Mr. Laser Beam wrote:
Wasn't there a scene in a TOS novel where Uhura (I think) is working on a piece of equipment behind her console and she mentions something about how it's easier to maintain equipment like that because it's not as "futuristic"?
I think it was Federation
by the Reeves-Stevenses -- something to do with having it be easier for any crewman to do repairs on the fly than with more fancy-schmancy solid-state circuitry, and also something about being more robust against quantum-scale distortions at warp or some such thing. Although I could be conflating two different explanations from different books.
Personally I don't think it's necessary to pretend that the Enterprise
's tech really looked exactly the way it was portrayed in a 1960s TV show with limited budget and technology. Roddenberry himself tended to see TOS as merely an imperfect approximation of the "actual" future -- like when TMP came along and he told fans to accept that Klingons had always had ridges, and the series had just lacked the budget to show it.