Becoming Better Communicators.


In a galaxy not far away, and in a time not so long ago, my generation: we thongs on our feet; we listened to records and cassettes; we used typewriters to create reports. Today, people wear thongs as underwear, listen to digitally recorded music, and create reports on word-processing software.

It is not uncommon for one generation to change the meaning of words as a way to separate themselves from the previous generation. And, let’s face it technology is changing at an incredible pace.

So what is the result? We create ample opportunities for miscommunication. This is why it is so important that we take the time to see things from the other’s perspective. We need to ask ourselves do the words I am using have the same meaning to them as they do to me? If there is a potential for misunderstanding, it is our responsibility to clarify what we mean by the words we choose. By being conscious of what we are saying, and how it is being interpreted, we become better communicators.

Virtual Tours of Star Trek Enterprise-D

Star_Trek_TNG_interactive_Technical_ManualI cannot remember exactly when, somewhere between 1994 and 1996, I was able to buy a copy of the Star Trek Next Generation Interactive Technical Manual, which was essentially a virtual walk-through of the Star Trek Enterprise D.

It was written to work with QuickTime and Windows 3.1, and needed a Pentium processor with 16 MB of memory. The software was on a CD, and needed, believe it or not, a 2x CD speed drive. Also needed was a VGA card cable of displaying a whopping 256 colors at 640×480 resolution and required a mouse. Yes, I said it required a mouse; remember we were in the days of DOS with text commands. While the requirements seem paltry by the standards of today, they were fairly stiff in the day.

The software would allow you to move freely around the ship and interact with various consoles. It would also give you information about the systems you were viewing. However, you were limited to specific areas of the ship.  There were voice-overs by Jonathan Frakes (Commander Ricker) and Marel Barret Roddenberry (Computer Voice) to give it a feel of being on the star-ship.

51OOPNETu1L._SX420_BO1,204,203,200_As I moved into newer computers and newer versions of Windows, I shelved the software and forgot about it. About two years ago, I notice a book called On Board The USS Enterprise by Denise and Michael Okuda (graphics and special effects on STNG). I ran the software about once and shelved it. Compared to the Interactive Technical Manual, it was lacking in my opinion.

Today I discovered a bold project by a 3D artist who identifies himself as Jason. Using the 3D Engine by Unreal, he is making a deck by deck interactive Enterprise D. His website, last updated in June 2015, explains he is working from multiple resources trying to keep the details as accurate were possible.

He has a Patreon and a Kickstarter campaign to help him fund his work in his spare time. He would like to grow the project further and was hoping to secure licensing permission from CBS.

On his website he has a video showing the level of detail he has been able to achieve, and I am impressed.

For details, visit Jason’s Enterprise 3D Project Website at