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Several good points.  Most specifically.

>I don't know if I agree with the make-everything-myself idea when it comes
>to really complicated processes that are really expensive such as chip
>making. At some point you need to repair/replace the "table top wafer fab"
>and the technology to do that would have to be carried. Then that
>technology needs to be repaired so you need the technology to do that.
>goes on forever with each iteration adding weight, complexity and cost.
>Also making chips is not as simple as a wafer lab according to the guys
>are making custom chips for me. The process is big by nature, requires
>of energy, lots of chemicals and consumables, very skilled people and
>ultra-high tech ultra expensive equipment. These guys snicker or drool
>whenever you talk about a small or inexpensive or easy prototype machine
>like you are discussing.

Both very true.  As the scaling goes up, you start with a ship - and up with 
a country!

>A better suggestion may be to design a "generic" logic module using modern
>technology. I'm not suggesting a few gates on a board as in the 80s I am
>suggesting a 32 Bit ARM processor, a DSP, 160k of program flash, 8Mbits
>data flash, 12k of RAM, a USB port, an IRDA port, some A/D channels, some
>D/A channels, somer general purpose IO pins. This could be built on a 2x3
>board that uses very low current (50ma with both CPU and DSP cooking at
>22/80 mips) at 3.0 volts using available (off the shelf) technology for
>a board in medium volumes at about 2 oz a board.

Hum, a super module with a ton of generic adaptable circuts, that could 
handel everything?  A very good idea. 

>Another way to extend the mission duration is to send supply ships ahead,
>or send them faster from behind with some replacement stuff. Since "stuff"
>doesn't need gravity or environmental controls or oxygen or food or water
>it can be moved much faster and much cheaper than we can move people.

Not really.  The main limit of speed is power, noyt human stress.  And the 
suply warehouse doesn't need to be in the habitation aea.  You might as well 
send the stuff along on the main ship and save the weight of the extra 
engines and flight controls (not to mention a automated ship relyable enough 
to trust everyones life on.)

>Considering FTL isn't going to happen soon, if ever, it is probably safe
>assume that we would go pretty slow in a colony ship. 

Can't go that slow, it would require too huge of a ship.