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tofu
2005-Mar-16, 02:50 PM
On how many episodes and in how many movies does the captian of a starship start the self destruct countdown? Is it safe to say that this has become a cliche?

papageno
2005-Mar-16, 02:52 PM
On how many episodes and in how many movies does the captian of a starship start the self destruct countdown? Is it safe to say that this has become a cliche?
Do you mean intentional self-destruct?

ToSeek
2005-Mar-16, 02:53 PM
It was really cool the first time Star Trek did it, but, yes, I think it's become a cliche.

Glom
2005-Mar-16, 02:57 PM
When you are engaging with hostile enemies, you need a failsafe to prevent your ship from falling into enemy hands. Of course, that doesn't really apply to Trek because their failsafe and not safe from failure. See warp core ejection system.

Doodler
2005-Mar-16, 03:20 PM
From the original series, I remember two occassions of self destruct activation and one stand by order.

"Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" was the first, the exact same sequence carried out in Star Trek III. In Star Trek: The Motion Picture's extended version, Kirk orders Scot to stand by to execute General Order 12 while they are trapped inside V'Ger. General Order 12 is the order to allow the matter and anti-matter fuel to interact in an uncontrolled explosion.

I recall one case of self destruct activation in ST:TNG. When Picard orders it when they're trapped in that little pocket of space with the psycho alien that wants to experiment with various means of death.

One case stands out in Voyager, when the ship is duplicated while sharing their anti-matter fuel supply and one of the Janeways destroys her ship to save the other.


Hardly cliche level use.


Edit: Corrected episode title AGAIN!! :P (Never get old, its sucks)

Glom
2005-Mar-16, 03:55 PM
Add to that:
'11001001' [TNG] when Picard and Riker believed the Bynars had commandeered the Enterprise with hostile intent.
'Dreadnought' [VOY] when Janeway was going to use the ship to destroy the missile before it hit Rakosa.
'The Basics part I' [VOY] when the Kazon had boarded the ship although the self destruct had been disabled ("I thought a failsafe was supposed to be somewhat safe from failure.")
Star Trek: First Contact to destroy the Borg infiltration.

WHarris
2005-Mar-16, 05:11 PM
And in Deep Space Nine, "The Adversary": Sisko & Kira set the Defiant to self-destruct to prevent the changeling from using the ship to attack the Tzenkethi.



"Let This Be Your Final Battlefield" was the first, the exact same sequence carried out in Star Trek III. In Star Trek: The Motion Picture's extended version, Kirk orders Scot to stand by to execute General Order 12 while they are trapped inside V'Ger. General Order 12 is the order to allow the matter and anti-matter fuel to interact in an uncontrolled explosion.


Sorry to be a stickler for details, but the episode was titled "Let This Be Your Last Battlefield".

gethen
2005-Mar-16, 05:28 PM
I thought Galaxy Quest put that self-destruct mechanism to rest pretty effectively. "It always stops at one!"

Waarthog
2005-Mar-16, 07:13 PM
Always thought the self destruct seqence was only useful if the ship was evacuating first, a la ST3 Search for Spock. Otherwise, the engineer could cook off the ship pretty quick if need be by turning off the magnetic bottle holding the antimatter.

tofu
2005-Mar-16, 07:23 PM
Picard also tried to use it in the latest movie (Nemesis) but the computer said it was damaged. Along with the other instances of use cited in this thread, I do think there are enough to call it a cliche.

The attempted use in Nemesis is really typical of the unimaginative witting that calls on a self destruct at every opportunity. As others have pointed out, when the computer said that the mechanism had been damaged, Picard should have just called down to the engineering section and told them to flip the "off" switch. That would have released the antimatter and destroyed the ship - as well as the enemy ship, which is what Picard was trying to do anyway.

Grey
2005-Mar-16, 07:34 PM
I admit to being impressed that in Star Trek III, the self destruct actually works, the countdown isn't aborted, and the ship is destroyed. Can't call that a cliche!

toolazytotypemyname
2005-Mar-17, 12:59 AM
what about the Corbomite Maneuver?

an original use of the threat of self-destruct.

archman
2005-Mar-17, 01:09 AM
On Stargate SG1, the facility's self-destruct seems to be involved (somehow) in roughly one out of three episodes. I'm quite surprised they haven't accidentally blown themselves up by now. :o

gopher65
2005-Mar-17, 01:26 AM
I find the use of self destructs (or is it "autodestruct"?) quite amusing. Since we know ahead of time the main characters are invunerable, the only possible solutions are to either disable the SD, or to evacuate the ship/station/base before it goes off. The use of self destruct is only a good plot device if someone can be injured by it.

Glom
2005-Mar-17, 01:36 AM
It's a fair precaution on SG. It is vitally important to ensure that the gate doesn't threaten the rest of the planet so if they cannot contain anything within the SGC, they blow it up. Early on, they activated the self-destruct whenever there was an off-world activation. Of course, at the time, Apophis was sending big honkin' bombs through.

Inferno
2005-Mar-17, 02:37 AM
I like the self destruct mechanism in Alien. First, it was difficult to operate. Unlike the Stark Trek ones there are extensive instructions and procedures to be followed, not just stating your name and oh so hard codeword to remember. And second, they don't get back in time to turn it off!

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Mar-17, 02:44 AM
I don't think it was even a dedicated self-destruct mechanism. I think they just jimmied the reactor to blow.

ChesleyFan
2005-Mar-17, 03:30 AM
And in Deep Space Nine, "The Adversary": Sisko & Kira set the Defiant to self-destruct to prevent the changeling from using the ship to attack the Tzenkethi.



