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Old April 30 2011, 03:22 PM   #1
The Overlord
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Why is the Voyager Starship so badly designed?

Why is the Voyager Starship so badly designed? Instead of using computer chips, they use gel packs and these gel packs break down when they are exposed to cheese and there seems to be almost no back ups for them. How many times was Voyager nearly destroyed because of these gel packs and people on Voyager still think they are better then microchips?

Also as I mentioned in the past, the holodeck has a separate power supply from the rest of the ship. Why would someone design the power system that way, it makes no sense. Seriously Voyager comes off as a space Yugo rather then an advanced scout ship. Did some admiral's sleazy brother in law get the contract to make this ship and just didn't put any effort into it or was Voyager designed by some sort of sadistic mad man who likes to torment people?
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Old April 30 2011, 03:58 PM   #2
BillJ
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Re: Why is the Voyager Starship so badly designed?

Probably like M-5, someone in Starfleet bought the gel-packs before seeing whether or not they worked.
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Old April 30 2011, 05:21 PM   #3
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Why is the Voyager Starship so badly designed?

"Let's add a few technobabble plot devices to spice up this Voyager. Just in case having a lady captain doesn't pan out."

"Genius idea!" *consults technobabble chart, picking one syllable from each column* "Bio... neural... gel... pack??"

"Brilliant! Now, what does it do? You! Monkey! Write a story about these 'Bio neuron Dell packs'. Chop chop!"
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Old April 30 2011, 07:08 PM   #4
Anwar
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Re: Why is the Voyager Starship so badly designed?

It was a sort of half-assed attempt at the "Living Starship" concept, like LEXX and Farscape would also do.
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Old April 30 2011, 07:24 PM   #5
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Re: Why is the Voyager Starship so badly designed?

Well as for the bio-nueral gel packs, like any technological advance. It can have unforseen weakness it's not until it's actually in the field that these can come up. You can't test for every possibility.
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Old April 30 2011, 07:29 PM   #6
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Re: Why is the Voyager Starship so badly designed?

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Well as for the bio-nueral gel packs, like any technological advance. It can have unforseen weakness it's not until it's actually in the field that these can come up. You can't test for every possibility.
This, and also the fact they need to write stories. Would be pretty boring if the ship was perfect and invincible.
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Old April 30 2011, 07:33 PM   #7
The Overlord
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Re: Why is the Voyager Starship so badly designed?

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Well as for the bio-nueral gel packs, like any technological advance. It can have unforseen weakness it's not until it's actually in the field that these can come up. You can't test for every possibility.
Except most products and technologies are tested several times before they are released in the real world, especially equipment that is as important as the gel packs are. Not mention, why does there seem to be no back system? When the gel packs were failing in "Learning Curve" why wasn't there a back up system that instantly kicked in?

Plus if the gel packs are techno organic, then did no one think to test if they could be effected by viruses, like any other organism? This isn't a new cup holder they let go untested, it is the devices that run the ship that seemed to have gone through no testing at all and have no back ups. Heck, why are gel packs better then microchips in the first place? It would be easier to create a back up system with microchips and they wouldn't be affected by cheese.


BlobVanDam wrote: View Post
MacLeod wrote: View Post
Well as for the bio-nueral gel packs, like any technological advance. It can have unforseen weakness it's not until it's actually in the field that these can come up. You can't test for every possibility.
This, and also the fact they need to write stories. Would be pretty boring if the ship was perfect and invincible.
Except there have other Star Trek shows where the ship was messed up due to some anomaly or something, rather then the ship's extremely poor design. Look at the episode Disaster from TNG, systems on the ship were messed up do to a quantum filament, rather then cheese and it is a way better episode. In Disaster, the danger was more believable and it made the situation more believable, in Learning Curve the ship was being destroyed by cheese, that just doesn't carry the same dramatic weight, instead of Voyager being danger due to unknown forces, they are in danger because of Star Fleet's incompetence. Seriously how this is supposed to be an idealistic presentation of the future when the people designing things are this stupid? It doesn't work.
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Old April 30 2011, 07:41 PM   #8
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Re: Why is the Voyager Starship so badly designed?

The Overlord wrote: View Post
MacLeod wrote: View Post
Well as for the bio-nueral gel packs, like any technological advance. It can have unforseen weakness it's not until it's actually in the field that these can come up. You can't test for every possibility.
Except most products and technologies are tested several times before they are released in the real world, especially equipment that is as important as the gel packs are. Not mention, why does there seem to be no back system? When the gel packs were failing in "Learning Curve" why wasn't there a back up system that instantly kicked in?

