to sweep for hostile processes.
Possibly technological resurrection, by calculating the complete state of the individual at the moment of death, please attempt to reserve as much existing quantum mechanical state within the vicinity of where people have died as possible. I don't think it's known how much usable information can be extracted from a location in order to calculate state at a previous moment in time. If that sounds too much like a cloning technology as it would in some senses be resurrecting a mind upload, you could attempt to retrieve the constituent atoms and energies of the individual to be resurrected.
It will no doubt take some work to get the first cores replicating, but I think the zero manufacturing cost benefit makes the concept worth investigating. Most of the stack will remain unchanged, which is a strong argument towards feasibility.
Further implementation details can be obtained by contacting RepCores.
Moore's 'law' had become a self fulfilling prophecy, it spurred us on to make computers that were twice as fast about every two years, and trapped us into a mindset that forbid us from doing much better. RIP.
March 20, 2012.