"Let This Be Your Final Battlefield" was the first, the exact same sequence carried out in Star Trek III. In Star Trek: The Motion Picture's extended version, Kirk orders Scot to stand by to execute General Order 12 while they are trapped inside V'Ger. General Order 12 is the order to allow the matter and anti-matter fuel to interact in an uncontrolled explosion.


Sorry to be a stickler for details, but the episode was titled "Let This Be Your Last Battlefield".

To be a real stickler, the title of the episode was "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield."

Jpax2003
2005-Mar-17, 05:59 AM
Babylon 5 didn't have an auto-destruct or a self-destruct. I think only once was any type of self-destruction contemplated and that was only hinted to in one episode when someone says someone else is rigging the fusion reactor to blow as a last resort. (I hope that is vague enough to avoid spoilers.) Although there was one other episode where there was a threat to the reactor, but it was not a built in protocol.

A'a
2005-Mar-17, 04:43 PM
I believe the one in Spaceballs has the best security by far.

"Do not push unles you really, really mean it"

The Shade
2005-Mar-17, 09:41 PM
Yeah, but in true sci-fi fashion, even the cancellation button was out of order. "Even in the future, nothing works!"

BigJim
2005-Mar-18, 01:16 PM
I thought that the self-destruct scene in Let That Be Your Last Battlefield was one of the classic TOS scenes - very tense, and very cool the way they did it with the close-ups and eyes on the mouths. Very tense scene. Star Trek III was cool because they actually did it. ("It appears to be... speaking. Speaking? Let me hear it." That was a good dialogue)

teddyv
2005-Mar-18, 04:27 PM
I thought that the self-destruct scene in Let That Be Your Last Battlefield was one of the classic TOS scenes - very tense, and very cool the way they did it with the close-ups and eyes on the mouths. Very tense scene. Star Trek III was cool because they actually did it. ("It appears to be... speaking. Speaking? Let me hear it." That was a good dialogue)

The Star Trek III explosion was kind of wimpy. Shouldn't the Warp core gone critical and exploded from the engineering area? Or does the federation just wire C4 throughout the saucer. :-?

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Mar-18, 04:56 PM
They always look wimpy. An antimatter explosion should be a flash of white, and then a whole lot of nothing.

Doodler
2005-Mar-18, 06:09 PM
I thought that the self-destruct scene in Let That Be Your Last Battlefield was one of the classic TOS scenes - very tense, and very cool the way they did it with the close-ups and eyes on the mouths. Very tense scene. Star Trek III was cool because they actually did it. ("It appears to be... speaking. Speaking? Let me hear it." That was a good dialogue)

The Star Trek III explosion was kind of wimpy. Shouldn't the Warp core gone critical and exploded from the engineering area? Or does the federation just wire C4 throughout the saucer. :-?


The explosion in ST3 was a controlled explosion, the part that actually exploded was nowhere near the main reactor or the fuel storage. More like a scuttling destruct than a "light up the neighborhood" boom.

Moose
2005-Mar-18, 06:37 PM
Exactly. If the situation is serious enough to touch off the scuttling charge, you want it to be strong enough to render the ship unsalvagable, but not strong enough to destroy any ejected lifepods.

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Mar-18, 06:57 PM
I suppose that makes sense. Alright, it's the only thing that can make sense.

Charly
2005-Mar-18, 10:43 PM
Auto Destruct Sequence Initiated!

The best usage has to be aboard Red Dwarf.

darkhunter
2005-Mar-19, 09:46 AM
Exactly. If the situation is serious enough to touch off the scuttling charge, you want it to be strong enough to render the ship unsalvagable, but not strong enough to destroy any ejected lifepods.The only problem with the scuttling charge--it leaves the warp core intact (no big boom to destroy escaping pods. However--they best thing to next happen is that the core slowly bleeds off anti-matter until the destruction of the warp core won't endanger the escape pods...

JonnyWishbone
2005-Mar-19, 10:13 AM
In Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Kirk gives the order to Scotty to do something if the talk with V'Ger doesn't go well. Is it a self-destruct command or is it something else? Because Scotty does reply to a junior engineer's question about whether the result will 'kill' V'ger with something like, "When that much matter and anti-matter collide? Aye."

But yeah, you wouldn't want to go breaching your warp core with a bunch of escape pods in the process of escaping, given that I think most 'escapes' from warp core breaches we've seen in Trek have involved going to warp to get away from the exploding ship.

Cheers, Jon

nomuse
2005-Mar-20, 02:11 AM
Suprised no-one mentioned the Constitution, re "The Doomsday Machine." I always liked that the exact megatonnage of the blast if the engines blew was on a data plate riveted right to the bulkhead. Like, you need to know this number often. Or as if a megaton here or there really matters when your warp core goes bad.

JonnyWishbone
2005-Mar-20, 06:13 AM
Isn't it the fusion reactor that they blow in The Doomsday Machine?

Cheers, Jon

jt-3d
2005-Mar-20, 06:31 AM
Suprised no-one mentioned the Constitution, re "The Doomsday Machine." I always liked that the exact megatonnage of the blast if the engines blew was on a data plate riveted right to the bulkhead. Like, you need to know this number often. Or as if a megaton here or there really matters when your warp core goes bad.

:o Really, well now I have an excuse to watch my favorite episode again. weeee

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Mar-20, 06:31 AM
How did they pull that off? You can't blow a fusion reactor, can you? Once it loses containment, the reaction stops.

JonnyWishbone
2005-Mar-20, 07:18 AM
They rig the impulse engines to blow, as the Constellation doesn't have warp anymore, but I'm not sure they ever specifically say anything about fusion reactors, come to think of it.