Plus if the gel packs are techno organic, then did no one think to test if they could be effected by viruses, like any other organism? This isn't a new cup holder they let go untested, it is the devices that run the ship that seemed to have gone through no testing at all and have no back ups. Heck, why are gel packs better then microchips in the first place? It would be easier to create a back up system with microchips and they wouldn't be affected by cheese.
We should remember that Voyager was also one of the first ships of her class, and she was originally sent out on a relatively easy assignment. A full-length shakedown cruise could help clear out the kinks, but it could also be that she was swept to the Delta Quadrant in the midst or before that cruise. After all, the Enterprise-E spent an entire year on shakedown.

As well, the odds of them encountering an anomaly or problem that could disrupt the gel packs on their first mission were almost minute. When they landed in the Delta Quadrant, those odds increased exponentially.

Additionally, as the series progressed, bioneural gel-pack mishaps were sharply reduced. They were more prominent in the first two seasons than in the rest of the show. That could be evidence of them either smoothing out the kinks or creating back-ups, or both.
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Old April 30 2011, 08:02 PM   #9
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Re: Why is the Voyager Starship so badly designed?

The Overlord wrote: View Post
BlobVanDam wrote: View Post
MacLeod wrote: View Post
Well as for the bio-nueral gel packs, like any technological advance. It can have unforseen weakness it's not until it's actually in the field that these can come up. You can't test for every possibility.
This, and also the fact they need to write stories. Would be pretty boring if the ship was perfect and invincible.
Except there have other Star Trek shows where the ship was messed up due to some anomaly or something, rather then the ship's extremely poor design. Look at the episode Disaster from TNG, systems on the ship were messed up do to a quantum filament, rather then cheese and it is a way better episode. In Disaster, the danger was more believable and it made the situation more believable, in Learning Curve the ship was being destroyed by cheese, that just doesn't carry the same dramatic weight, instead of Voyager being danger due to unknown forces, they are in danger because of Star Fleet's incompetence. Seriously how this is supposed to be an idealistic presentation of the future when the people designing things are this stupid? It doesn't work.
It works fine when you keep in mind it's the only series flagship that was 70,000 light years from a starbase for repairs. Ok, we have the argument that they were able to repair the ship every single week, and build dozens of new shuttles, which are valid arguments against the premise that I can't defend, but when it comes down to it, maintaining a starship of that size would be a lot of work for a crew with limited supplies. It would be more unrealistic if managed to fly along just fine without any unforeseen problems. Not only are they stranded away from Federation space, but it's a new and unknown situation entirely.

The problem with Neelix's cheese killing the gel packs was due to the fact he was cooking in a part of the ship not designed for a kitchen, using some primitive cooker I doubt was intended for such an advanced starship, using some cheese he made from DQ sourced foods. Not regular operating conditions for the ship.

The holodeck having a separate power supply? Aside from being a silly contrivance to explain away the fact they spend their days on the holodeck yet have to suffer Neelix's cooking, it wouldn't normally be an issue with a starship that is fueled up and doesn't need to ration its power usage. It's an extreme circumstance. Probably one they should have designed the ship to allow for, but an extreme circumstance nonetheless.

Let's hope that they had a few stern words for the Starfleet designers once they returned to the Alpha Quadrant.
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Old April 30 2011, 08:23 PM   #10
Lord Manitou
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Re: Why is the Voyager Starship so badly designed?

Every piece of equipment on Voyager must work because it's determined to be within the laws of Physics. If it wasn't, it would be improved upon until it meets the stats.
The many functions of the Gel Packs is an expose' of the final end of a long series of experiments to make them workable.
The holo-decks have their own power supply because of the extensability and greatness of it's complican.
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Old April 30 2011, 08:27 PM   #11
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Re: Why is the Voyager Starship so badly designed?

There is nothing wrong with the gel pack. Everything has it's draw backs and that doesn't make the ship badly designed in fact it's on par or greater to the Great designing of Galaxy. They are both on the top of that particular list of best designs.
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Old April 30 2011, 08:32 PM   #12
MacLeod
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Re: Why is the Voyager Starship so badly designed?

The Overlord wrote: View Post
MacLeod wrote: View Post
Well as for the bio-nueral gel packs, like any technological advance. It can have unforseen weakness it's not until it's actually in the field that these can come up. You can't test for every possibility.
Except most products and technologies are tested several times before they are released in the real world, especially equipment that is as important as the gel packs are. Not mention, why does there seem to be no back system? When the gel packs were failing in "Learning Curve" why wasn't there a back up system that instantly kicked in?

Plus if the gel packs are techno organic, then did no one think to test if they could be effected by viruses, like any other organism? This isn't a new cup holder they let go untested, it is the devices that run the ship that seemed to have gone through no testing at all and have no back ups. Heck, why are gel packs better then microchips in the first place? It would be easier to create a back up system with I would just like to point out I actually said you can't test for microchips and they wouldn't be affected by cheese.
I never said it wasn't tested just that you can test everthing, how can you test for something you couldn't forsee. No doubt they were designed to be immune to all known conditions.

