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Why do Federation officers "hand in" reports?

mike1117

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POSTS: 1

Report this Jul. 24 2013, 12:44 pm

I've seen it in Voyager and TNG I think.  Someone will go to the caption and say "Here's the report you wanted", and hand over a tablet device.  Wouldn't it be easier to send it over the network?

Hegemony.Cricket

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POSTS: 26

Report this Jul. 24 2013, 7:39 pm

Show Explanation: It's probably a matter of protocol. As a matter of security, it means that the report never leaves the device, and cannot be intercepted or uploaded by an outside party. As for the more mundane issues (lists of supplies, damage reports, etc.), the act of handing it in means that your superior officer has to physically acknowledge the receipt of the report. (This is all conjecture; no reason is ever given on the shows.)


 


Real Explanation: The shows were on during the 90s, and most audience members wouldn't have experience sharing files on a common database. There were no online college courses, no programs such as Turn It In. com or Google Docs, and most people wouldn't even have had email during that time. The use of a prop helped the audience visualize the report the characters were talking about, and added some physicality to shows where they already spent far too much time tapping plexiglass displays.


 


It does raise another question: what does Picard do with all these PADDs when he's done with them? Does some poor Ensign have to return them to their owners, or is there a  PADD depot somewhere on the ship?


 

Holo

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POSTS: 253

Report this Jul. 25 2013, 12:20 am

It was sort of ridiculous when Neelix was carrying around a huge box of PADDs to hand out the letters from home. That ep was in the late 90s, when everyone was already familiar with computer networking and e-mail.


 


I guess the writers think that people will always want something physical to hold in their hands. I can understand that - I once had a boss who who needed me to print out her e-mails twice a day and put them on her desk (on her keyboard, in fact!).

FleetAdmiral_BamBam

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POSTS: 46314

Report this Jul. 26 2013, 10:30 am

I've never liked the idea of having to physically transport a report on the ship when a PADD could just download it if that's how someone prefers reading it (like we would prefer reading something on a tablet vs. a laptop or desktop.)

bunkey

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POSTS: 686

Report this Aug. 01 2013, 5:48 am

Quote: Holo @ Jul. 25 2013, 12:20 am

>

>It was sort of ridiculous when Neelix was carrying around a huge box of PADDs to hand out the letters from home. That ep was in the late 90s, when everyone was already familiar with computer networking and e-mail.

>I guess the writers think that people will always want something physical to hold in their hands. I can understand that - I once had a boss who who needed me to print out her e-mails twice a day and put them on her desk (on her keyboard, in fact!).

>


 


In the late 90s, not everyone was plugged in yet. Computers were still slow as all hell and dial-up was what most people used in their homes and emailing and downloading one single picture was very very slow.  Not every company was using email either. A T1 connection could only be found in larger corporations and emailing large attachments was not nearly as common as it is now. If you stored something on portable media it was a 1.3 MB disc  or if you were really fancy, a Zip disc. In the late 90s I worked for a start up that provided B2B network connectivity. We has state of the art everything and even WE would overnight large Powerpoint presentations. We still used fax machines too, because the people we were mailing them to may not have had the capacity we did.  I might have had the ability to email a 5 MB file but my client might not be able to receive it.


It has nothing to do with the technology available as much as what people were familiar with.  Not everyone had a computer at the time. A lot of people may not have ever even touched a computer in 1995 and explaining a network connection in 1995 would have required even more technobabble than there was already, eating up time. It was much easier and made more sense to have someone hand off  PADD which gave people the familair sense of handing in a report yet removed paper from the scenario and replaced it with a PADD so it did indeed gave a futuristic feel.  


It's the same thing as the old salt shaker story in TOS. They went around looking for "futuristic" salt shakers but couldn't find anything that looked futuristic enough but was still recognizable as a salt shaker. In the end they went for plain salt shakers and used the other ones as props for McCoy.  You have to keep props recognizable to the general audiences.


Sarcasm is my native language.
JJ Abrams is not of the body.

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