Cheers, Jon

10stone5
2005-Mar-21, 09:42 PM
"Zero, Zero, Zero. Destruct Zero"

Who wouldn't have been able to hack that code. I'm guessing Tribbles could have done it !! :o

Russ
2005-Mar-22, 03:00 AM
They rig the impulse engines to blow, as the Constellation doesn't have warp anymore, but I'm not sure they ever specifically say anything about fusion reactors, come to think of it.

Cheers, Jon

No, they breached the antimatter containment for the mega-explosion. You are correct that they nolonger had warp drive but the fuel was still there. They discussed how an impulse engine explosion would not have been enough to destroy the DDM. :) :wink:

Rue
2005-Mar-22, 03:33 AM
In another episode of TNG a Romulan ship was infested by an alien computer program and they could not shut down the auto-destruct.

wedgebert
2005-Mar-22, 04:00 AM
This post got me wondering something about ST.

How can they ever come across wreakage of a starship after a battle? Even a little antimatter is enough to wreak serious damage on everything around it if it blows, and one would think that the starships would carry a few kilos or so at least. Plus when you count the (theoretical) yield of the photon torpedoes (not what we see, but what they claim they can do :) ), you'd think there'd be nothing left of a ship that lost containment.

If you've read the Night's Dawn trilogy by Peter Hamilton (if you haven't minor spoiler coming, so beware...), you'll remember that the small amount of antimatter that what'shisname was hiding inside a small containment device inside his body was able to melt the outer layer of rran asteroid and render the interior of the asteroid inhabitable due to heat transfer for a long period of time. And that was from 23 km away. Starships in the surrounding region lucky enough to be far enough way to not be vaporised the rush of x-rays and gamma rays were turned into radioactive hulks.

Granted this might be a bit of a stretch and I can't remember how much antimatter was in his abdomen, but I don't think it's much of one.

So back to my question, even assuming the manage to eject the warp core (and assuming it contains all the antimatter fuel on the ship), wouldn't the resulting explosion still pretty much wipe out everything and everyone around it?

captain swoop
2005-Mar-22, 09:52 AM
Unfortunately the mechanisn for ejecting the Warp Core is always the first thing that breaks. I would use a big red lever and springs.

gopher65
2005-Mar-22, 04:24 PM
I actually wondered the same thing about pretty much everything stated here. Here's what I came up with in the way of looking back at flawed inshow mechanics :roll: :

1) ST ships obviously have more than 1 type of auto(self)-destruct.

a)A type intended to be used in the middle on an enemy fleet, and does massive damage to everything around it. This is caused by shutting down the antimatter containment fields.
b)Type 2 is when they are scuttling the ship, and they want to be able to get away from it. They neutralize the antimatter without any resulting energy release (as stupid as this sounds, this happens in numerous ST episodes, so we know it is possible in the ST universe) and then blow the ship using conventional explosives.

2) In the Doomsday Machine, the ship in question had no antimatter left, no phasers left (they had no torpedos at this time for some reason), and no warp drive. They put the impulse engines into some sort of feedback loop overload that was supposed to go off exactly as the ship entered the big funny looking cylinder that was supposed to look threatening. It worked. 90 megaton explosion (oh come on. My farts make a bigger blast than that).

3) No one in ST ever tries to hack computers. It is against the rules.

4) In ST 3 they wanted to destroy the Enterprise without damaging the Klingon ship that was sitting right beside it. Therefore an antimatter explosion is exactly what they didn't want to happen.

5) Not ST exactly, but I was thinking about antimatter explosions in general. While I agree a large amount of radiation should be released (of course), why is there a shockwave? They are in space. There is no medium for a shockwave to propagate though. Their shields are basically advanced radiation shielding. The explosion from a torpedo set on "make a big boom in every direction" (ie, not a directional charge) should do nothing to them but cause an energy drain and (maybe) heat up the radation resistant hull. Yet they show these huge explosions with shockwaves and their ships being physically damaged. Am I missing something?

6) Not sure, but I would guess all Federation (and all other governments for that matter) would order their captains to selfdestruct before allowing capture. My problem isn't that Captain Janeway and Picard order self destruct too often, but that they don't order it often enough. Just how many times did aliens manage to take over the enterprise?

wedgebert
2005-Mar-22, 04:41 PM
An antimatter explosion in space wouldn't have a shockwave. You'd get a huge flash of visible light, which makes up a very small percentage of the total energy. The rest is released as x-rays and gamma rays.

The energy transfer from the radiation would cause serious structural damage to your ship. Things too near the explosion would have their molecules torn apart. Further way, objects would be super heated by abosrbing radiation and also be irradiated by it.

There wouldn't be any explosions or fireballs like ST likes to show. The flash of visible light would be enough to blind or dazzle people and sensors for tends of thousands of kilometers, depending on the amount of antimatter. For the most part, ships would either be vaporized or remain largely intact, but be inhabitable from the radiation.

Charly
2005-Mar-22, 04:50 PM
How did they pull that off?

Yeah its a big one. Normally you can just press a button.


You can't blow a fusion reactor, can you?

Well, only with fusion powered lips


Once it loses containment, the reaction stops..

And you are left to clear up the mess. [-X

Captain Kidd
2005-Mar-22, 04:55 PM
I actually wondered the same thing about pretty much everything stated here. Here's what I came up with in the way of looking back at flawed inshow mechanics :roll: :

1) ST ships obviously have more than 1 type of auto(self)-destruct.

a)A type intended to be used in the middle on an enemy fleet, and does massive damage to everything around it. This is caused by shutting down the antimatter containment fields.
b)Type 2 is when they are scuttling the ship, and they want to be able to get away from it. They neutralize the antimatter without any resulting energy release (as stupid as this sounds, this happens in numerous ST episodes, so we know it is possible in the ST universe) and then blow the ship using conventional explosives.
Possible, but the computer would either have to be a mind reader or have an elobrate protocol system set up as I only remember them saying stuff along the lines of "initiate self-destruct sequence." Never which self-destruct sequence.

