Sunday, 6 January 2008
Να πάει με τόλμη...
I was accused of being a "Star Trek fan" by Dan the other day. If Star Trek fans were like, say, CSI fans, then I might not mind too much being counted amongst them, but as we all know these people are in a completely different league, and live in a totally different universe.
They are also very important. They administer and probably develop most of this planet's computer systems. I'm not sure whether the fact that many of our finest technologists have this obsession should worry us. I'd certainly be wary about using words such as "Star Trek" and "crap" in the same sentence - the Internet might suddenly stop working...
...Well, it didn't. Phew! Anyway, the programmes did have their good points. The women in the 60's outfits, for example. There was something else, though. The technology wasn't clunky like it was in most 50s or 60s Science Fiction. This was probably because the actual science bit wasn't really a major part of the story, and a lot of the gadgets and devices were things that people might want to use today.
Take their radios. These look very similar to modern mobile phones, although they don't have SMS or cameras. Or annoying ringtones (maybe the future will be better after all). And you never see Captain Kirk in the middle of some great mission getting a phone call from his mum.
Scientists are currently working on teleports. They've already managed to "transport" some atoms a metre or two. Not quite enough to beam up and down to a planet, but it's a start. Although you may well need a teleport at both ends, which is perhaps an issue. It'll be a braver man or woman than me who ever goes in one.
Computers talking is definitely a mistake, unless you're blind or can't use a keyboard. But the technology is there, there are just so many obvious practical problems - or opportunity for evilness. Can you imagine walking through an office full of voice activated computers saying loudly "Delete All Files", or "Reboot"? Yes, I thought you could.
The memory storage that they use is in the form of small disk-like objects, which aren't much different in scale from a DVD. Though the iPod seems to have gone out of fashion in the 24th Century. On the other hand, they have the holodeck, which is a considerable advance on the XBOX
One technology they never anticipated was the flatscreen displays In Star Trek, as with most programmes of that era, an astonishing amount of equipment is controlled with levers and buttons, and the output is in the form of a few coloured bulbs.
I've got all of the original series, and the 7 years of the "Next Generation" on DVD. As always with TV series, I'm obsessive about watching the episodes in order. I was devestated when Denise Crosby left half way through the first year. At some point, I intend to get round to watching the other three series.
I enjoy them, so maybe on second thoughts that does qualify me as a bit of a fan. But don't ever even think of calling me a "Trekkie", or I'll send some Klingons round...