Log in

No account? Create an account
08 January 2011 @ 04:19 pm
Tracking Grid Time  
I'll admit it, I like keeping track of what's going on, time-wise. However, it's a bit trickier on the Grid thanks to the fact that computer time runs faster than Earth time. So I decided to run through the mathematics of it. *puts on Alan-style glasses*

First, Flynn clearly states that a millicycle (microcycle?) is about eight hours subjective time inside the Grid. (Note: I can't remember what Flynn said, but I'm going with millicycle becauise otherwise the subjective time inside the Grid gets far too long.)

Second, it's mentioned that Clu's been after Flynn's identity disc for a thousand cycles or so. I'm interpreting that to mean that Clu's wanted that disc ever since he staged his coup. This will be important later.

GT = Grid Time (subjective time)
ET = Earth Time (real world time)

He's been trapped for how long?

So, if 10-3 cycles = 8 hours GT

that means that 1 cycle = 8000 hours GT

Assuming a 24 hour day, that gives

8000 hours GT = 333 days and 8 hours GT

which is just a little shorter than a year.

Now, as I said earlier, Flynn's been trapped for about 1000 cycles. If you want to round it up, that means he's been in the Grid for a subjective time of 1000 years.

Being slightly more mathematically precise, 1000 cycles = 8,000,000 hrs GT

8,000,000 hrs = 333,333 days 8 hours = approximately 913 years GT

(Note: If Flynn actually did say 'microcycle' in the film, that means that he's been stuck in the Grid for a staggering 913242 years. That makes my head hurt, so I'm ignoring it as too ridiculous to contemplate.)

How long is that in real time?

Back in the real world, about 20 years have passed. Very approximately, this means that

20 years ET = 1000 cycles

1 year ET = 50 cycles

We already know how long a cycle is in terms of GT hours, so that gives us

50 cycles = 400,000 hrs GT

400,000 hours GT = 16666 days 16 hrs = just over 45 years GT


1 year ET = 45 years GT

How about something shorter?

Going a little further into it, I decided to figure out how much subjective time would pass inside the Grid for every day outside.

One day is 1/365 (ignoring leap years) of a year. Knowing that 400,000 hours GT pass for every 365 days outside, this gives

1 day ET = approximately 1096 hrs GT = 45 days 16 hours

So how long is a millicycle in the User world?

As a final thing, I decided to figure out how much time would pass in the real world during one millicycle. We already know most of the answers to this one - all that's required is a bit of division.

We know that

1096 hours GT = 24 hours ET


1 hour GT = approx 0.022 hours ET
8 hours GT = approx 0.175 hours ET

So therefore

0.175 hours ET = 10 minutes 30 seconds ET

1 millicycle = about 10 minutes ET

This might seem a bit slow, but remember that the Grid was built in the 80s. Imagine if Clu had been stuck in a modern computer - he'd have raised an army and escaped in about ten seconds flat.

Hope you found this interesting, and that nobody nodded off during my descent into mathematics!

(Mods? Can we please have a 'meta' tag?) Thanks!
kikibug13 on January 8th, 2011 04:30 pm (UTC)
This does seem approximately what I've been thinking, although I started from another point - 'hours here were just minutes back there', which means close to 1:60 ratio.

Which would mean Flynn has been in the Grid for about 1200 years subjective time (a bit over, since it was 20 years, 11 months, and 20 days). It's very possible that Clu hasn't been looking for his disc the entire time Flynn's been trapped.

Anyway, my thought was that one cycle ~ 1 year, and then 1 millycycle would be 1/1000th of a cycle, or about 8.5 hours, which is close enough to Flynn saying about eight hours.

Buuut yeah. Oi.
crystalshard on January 8th, 2011 04:32 pm (UTC)
See, you did it the sensible and simple way. I just like overcomplicating things. *grin*

Also, I completely forgot about that line.

Edited at 2011-01-08 04:33 pm (UTC)
kikibug13 on January 8th, 2011 04:35 pm (UTC)
*giggles* sensible and simple way until I mention that I did it mostly in my head, while you actually, you know, used numbers and writing them down. >.>

Haha that's okay. On the other hand, it means that going from different directions, the results reached are very close together. Which means that somebody in the scripting department took the time to make it consistent.
crystalshard on January 8th, 2011 04:39 pm (UTC)
*nod* You're right, it does show that they really thought about this. That's one of the things I like about Tron: Legacy - they actually Did the Research.
kikibug13 on January 8th, 2011 04:45 pm (UTC)

Also, really, oi. Flynn was not joking at all when he was talking about weary soul. People were not meant to live that long.

Also, that conversion has made me wonder if he had any idea what would happen to him if he returned to the real world - would he even survive that?
crystalshard on January 8th, 2011 04:50 pm (UTC)
Well, it looks as if he aged concurrently with real-world time, not Grid time, so I suspect there wouldn't be any physical problems. But yes, humans are definitely not designed to go on and on and on like that. Especially since the digital dream sequences made it look like his memories were degrading with time.

In a parallel thought, this means that Tron spent over 900 years as Rinzler. Ouch.
kikibug13 on January 8th, 2011 04:54 pm (UTC)
*sighs* oi, the inverted color dream was possibly the scariest bit of the movie for me. Poor Flynn.