Moose
2005-Mar-22, 06:02 PM
3) No one in ST ever tries to hack computers. It is against the rules.

Sure they do:

* The Wrath Of Khan: Kirk and Spock exploit remote log-in protocols made possible by inappropriate root password management. Passwords, especially root passwords, should never be written down and especially should not be widely distributed. Root passwords should be changed every three-to-six months. The password should not be limited to 10^7 characters, but should be a sequence of random characters drawn from the entire UFPnicode alphabet, to defeat brute force and dictionary cracks.

* The TOS episode with Daystrom's autopilot, the one with Harry Mudd's robotic harem, a few others: Where Kirk exploited buffer overflow vulnerabilities within the Verbal Interpretation Lexical Library And Implementation iNstructions (VILLAIN) SDK. This could have been prevented by execution of an effective patching regimen.

* The TNG episode where Data takes over the Enterprise, after having been pwned by Soong. When Data had been released to the wild, little did he know that Noonian "0F73N\/\/R0N5" Soong had installed a backdoor, via a trojan. Once the backdoor was activated, a signal sent to an obscure fIRC server advertized the availability of this security breach.

Soong then logged in, using Data to bypass the Enterprise's firewall, exploited an escalation of privileges attack caused by Picard's inability to remember to log out of his console when not in use, changed the Enterprise's root password, then used the main computer to execute a massive denial of service attack against the rest of the Enterprise network.

This could have been prevented by any of several simple actions:

- All androids, datapads and tricorders should be running both a virus checker and a malware scanner with the signature files kept up to date. This would have detected the trojan. Failing that, a competant egress firewall like BorgAlarm or PackledStorm (they're free!) would have both prevented the trojan from opening a port, which would have prevented Soong from exploiting that back door.

- The Enterprise firewall should have been filtering common exploit ports across the local network.

- It is a good idea to never leave a root connection permanantly logged in. Many an ensign has forgotten to log out and have had embarassing personal details posted to UFPnet in their names, usually to newsgroups like alt.naughty.vulcans.spank.spank.spank and alt.ensign.wesley.crusher.die.die.die. Worse is coming to the attention of crackers in the alt.26000.0 newsgroup.

The risk of disaster is immense when leaving root accounts logged in unnecessarily.

- And always remember that while you may trust your crewmates implicitly, it is axiomatic that the chain of trust includes everybody you trust, as well as everybody they trust, and so forth. Any compromised link in that chain compromises the entire chain.

* In the same episode, Soong was "pwned" by a trivial social engineering attack performed by a rival s'kiddie known only as "|_0r3m4z73r" culminating with grand theft of an emotion chip via identity fraud. It is important to always properly verify the purchaser's credentials before consumating a transaction.

* The TOS episode where they tried to take down a Borg ship with a fractal pattern. It is important to remember that most exploits are delivered through unexpected subspace attachments. If you receive such an attachment, even from a friend, it is normally best to delete that attachment unread, or at minimum, check it through a competent virus checker before opening it.

* The TNG episode with the Bynars executed a large number of attacks (social engineering, escalation of priviledge, denial of service to name just a few) which could have been avoided entirely had they had a proper offsite backup policy as part of an effective disaster recovery plan.

Given this, it is clear that little has changed between the 24th century and today, at least in terms of IT security.

SeanF
2005-Mar-22, 06:35 PM
Okay, Moose, I know your post was tongue-in-cheek, but I'm going to take exception to your characterization of the episode "Brothers," in which Soong takes over Data.

1. There's no reason to tie the attack to Picard's failure to log out. As both Science Office and Second Officer, Data would have his own high-level log-in (which, combined with his own hacker skills, would likely allow him to bypass any internal system security as well).

2. Since Data is one-of-a-kind*, it is unlikely that any off-the-shelf virus-checker or malware-scanner software, no matter how up-to-date, would have been aware of the "backdoor" that his creator had preinstalled.

3. Since the communication from Soong to Data was a broadcast subspace radio frequency, it is unlikely that any physical firewall device would have been able to prevent it from reaching Data's input port, unless said firewall is capable of actively blocking all external subspace signals over the entire surface of the ship.

:)

*Okay, two-of-a-kind - all right, three-of-a-kind - but neither Lore nor B4 was available for inspection and testing to Federation Network Security personnel.

Moose
2005-Mar-22, 06:46 PM
1. There's no reason to tie the attack to Picard's failure to log out. As both Science Office and Second Officer, Data would have his own high-level log-in (which, combined with his own hacker skills, would likely allow him to bypass any internal system security as well).

He might have had superuser access, but not root. Remember, he had to imitate Picard's voice in order to alter the root password. The denial of service attacks were all done from Picard's access as well.


2. Since Data is one-of-a-kind*, it is unlikely that any off-the-shelf virus-checker or malware-scanner software, no matter how up-to-date, would have been aware of the "backdoor" that his creator had preinstalled.

Just goes to show you how important peer review is, and to avoid lock-in with proprietary vendors and OSes. Open source is the way to go.


3. Since the communication from Soong to Data was a broadcast subspace radio frequency, it is unlikely that any physical firewall device would have been able to prevent it from reaching Data's input port, unless said firewall is capable of actively blocking all external subspace signals over the entire surface of the ship.

