No, the original Ship Power Level Primer & Calculator thread can be found here:
It was first posted May 4, 2010, and garned the honor of a forum sticky on Dec 2, 2010. After the Forumpocalypse of 2012, my original thread was turned into an Archive Post and I lost the ability to edit it. About that time I took a hiatus from playing STO and the Calc fell behind many of the ships added in 2012. I returned to the game with the launch of Season 7: New Romulus, and with the Year 03 Anniversary I have resumed updating the thread and Calc, continuing to add features through the Legacy of Romulus Expansion.
Cuz I'm nerdy like that. Yeah, basically that's why. I like to fiddle with numbers. I like game mechanics. And the way ship's power interacts with skills, traits, ship type, consoles, devices, etc... It was an interesting pile of spaghetti to unravel. I found it best to do so as a spreadsheet on which I could make changes to one part or another.
After making and using it for myself, I posted it for others to use. Someone recommended I add more to my original post, to make the thread more attractive, so I wrote up the Power Guide.
I am not a programmer, and as much as I'd love to create an app that could do these calculations for me (us), I don't know how. However, I do have mad Excel skillz, and actually enjoy working with spreadsheets. (I sometimes think I missed my calling as an accountant.)
I host the file on my own page. I find that if I leave it as an xls file, some people have trouble getting it to download properly. Zipping it up resolved that issue.
I get this one a lot, and it boils down to aesthetics. I'm sorry, but I do not like the "look and feel" of Google Docs (nor any of the other similar online systems I've tried). GD is perfectly functional, but the fonts, backgrounds, cell notes, etc. do not match what I see in Excel. Not to mention there are some editing differences that are not available to me.
Others have taken the effort to take my sheet and convert it to Google, and that's fine for them if they like. I don't support those, keep them up-to-date, or otherwise vouch for the accuracy/functionality.
As the OP describes, I've written my Calculator using Excel. Say what you will about Microsoft, their Excel spreadsheet program (at least the 2003 version I use) rocks. Open Office is an open source version of MicroSoft's Office suite, and includes the spreadsheet program OpenOffice Calc which acts as their version of Excel. I don't generally use OO, but have loaded it on occasion to test it's compatibility with my Calc. Several versions up to OO v3.4.1 worked fine. It was a good, free, option for those without Microsoft Excel.
However, as of August 2013, it's been reported (and I've confirmed) that OO v4 doesn't work with my Calc. It's known to cause cells C34-38, K5-8, K12-15 (used for basic Engineering Consoles and setting Custom Power levels) to break. There are also some graphical display (artifacting) issues when using large spreadsheets (such as mine).
At this time I have no intention of extending support to the OO platform. I'm sorry, but this isn't a paying gig for me, it's only a hobby, and I've no interest in debugging another program. I'll keep the STO Ship's Power Calculator working for Excel naturally, and if someone else champion's OO v4, interacts with their community/forums to develop a fix, and/or can provide me with an easy few steps to integrate, I'll do what I can. Otherwise, OO v4 will remain officially unsupported.
Research, personal experience, and testing. I spend a lot of time reading Cryptic's official blogs, the forums (especially the Dev Tracker), and STOWiki. Also, whenever there are changes, I'll spend time in-game trying things out.
I make no guarantee other than to promise that if I tell you something, I either got it directly from a "reliable source" that I can provide as proof if needs be (such as a Dev post), I've tested/proved it in-game myself, at which point I'll typically explain how/why I came to whatever conclusion I'm expressing, or I'll honestly tell you of my ignorance and/or that I'm expressing merely opinion/supposition. Meaning if you don't believe me, you're always welcome to try/test things yourself. Everything I do, in proper Scientific Method, is open for debate/peer review, and I welcome the opportunity to learn something new.
That being said, in real life I am (among other things) a system analyst, so I'm skilled in procedural testing, diagnostics, deductive reasoning, etc. I've been playing STO since Feb 2010 (about 3wks after launch). I generally know what I'm talking about (or I'll say so).