Re: In-Universe Explanation for TOS Retro Tech
There was an 80s TOS novel, I cannot recall the title, that offered an explanation.
Something along the lines of a starship being on the frontier, where no man has gone before, with no resupply port or repair base in range. The ship and crew were on their own and had to be able to dismantle, repair, refurbish, etc with only their own hands out in the field, as it were.
Slick interfaces and high tech was eschewed in favor of easily swappable, reliable, rugged, basic controls. Much as field gear today is military-rugged versus a fragile touch screen iProduct for home consumer use.
Does that sufficiently explain TOS retro tech?
I think so, especially because we see this idea in practice today. Check out a plane cockpit, for example. Even the newest planes are replete with analog controls, gauges, and minimally labeled switches. I know the Space Shuttle program was very dated, but even until the last mission NASA favored older, more robust tech on-board while Mission Control boasted iPads and retina flat screens. Most everything aboard the ISS is knobby and switchy. So this theory holds water, at least for the TOS TV run.
Well yes and no with modern cockpits.
Link to the A380 cockpit.
Sure it has lots of buttons and knobs but most of the displays are digital. Of course there are still a few analouge displays such as the back-up artifical horizon.
On the continent of wild endeavour in the mountains of solace and solitude there stood the citadel of the time lords, the oldest and most mighty race in the universe looking down on the galaxies below sworn never to interfere only to watch.