:)

*Okay, two-of-a-kind - all right, three-of-a-kind - but neither Lore nor B4 was available for inspection and testing to Federation Network Security personnel.

Granted, but it simply reinforces the need for good egress firewalls on all client systems, especially in the WAP age.

8)

SeanF
2005-Mar-22, 06:56 PM
1. There's no reason to tie the attack to Picard's failure to log out. As both Science Office and Second Officer, Data would have his own high-level log-in (which, combined with his own hacker skills, would likely allow him to bypass any internal system security as well).
He might have had superuser access, but not root. Remember, he had to imitate Picard's voice in order to alter the root password. The denial of service attacks were all done from Picard's access as well.
True, but . . . if the system security is tied to voice-print (which it apparently is), then Data's ability to accurately mimic Picard's voice means, again, that Picard didn't have to leave an active log-in in order for Data to do what he did. :)



2. Since Data is one-of-a-kind*, it is unlikely that any off-the-shelf virus-checker or malware-scanner software, no matter how up-to-date, would have been aware of the "backdoor" that his creator had preinstalled.
Just goes to show you how important peer review is, and to avoid lock-in with proprietary vendors and OSes. Open source is the way to go.
Well, there's arguments against this as well, but it's not really computer-related, so I'll let it go. :)



3. Since the communication from Soong to Data was a broadcast subspace radio frequency, it is unlikely that any physical firewall device would have been able to prevent it from reaching Data's input port, unless said firewall is capable of actively blocking all external subspace signals over the entire surface of the ship.

:)

*Okay, two-of-a-kind - all right, three-of-a-kind - but neither Lore nor B4 was available for inspection and testing to Federation Network Security personnel.
Granted, but it simply reinforces the need for good egress firewalls on all client systems, especially in the WAP age.

8)
Same here, I believe . . .

Moose
2005-Mar-22, 07:05 PM
1. There's no reason to tie the attack to Picard's failure to log out. As both Science Office and Second Officer, Data would have his own high-level log-in (which, combined with his own hacker skills, would likely allow him to bypass any internal system security as well).
He might have had superuser access, but not root. Remember, he had to imitate Picard's voice in order to alter the root password. The denial of service attacks were all done from Picard's access as well.

True, but . . . if the system security is tied to voice-print (which it apparently is), then Data's ability to accurately mimic Picard's voice means, again, that Picard didn't have to leave an active log-in in order for Data to do what he did. :)

*grin* Fair enough, but it would have slowed Data down... perhaps a quarter second or so. A lot can happen in a quarter second. :wink:

Van Rijn
2005-Mar-23, 01:50 AM
He might have had superuser access, but not root. Remember, he had to imitate Picard's voice in order to alter the root password. The denial of service attacks were all done from Picard's access as well.


2. Since Data is one-of-a-kind*, it is unlikely that any off-the-shelf virus-checker or malware-scanner software, no matter how up-to-date, would have been aware of the "backdoor" that his creator had preinstalled.

Just goes to show you how important peer review is, and to avoid lock-in with proprietary vendors and OSes. Open source is the way to go.


Heh. While I'm not anti-Microsoft, I have wondered what OS Federation starships would run. Given the nature of the Feds, and Microsoft/Borg jokes aside, I suspect it is far more likely an outgrowth of open source development than proprietary software. Yes, I suspect the Feds use Linux 5000. :)

DataCable
2005-Mar-23, 09:58 AM
The Data Hack in "Brothers" is one of my pet plot holes. It's been repeatedly demonstrated that the ship's computer can pinpoint the location of any crewmember... so you'd think that, when a request for a high-level access change of this sort is received, the computer would automatically check if the location of the user supposedly making the request (especially El Capitan) actually matches the location of the terminal from which the request was made. :roll:

jt-3d
2005-Mar-23, 12:34 PM
I'd call it a hack in TOS when Kirk and friends freaked out Mudd's bots with illogic. I guess that would be a buffer overflow? One of my favorite scenes in the series.

SeanF
2005-Mar-23, 02:20 PM
The Data Hack in "Brothers" is one of my pet plot holes. It's been repeatedly demonstrated that the ship's computer can pinpoint the location of any crewmember... so you'd think that, when a request for a high-level access change of this sort is received, the computer would automatically check if the location of the user supposedly making the request (especially El Capitan) actually matches the location of the terminal from which the request was made. :roll:
The computer locates people via their commbadges. Since it would be much easier to get your hands on Picard's badge than to mimic his voice, it would be somewhat redundant, wouldn't it?

Plus, it means that you could take Picard's commbadge and then not even bother holding him, because he couldn't do anything with the computer without it.

Swift
2005-Mar-23, 02:44 PM
Nice discussion about Star Trek computer stuff (and pretty funny too). Of all the bad science in ST, particularly ST:NG and after, I think the computer stuff has been among the worse (and I'm not a computer person). The main problem has been a lack of imagination - the level of technology has always been kind of wimpy. Think how much has changed in the last 25 years, what do you think computer hardware and software will be like in 300 years! I don't suspect we will have warp drive and transporters in my lifetime, but I'm pretty certain there will be computer games and virtual reality that will allow me to easily pretend there is.

nomuse
2005-Mar-23, 04:47 PM
Nice discussion about Star Trek computer stuff (and pretty funny too). Of all the bad science in ST, particularly ST:NG and after, I think the computer stuff has been among the worse (and I'm not a computer person). The main problem has been a lack of imagination - the level of technology has always been kind of wimpy. Think how much has changed in the last 25 years, what do you think computer hardware and software will be like in 300 years! I don't suspect we will have warp drive and transporters in my lifetime, but I'm pretty certain there will be computer games and virtual reality that will allow me to easily pretend there is.

