Question on consoles in Star Trek
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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.