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-   -   Question on consoles in Star Trek (http://sto-forum.perfectworld.com/showthread.php?t=374851)

gibbon1182 09-02-2012 09:14 AM

Question on consoles in Star Trek
 
I've always wondered why in Star Trek the buttons on the consoles or interfaces are numbers rather than words, how would the per operating the console know what they are doing?

captainrevo1 09-02-2012 10:38 AM

Mr. Worf. Arm phasers then press 7.

commadorebob 09-02-2012 10:48 AM

Actually, this dates back to NASA. The early Apollo computers had to be programmed. So when you wanted to say, activate the landing program, you would enter the program number into the keypad and hit enter (gross oversimplification, I know). And then you would enter numbers in a certain order to tell the computer things like speed, direction, etc and the computer would then know what to do.

But all it has to do is make sense to the user. If you told someone who never played computer games before to fly your ship in this game, they;d look at you with the same confusion when you say "WASD".

gibbon1182 09-02-2012 02:02 PM

Oh I see interesting. I also theorize it is a security measure, a way to keep unauthorized personnel from using the ship's systems, but this doesn't exactly work because every time Voyager was stolen the thieves knew how to use the controls right away. lol

lonnehart 09-02-2012 02:15 PM

Makes me wonder if the exploding consoles in all Star Trek ships (even if they have nothing to do with the power or weapon systems) have a basis in reality...

rikev 09-02-2012 02:24 PM

I want an Explode Console BOFF power. :*(

hortwort 09-02-2012 02:30 PM

Even though the technology is advanced, all anyone can do is punch in pictures like the cashier registers at McDonalds. You want to actually do something that takes a brain? Ask a holodeck to do it for you!

anazonda 09-02-2012 11:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gibbon1182 (Post 5562431)
Oh I see interesting. I also theorize it is a security measure, a way to keep unauthorized personnel from using the ship's systems, but this doesn't exactly work because every time Voyager was stolen the thieves knew how to use the controls right away. lol


Remember that episode "Hero Worthship" where Data saves a young boy from a partially destroyed ship, and the kid goes android?

In that episode, the kid blames himself, because during the collisions with the waves, his hand hit a console, and the ship was damaged the same instance.

Picard tells him, that it could not have been him, because all consoles use a function that requires a code before input can be given.

angrytarg 09-03-2012 12:20 AM

I imagine it somehow working like an older cash register. My wife was working in a store long time ago when the register didn't even have a display but the one they used had so many buttons only labeled with numbers or acronyms of some sort and whatever they did had to be punched in by codes. Wether you registred something, wanted to print out informations of some sorts everything was handled by punching in one of a bazillion codes the employees had to know and they did this veeery fast.

I guess working in starfleet you have to take one semester of "remembring console codes" at the academy XD

mithril2098 09-03-2012 01:00 AM

If you look at real world military aircraft and naval vessels, as well as real world spacecraft, you will find that most of the functions are not controlled by a mouse and keyboard, but by push button controls, dials, and switches that activate specific sets of actions, programs, and functions, and control is largely a matter of using these controls in the correct order and combinations. basically they are controlled by "macros". most of these are labelled with letters, numbers, or abbreviations of their functions, mostly to aid in training.


in older days these were physical systems, either analog electronics or actual physical controls. modern systems nowadays tend to be physical controls that tell a computer to use specific digital features. but the principle is the same. it reduces the amount of steps to perform a specific task to a minimum, and allows a degree of redundancy as well (even modern ones tied int digital systems are still built with analog electrical or mechanical back ups in the event of a computer problem, EMP, or a computer virus.)

we are beginning ot see the use of keyboard/mouse/'windows' type controls for some things (like flight control and some types of sensors), but the physical key tied into a "macro" is far faster than hunting down icons and paging through computer windows. for one, the physical key layouts can be drilled over and over, to the point someone can activate any of their controls by touch and reflex, something you can't do with a keyboard/mouse/'windows' set up.

in fact, most gamers instinctively come to understand the same principles, since they tend to program in macro's so they can access specific functions in a game (chat, menus, activating powers or weapons, etc ) using just a few key presses, so that they never have to remove their hands from their keys to switch control methods while playing a game.


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