Well, I do have a theory.

First observation is com-badge conversations. Notice the channel is almost never closed. Notice also that, frequently, a third person will join a conversation -- with full knowledge of what has gone before.

And just look at this sample conversation;

"Captain?" (Riker, down in the transporter bay)
"Number One?" (Picard replies with NO PAUSE)
"I think you should see this" (Riker, again speaking with NO PAUSE).

If there was a pause in the conversation, we might assume the com badges/ship's communications system were simply running on a delay loop. When the system recognized "Captain" was the addressee, it made the proper connection then played the stored recording.

Since there was no delay, however (and, in addition, there are many cases of someone being hailed WITHOUT the identifier ever given), we have to assume that the communications system is actually a sophisticated natural-language system, capable of interpreting the socio-functional event stream and making (and breaking) the connections in anticipation of the user's wishes.

If we allow for a moment this assumption, it suddenly becomes obvious how Star Fleet personnel can operate any console despite the uninformative Okuda-grams (or the unlabeled buttons of TOS).

Simply put, the computer is doing everything. This also explains why no matter how efficiently or inefficiently orders are passed around the bridge, and no matter how much or how little information is passed on, the right thing manages to happen CONSISTENTLY just in time.

The crew are basically trained monkeys; hitting buttons randomly. (And this probably explains why they can afford to send their Captain, CMO, and engineer down to every planet they stop at -- these are people chosen for their personal charm and interpersonnel savvy; not for their technical skills).

Of course the computer has to hide these advanced capabilities. The monotone computer voice is a dead give-away.

Given that the computer is moderating the crew's experience, it makes sense that it is also generating star-like patterns on the viewscreens to give a feeling of movement, and doing a "stick-shaker" routine on the bridge to sharpen combat.

One also assumes that, least the crew get feeling too coddled, the holodeck is programmed to periodically run around flailing its arms and crying "Warning, warning! My safeties are off!" Notice please that no matter how many times the "safties go off," only minor injuries have ever resulted.

Jim
2005-Mar-23, 04:58 PM
Of course the computer has to hide these advanced capabilities. The monotone computer voice is a dead give-away.

Based on the rest of your post, maybe it's just bored.

Moose
2005-Mar-23, 05:08 PM
If we allow for a moment this assumption, it suddenly becomes obvious how Star Fleet personnel can operate any console despite the uninformative Okuda-grams (or the unlabeled buttons of TOS).

Security through obscurity. Another bad idea. Tsk tsk.

[Scribbles notes on audit clipboard while Picard nervously adjusts his uniform jacket and Riker does his "deer in headlights" look.]

(Interesting thesis, nomuse. Sorry about the hijack.)

nomuse
2005-Mar-23, 05:21 PM
Heh. You should hear my friend's theory on Universal Translators and idioglossia (entirely based on one DS-9 episode, though...)

Swift
2005-Mar-23, 05:33 PM
Wow, great idea nomuse. In fact, maybe they are not on a starship at all, its just some sort of elaborate computer game. The civilization is so advanced that machines do everything and so they make up these "Starfleet" games to give the humans something to do.
8-[

JohnOwens
2005-Mar-23, 07:23 PM
One also assumes that, least the crew get feeling too coddled, the holodeck is programmed to periodically run around flailing its arms and crying "Warning, warning! My safeties are off!" Notice please that no matter how many times the "safties go off," only minor injuries have ever resulted.
Are you kidding? Didn't Picard himself take a snowball to the chest from the holodeck in, I think, the very first episode? (Or am I confusing the confusion over whether the snowball could exist outside with the confusion over whether the clothes would still be wet from the stream outside?) Oh, the humanity!

SeanF
2005-Mar-23, 07:26 PM
One also assumes that, least the crew get feeling too coddled, the holodeck is programmed to periodically run around flailing its arms and crying "Warning, warning! My safeties are off!" Notice please that no matter how many times the "safties go off," only minor injuries have ever resulted.
Are you kidding? Didn't Picard himself take a snowball to the chest from the holodeck in, I think, the very first episode? (Or am I confusing the confusion over whether the snowball could exist outside with the confusion over whether the clothes would still be wet from the stream outside?) Oh, the humanity!
Wesley's wet clothes dripped water on the carpet outside the holodeck in the very first episode ("Encounter at Farpoint"). Picard took a snowball in the chest in a later episode ("Angel One"). LaForge carried a piece of holodeck paper out into the corridor in "Elementary, Dear Data."

Nonetheless, it was "established" later on (in "Message in a Bottle," a direct sequel to "Elementary, Dear Data") that holodeck matter cannot exist outside the holodeck.

They were very inconsistent in how the holodeck worked . . . :D

nomuse
2005-Mar-23, 07:29 PM
Actually, part one of "Encounter at Farpoint," Wesly Crusher falls in a pond on the holodeck....and leaves the holodeck wet.

You could go quickly nuts trying to figure out what was holomatter (or what holomatter was). I particularly like thinking about the long, long drinking parties they have -- wouldn't the (near)beer and pretzels go away when they left the holodeck field? If this is real food and drink being replicated and transported, then why can't the holodeck do the same for walls, tables, cats...?

It isn't like it isn't possible to recreate a human through transporter technology. Riker #2, for instance. Or Mr. Hyde Kirk, for that matter.

And why do they dress up in quarters? After creating fully-dressed holo denizens, the holodeck can't handle a change of clothing for the users?