And poor Tron, too. When he remembered... it must have been horrible.
Heh, in the Betrayal comic, when Flynn set up the games in the new system, Tron was so very happy that he set them up so nobody got derezzed. Clu changed that.
crystalshard on January 8th, 2011 04:57 pm (UTC)
I need to get me a copy of the Betrayal comic. *makes note to hunt one down*
kikibug13 on January 8th, 2011 04:59 pm (UTC)
It's very interesting. There are a couple of inconsistencies with the movie, but generally, it gives a very good fleshing out of things. Navigate back on this comm to a question about the comics, and go into the comments... there may be a link there.
crystalshard on January 8th, 2011 05:18 pm (UTC)
Ooooh, excellent. I might have seen it. Or I might not. Thanks!<
kikibug13 on January 8th, 2011 07:05 pm (UTC)
It made the writing/roleplay muses in my head heartsick, but, it's pretty good.
crystalshard on January 8th, 2011 07:08 pm (UTC)
It hurt, but it was well written - Clu's descent was very well tracked.

I'm currently writing a prompt, and I needed this comic to do so. Although I'm using the film version of the coup instead of the epilogue.
kikibug13 on January 8th, 2011 07:10 pm (UTC)
I maaay or may not be writing a Tron lives fic... part of RP stuff, but still, fic. Reading the comic, and especially what happened to the ocean (and where the ISOs come from)? Greatly changed some aspects of it... without actually changing the essence, so, it was interesting.
Brynsleighttrick on January 8th, 2011 04:33 pm (UTC)
I really wish I was a math person, because I was kind of wondering about the time parallels while I was watching the original TRON. (I mean, Lora and Alan never went to check on Flynn and found him missing and found that weird? I dunno, that was my main problem with the original, haha!)

Also, wow on the 913 years of Grid Time for Kevin! I'm with you, I don't even want to think about him being stuck there for 913242 years...
crystalshard on January 8th, 2011 04:37 pm (UTC)
I'm guessing that the time parallels are about the same for both movies. So since Flynn can't have been in the original Grid for more than 24 hours Grid time, probably a lot less, that's only about half an hour. I can't see Alan and Lora being particularly worried about him taking that amount of time to hack in.

Yeah, the microcycle option is one I don't want to think about too closely . . .
Brynsleighttrick on January 8th, 2011 04:45 pm (UTC)
Right, I agree. When I was watching it when I was younger I kept thinking 'It's been an hour, you guys! Shouldn't you be checking to see where he went?' But I guess he was just manually doing what he was supposed to be doing on the computer, so it didn't really matter.
→ the beggar king.viserys on January 8th, 2011 06:45 pm (UTC)
I think you're making it a lot more complicated than it actually is. Haha. Not that this isn't interesting, which it really is -- I am no good with math, so this is fantastic to me.

That said, I can't remember where, but it was stated that time just moves 50 times faster within the Grid than it does in real life. I'll need to dig up a source, but I very clearly remember that being said. It could just have been someone dividing his 1000 years (grid time) by 20 years (that he was gone), which would mean that 1 year IRL = 50 years in the Grid. But somehow I remember it actually being said in canon somewhere. I'll look around for you!
crystalshard on January 8th, 2011 06:47 pm (UTC)
Awesome, please do! As I said in an earlier comment, I love to overcomplicate things.
Aniani_coolgirl on January 8th, 2011 06:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for putting this up! I wanted to do it myself, but too much math makes my brain go kaput. You're awesome!
crystalshard on January 8th, 2011 07:01 pm (UTC)
Heee, thank you! It's good to know that my mathematical meaderings are proving useful. *grin*
Aniani_coolgirl on January 8th, 2011 07:15 pm (UTC)
I'm sure you've made very detail-obsessed fans very happy. :D
hellsingmongrelhellsingmongrel on January 9th, 2011 05:22 pm (UTC)
I was another one who interpreted it to be 1hourGT=1minuteET because of the line "Hours on the Grid take Minutes in our world." The problem with fitting the "millicycles=8 hours" line is that it didn't explicitly say "millicycles=8 hours GT," which is something I listened for when I saw it the second time around. It could have bee 8 hours GT or 8 hours ET. Having it be 8 hours ET made more sense to the pacing for Clu's coupe in my head. When Kevin was walking through the Outlands and looked back to see Clu destroying the Iso city, it looked like a lot more time then just 8 hours had passed.
crystalshard on January 9th, 2011 05:46 pm (UTC)
True, but remember that Clu's coup was the point at which Flynn was trapped on the Grid. It could well have been more than eight hours Grid time, because by the time Clu destroyed the Isos, the portal could have already have closed.
hellsingmongrelhellsingmongrel on January 10th, 2011 12:17 am (UTC)
I thought I remembered Flynn glancing up at the "star" in the sky that was the portal and watching it close on him when Clu destroyed the Isos. And I remember Sam asking "Why didn't you fight?" to which Quorra responded "He did." By the time Flynn was wandering the Outlands, he had already decided to go into hiding and give up it seemed. Which made it seem more and more like there had been more then 8 GT hours between the coupe and the portal closing.

If it was 8 hours ET, then that would make it - with the 1GT Hour = 1ET Minute conversion - 20 days, which would be a more reasonable time I would think for Flynn to have tried to fight back. He would have needed help from loyal Programs and would have had to seek out others who would help combat the soldiers. But with the speed with which Clu attacked, nobody would have been prepared, and the reclamation of power would have failed, so in the end, Flynn would have had to retreat with his tail tucked between his legs.

Still, I understand that this is all sort of speculation, so I might be wrong. That's just how I saw it.