When a power crystal no longer serves its purpose, it gets recycled, broken down into smaller pieces that can be used in other kinds of technology – such as armor plating. In this case, a Data Crystal is a power crystal that has been melted down and remade into an item that can carry information dependant on its size, the actual process of creating a data-crystal takes a great deal of time.
Originally, the Neshaten used disks in order to store information, but in ER 740, a discovery was made in a research lab where a scientist fabricated what should’ve been an energy crystal, but quickly found that the crystal was not generating any power. Instead, when the scientist hooked up the crystal to a power source and then to a console, he was able to read the crystal and find that data could be stored. This lead to the creation of the Data Crystal, which was made publically available in ER 770, almost thirty years after it was discovered, due to the RnD labs wanting to perfect the technology behind it.
Data Crystals, despite being a crystal, are actually quite tough and can take a good deal of pounding before shattering. They can be accessed easily by attaching two cables, one meant for reading, and one meant for power, onto either side of the crystals two end points.
There uses are many, some data crystals are used in computer terminals for storing user information to make using said terminals easier on specific individuals. Other times, the crystals are used for storing detailed reports, logs, and even classified information. Some can even be used as a personnel ID card.
In order to ensure that important information or classified data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands, data crystals were designed with a security feature built into the crystal itself. This security feature activated either at the factory or by the individual, can determine who can access the crystal and who can’t. The crystals security levels are represented by the actual color of the crystal itself, there is light purple, red, black, and white.
A data crystal that is light purple is a crystal that has no security on it, typically these are found mostly in civilian hands or in consoles and terminals in private use.
Price: 45 Rn
A data crystal that is red is a crystal that has some varying degrees of security; this can include the requirement of passwords or other forms of crystal-unlocking software. These crystals are found more in public terminals and in the hands of private individuals who are concerned about their personal data.
Price: 500 Rn
A data crystal that is black is a crystal that has moderate security on it; these crystals are difficult to break into but with time, can be broken. In order to protect the data on the crystal, the crystals internal structure becomes rearranged and only the person, who set the security, or those with the right type of equipment and the pass codes, can rearrange the structure to its original state. These crystals are found predominately in military hands, rarely are they used in the civilian sector. They also serve the roll of a ‘black-box’ in non-military vehicles.
Price: 1400 Rn
A data crystal that is white is a crystal that has the hardest security measures ever created by the Neshaten for use in their crystals; they are also reinforced to be made hard and difficult to break. A white crystal can only be opened using specific data terminals, designed to not only access but also to transfer certain security precautions. White crystals require a voice match, blood match, vision, and pass codes to access. Because of this, they are used exclusively in military quantum computers as a storage device for storing ship logs.
A white crystal is designed from the ground up, to also only be able to work with specific individuals if needed. An example being that a crystal can be designed for a starship captain, and it’ll only work ‘with’ that captain, in short his/her voice and retinal scans are what is needed to break the crystals encryption.
Price: Not for purchase outside the military.
There are other uses for these data-crystals, not just to be used in quantum computers onboard ships, or the consoles there to store user information. So far, the only other use for a data crystal is as an identification ‘card’
A PIDC is a crystal designed to store a limited amount of personal information, this information comes in the form of a person’s date of birth, home address, call number, medical history, employment history. For the military, it also stores a person’s military history along with their current deployment orders and who their superiors are. It also has details on any infractions they might’ve been given.
A PIDC Crystal takes the color orange as its basic identification. While civilians aren’t required by any law to have these crystals on them, the prospect of their medical history means that any reason for them to go to a hospital can be easily looked up. On the other hand, military soldiers are required to have these crystals on-hand where ever they go, worn around the neck or located somewhere on their body.
The actual security on a PID Crystal depends on the type of security the person choose, civilians can choose any level of security for their PIDs. Military, on the other hand, don’t have a choice – their crystals are medium security (for enlisted) and heavy (for officers)
It should also be noted that PIDC's can also be used for paying for things, by having the crystal set to access the person's bank account. However, this function is 'only' available on Black and White crystals.
Price: PIDC Are free to military personnel, however, price is dependent on what type of security the crystal has.