Grey
2005-Mar-23, 07:37 PM
They were very inconsistent in how the holodeck worked . . . :D
Replace "holodeck" with just about any other technology from Star Trek, and I think that remains a true statement. :D

Captain Kidd
2005-Mar-23, 07:41 PM
I've always wanted to count how often they used the deflector dish to solve a problem. If the holodeck wasn't going bonkers, they were using the deflector dish as a super (ineffective) weapon, a superpowerful transmitter (well that was the Borg to be percise), or any other number of non-deflecting tasks.

Why have phasers and photon torpedoes when the deflector dish is the Swiss Army Knife of the Federation?

Moose
2005-Mar-23, 07:51 PM
And why do they dress up in quarters? After creating fully-dressed holo denizens, the holodeck can't handle a change of clothing for the users?

Could be rather embarassing if you're suddenly ordered to the bridge for an emergency. Also opens the door (so to speak) for some rather frat-ish pranks: "Computer! End program!"

Best to bring your own replicated clothing that is more likely to stick around.

SeanF
2005-Mar-23, 08:07 PM
Actually, part one of "Encounter at Farpoint," Wesly Crusher falls in a pond on the holodeck....and leaves the holodeck wet.

You could go quickly nuts trying to figure out what was holomatter (or what holomatter was). I particularly like thinking about the long, long drinking parties they have -- wouldn't the (near)beer and pretzels go away when they left the holodeck field? If this is real food and drink being replicated and transported, then why can't the holodeck do the same for walls, tables, cats...?
See, that's part of the inconsistency. In "Encounter at Farpoint," Data specifically says, "Much of it is real, sir."

The initial idea seemed to be that simple substances that could be replicated would be "real" in the holodeck, whereas living, moving beings were basically complicated animatronics. If they'd left it at that, it would've been fine, but they had to screw it up with later episodes.

Swift
2005-Mar-23, 08:23 PM
Actually, part one of "Encounter at Farpoint," Wesly Crusher falls in a pond on the holodeck....and leaves the holodeck wet.

You could go quickly nuts trying to figure out what was holomatter (or what holomatter was). I particularly like thinking about the long, long drinking parties they have -- wouldn't the (near)beer and pretzels go away when they left the holodeck field? If this is real food and drink being replicated and transported, then why can't the holodeck do the same for walls, tables, cats...?
See, that's part of the inconsistency. In "Encounter at Farpoint," Data specifically says, "Much of it is real, sir."

The initial idea seemed to be that simple substances that could be replicated would be "real" in the holodeck, whereas living, moving beings were basically complicated animatronics. If they'd left it at that, it would've been fine, but they had to screw it up with later episodes.
You see Picard got mad about the whole drippy Wes / snowball thing and ordered Data and Gordi to reconfigure the holodeck so there was less real matter and more holo-matter used in the holodeck. Quite simple really; just go to the enterprise.dat configuration file, under the section holodeck change the real_holo ratio setting from something like 1.0 to 0.2.


Yep, that's the ticket (see, you don't need a deflector dish to make all the problems go away) :wink:

nomuse
2005-Mar-23, 09:21 PM
Good thing no-one slipped up and told the Borg.

They seemed to think Picard was throwing real lead at them.

teddyv
2005-Mar-23, 09:58 PM
Wow, great idea nomuse. In fact, maybe they are not on a starship at all, its just some sort of elaborate computer game. The civilization is so advanced that machines do everything and so they make up these "Starfleet" games to give the humans something to do.
8-[

So wouldn't that be the Matrix? 8-[

JohnOwens
2005-Mar-23, 10:00 PM
And why do they dress up in quarters? After creating fully-dressed holo denizens, the holodeck can't handle a change of clothing for the users?
Could be rather embarassing if you're suddenly ordered to the bridge for an emergency. Also opens the door (so to speak) for some rather frat-ish pranks: "Computer! End program!"

Best to bring your own replicated clothing that is more likely to stick around.

I suspect what was intended, was that they could wear regular uniforms, and then the holodeck could "overlay" that with the appropriate outfit. I don't think they were to head on down to the holodeck in the buff, or even in their skivvies! (Do ST uniforms include skivvies? Enquiring minds want to know!)
And isn't anyone going to mention the "omega particles"?

Demigrog
2005-Mar-23, 10:03 PM
I actually wondered the same thing about pretty much everything stated here. Here's what I came up with in the way of looking back at flawed inshow mechanics :roll: :

1) ST ships obviously have more than 1 type of auto(self)-destruct.

a)A type intended to be used in the middle on an enemy fleet, and does massive damage to everything around it. This is caused by shutting down the antimatter containment fields.
b)Type 2 is when they are scuttling the ship, and they want to be able to get away from it. They neutralize the antimatter without any resulting energy release (as stupid as this sounds, this happens in numerous ST episodes, so we know it is possible in the ST universe) and then blow the ship using conventional explosives.
Possible, but the computer would either have to be a mind reader or have an elobrate protocol system set up as I only remember them saying stuff along the lines of "initiate self-destruct sequence." Never which self-destruct sequence.

Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise specifically says there are two different self destruct mechanisms just as you describe; the 'destruct zero' and 'destruct one' versions. Its expanded universe, but derives from the Star Trek: Phase II series bible (begging the question: is a cancelled series more cannon than books?)

JonnyWishbone
2005-Mar-23, 10:44 PM
Actually, Voyager eventually ret-conned everything holodeckish to the point that holomatter wasn't matter at all -- just force fields and (actual) holograms. So very confusing. Food and drink, it is to be assumed, come out of the replicators (yeah, I know we never see a replicator on the holodeck) or are somehow replicated by the holoemitters even though the holoemitters don't produce artificial matter but force fields and holograms.

