Greg Cox wrote:
exactly is that yeoman stumbling across the bridge in the middle of a space battle just to transfer a microtape from one station to another?
If I remember correctly to pick up tapes to put these in the ship's flight recorder (e.g. "The Corbomite Maneuver", "Balance of Terror").
I presume these square chips to consist of some extremely wheather-, temperature-, shock- and radiation resistant materials. Thus the scene in "The Doomsday Machine" with Commodore Decker chewing on the microtape squares might be a deliberate analogy to what's happening on the viewscreen: Just as he can't dent the planet killer with the ship's phasers his teeth will leave no marks whatsoever on these durable chip tapes.