As for why they were better didn't the series explain it as they were faster at processing than standard isoliner chips?
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Old April 30 2011, 10:11 PM   #13
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Re: Why is the Voyager Starship so badly designed?

As a starship, there is going to be new technologies, that is the reason why there so many Miranda and Excelsior class star-ships, they had worked out the problems and they are able to complete missions, however you have to try out new technology, and that what experimental and new classes are for. 40 years later one of the current new classes might be the proven workhorse of the fleet.

As for the Holodecks, it might make some sense to standardize it with its own power source. As there will be a lot of older star-ships that might benefit from after a overhaul to have a holodeck installed, and it much simpler if you have a standard design with its own power-source to solve where you will get the large amounts of power to run the things.

That, and it made for better stories.
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Old April 30 2011, 11:26 PM   #14
The Overlord
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Re: Why is the Voyager Starship so badly designed?

Distorted Humor wrote: View Post
As a starship, there is going to be new technologies, that is the reason why there so many Miranda and Excelsior class star-ships, they had worked out the problems and they are able to complete missions, however you have to try out new technology, and that what experimental and new classes are for. 40 years later one of the current new classes might be the proven workhorse of the fleet.

As for the Holodecks, it might make some sense to standardize it with its own power source. As there will be a lot of older star-ships that might benefit from after a overhaul to have a holodeck installed, and it much simpler if you have a standard design with its own power-source to solve where you will get the large amounts of power to run the things.

That, and it made for better stories.
How does it "make sense" for the holodeck to have its own power supply. If you are taking weapons fire and shields are going down, wouldn't make sense to transfer power from the holodeck to shields? If life support systems or replicators are running out of power doesn't it make sense to have the option to transfer power from the holodeck to those systems. What important function is served by giving the holodeck its own power supply, that can't be used by the rest of the ship?

Also I'm sick of holodeck malfunctioning stories, so I don't think having the power supply for holodeck be separate makes for good stories. It completely undermines how desperate Voyager's situation was supposed to be, when they couldn't get the replicators to work, but they could drink holographic wine and have silly adventures, it undermines any sense of drama from the situation. Its like a family that claims to have no money for food, but they do have a big screen TV and an X-Box 360, it doesn't work.


MacLeod wrote: View Post
The Overlord wrote: View Post
MacLeod wrote: View Post
Well as for the bio-nueral gel packs, like any technological advance. It can have unforseen weakness it's not until it's actually in the field that these can come up. You can't test for every possibility.
Except most products and technologies are tested several times before they are released in the real world, especially equipment that is as important as the gel packs are. Not mention, why does there seem to be no back system? When the gel packs were failing in "Learning Curve" why wasn't there a back up system that instantly kicked in?

Plus if the gel packs are techno organic, then did no one think to test if they could be effected by viruses, like any other organism? This isn't a new cup holder they let go untested, it is the devices that run the ship that seemed to have gone through no testing at all and have no back ups. Heck, why are gel packs better then microchips in the first place? It would be easier to create a back up system with I would just like to point out I actually said you can't test for microchips and they wouldn't be affected by cheese.
I never said it wasn't tested just that you can test everthing, how can you test for something you couldn't forsee. No doubt they were designed to be immune to all known conditions.

As for why they were better didn't the series explain it as they were faster at processing than standard isoliner chips?
But why wouldn't these gel packs have back ups? Isn't that just common sense, have several redundant system in case some thing fails? Just because its new technology doesn't justify a lack of back up systems. NASA always puts in back up systems with their new scape craft, they don't just wing it and justify undue risks by saying the technology is new. Voyager was not just going on some small safe mission, it was going into the badlands, a dangerous place full of things that can mess with a ship's systems. Eddington once pulled of a Maquis trick that messed with the systems of two Jem Hadar ships, what if someone did that to Voyager, they would have been screwed. How long was Voyager supposed to operate without a back up? The Enterprise had its systems messed up anomalies every other week, assuming it wouldn't to Voyager because they are in the AQ is fool hardy. I could easily foresee no back up being a problem sooner rather then later and I wouldn't even need to test that.

Last edited by The Overlord; April 30 2011 at 11:37 PM.
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Old April 30 2011, 11:30 PM   #15
Anwar
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Re: Why is the Voyager Starship so badly designed?

Would you rather they just ran into "Cowboy Planet" or "Roman Planet" or "50s America Planet" like TOS did?

Or perhaps just have the characters randomly hallucinate like NuBSG did?

They're all the same type of story.
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