Cheers, Jon

Jason
2005-Mar-23, 11:20 PM
Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise...derives from the Star Trek: Phase II series bible (begging the question: is a cancelled series more cannon than books?)
Mr. Scott's Guide also borrows from the FASA role-playing game somewhat and is about 60 years off with the dates, as established by the later [/i]Chronology[/i].

toolazytotypemyname
2005-Mar-24, 12:54 AM
Yep, that's the ticket (see, you don't need a deflector dish to make all the problems go away) :wink:

usually don't you just reverse the polarity?

wedgebert
2005-Mar-24, 03:09 AM
They were very inconsistent in how the holodeck worked . . . :D
Replace "holodeck" with just about any other technology from Star Trek, and I think that remains a true statement. :D

About the only things that didn't change wildly between episodes were:
The name and hull number of the ship.
The relative rank structure of the main characters.

captain swoop
2005-Mar-24, 09:23 AM
Yep, that's the ticket (see, you don't need a deflector dish to make all the problems go away) :wink:

usually don't you just reverse the polarity?

No, that was the 3rd Doctor

Mellow
2005-Mar-24, 09:39 AM
Don't you know you should..


"NEVER REVERSE POLARITY"

obscure popular quote

Swift
2005-Mar-24, 05:16 PM
Don't you know you should..


"NEVER REVERSE POLARITY"

obscure popular quote
I thought it was never cross the beams.
:lol:

Grey
2005-Mar-24, 05:24 PM
I thought it was never cross the beams.
Right. It would be "bad".

Chrisa
2005-Mar-24, 06:05 PM
And why do they dress up in quarters? After creating fully-dressed holo denizens, the holodeck can't handle a change of clothing for the users?

Could be rather embarassing if you're suddenly ordered to the bridge for an emergency. Also opens the door (so to speak) for some rather frat-ish pranks: "Computer! End program!"

Best to bring your own replicated clothing that is more likely to stick around.

There seems to be no end of practical jokes you could play with Star Trek technology. The transporter seems open to abuse what with beaming crewmates into space for a couple of seconds or transporting fattening food into the stomachs of people on a diet.

April 1st must be a nightmare on the Enterprise.

nomuse
2005-Mar-24, 06:07 PM
There was a new lighting designer at the theater and we were NOT getting along. Long, long focus. I'm up there on the grid sweating and swearing, and he's getting angrier and angrier at how long everything takes in a badly-designed building.

Then as we start working on some high sides, he says "No, no, the off-stage instrument goes to the center area. I want you to cross the beams."

"Don't cross the beams!" I yelled down. "That would be bad."

"How bad, Egon?" he shot back.

And from that point on we were friends. The rest of the show went much more smoothly.

Van Rijn
2005-Mar-24, 08:24 PM
Don't you know you should..


"NEVER REVERSE POLARITY"

obscure popular quote

Perhaps you are thinking of this:

Top Ten Things I Hate about Star Trek (http://www.happyfunpundit.com/hfp/archives/000514.html)



For cripes sake Giordi, stop reversing the polarity of everything! It might work once in a while, but usually it just screws things up. I have it on good authority that the technicians at Starbase 12 HATE that. Every time the Enterprise comes in for its 10,000 hour checkup, they've gotta go through the whole [darn] ship fixing stuff. "What happened to the toilet in Stateroom 3?" "Well, the plumbing backed up, and Giordi thought he could fix it by reversing the polarity."

gopher65
2005-Mar-24, 09:43 PM
Wow there is some great stuff in here hehehehehehe!

Ok, here is what I worked out about holodecks (based primarily on voyager because every episode is different):

You enter the holodeck: The background scenery and any living or fast moving objects are photons and Forcefields. Certain things that need to have physical properties (ie, temperature) are holomatter, and only exist on the holodeck, as it maintains their structure.

Anything that you might eat or drink is automatically replicated as soon as the computer realizes that it is your intent to consume it. Anything you attempt to take out of the holodeck is replicated before it can leave the holodeck, so long as it is not considered dangerous (i seem to remember that replicators are programmed not to create anything dangerous, like poison or weapons). It was established on Enterprise (yeah yeah #-o ) and on TNG that living tissue cannot be successfully replicated, so therefore this never happens, therefore no computer generated person can leave the holodeck.

I don't know why the Borg were affected by what essentially amounted to a slow moving energy weapon (bullets made of photons and force fields). Maybe Picard made a modification to the holo.dat file and had the computer replicate a real gun. Off-screen of course. Makes you wonder why he didn't replicate a few assault rifles and take out all the Borg:P. Or one of those projectile weapons they showed on DS9 that had a small transporter attached to the end of it.

Romanus
2005-Mar-29, 05:33 PM
<<4. A Star Trek quiz:
Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and 'Ensign Gomez' beam down to a planet. Which one isn't coming back? >>

:D

I love how "Galaxyquest" (a movie with tons of in-jokes meant especially for Trekkies) mentions this indirectly, through Guy Fleegman:

"I'm the guy who dies to show that the situation's serious!"

papageno
2005-Mar-29, 05:46 PM
<<4. A Star Trek quiz:
Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and 'Ensign Gomez' beam down to a planet. Which one isn't coming back? >>

:D

I love how "Galaxyquest" (a movie with tons of in-jokes meant especially for Trekkies) mentions this indirectly, through Guy Fleegman:

"I'm the guy who dies to show that the situation's serious!"

The same guy who says: "Of course I'm gonna die. I don't even have a first name!". :lol:

DataCable
2005-Mar-29, 08:03 PM
<<4. A Star Trek quiz:
Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and 'Ensign Gomez' beam down to a planet. Which one isn't coming back? >>

Trick question! Ensign Sonia Gomez was in TNG (and she never left the ship during the 2 eps she appeared in... smart girl =D> )