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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies I-X

Star Trek Movies I-X Discuss the first ten big screen outings in this forum!

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Old June 25 2013, 05:06 PM   #1
xvicente
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The prefix number

The scene in ST II from the Reliant's attack to Enterprise's counter-attack is awesome.

Among other things it's nice to see the Enterprise's various bridge operations -- Kirk and Spock first check the damage control panel, then Spock goes to his computer station to get the code, then he goes to the weapons to lower Reliant's shields -- it's not random at all.

But is funny how the code can't have repeated numbers: the buttons (more like switches) don't come back after pressed, see:

http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/a...7/twok0565.jpg

and

http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/a...twokhd0517.jpg

So it can be 16309 but not 66309, for example.
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Old June 25 2013, 09:38 PM   #2
Sran
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Re: The prefix number

^I suppose flipping the switch to its starting position would repeat the number, but you could be right.

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Old June 25 2013, 09:48 PM   #3
C.E. Evans
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Re: The prefix number

If there weren't that many ships in the Starfleet at the time, it might not have been necessary for prefix codes to have repeated numbers yet (which I guess would make each prefix code carefully chosen by people rather than randomly assigned by some computer, IMO).
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Old June 25 2013, 10:02 PM   #4
Pavonis
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Re: The prefix number

The prefix code seems like a good idea, but it's only one digit longer than the security code to get into my phone. Hardly seems like the most secure method to prevent hacking. At least they gave starship computer security some thought, though....
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Old June 25 2013, 10:05 PM   #5
Sran
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Re: The prefix number

Pavonis wrote: View Post
The prefix code seems like a good idea, but it's only one digit longer than the security code to get into my phone. Hardly seems like the most secure method to prevent hacking. At least they gave starship computer security some thought, though....
Well, presumably the codes would be used only by Starfleet officers in an emergency situation, such as when Picard uses the Enterprise computer to gain control of the USS Lantree. As Starfleet is an organization that functions based on trust, it wouldn't be necessary to have lengthy security codes. But your point is well taken.

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Old June 25 2013, 10:08 PM   #6
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Re: The prefix number

There could be countless layers of fractal encryption that an outside (non-Starfleet) computer has to get through just to get to the prefix code. It also may be accessible only from the bridge maybe.
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Old June 25 2013, 10:11 PM   #7
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Re: The prefix number

Shame they forgot about it most of the time. We have plenty of episodes where one starfleet ship is pursuing another and using the prefix code would end the chase quickly. Such as in DSN's "Past Prologue".
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Old June 25 2013, 10:12 PM   #8
Sran
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Re: The prefix number

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
There could be countless layers of fractal encryption that an outside (non-Starfleet) computer has to get through just to get to the prefix code. It also may be accessible only from the bridge maybe.
Or available only to officers of command-level rank or higher. After all, it was Spock who provided Kirk with Reliant's code, as though he had some sort secret code-book from which he took the information.

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Old June 25 2013, 10:14 PM   #9
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Re: The prefix number

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Shame they forgot about it most of the time. We have plenty of episodes where one starfleet ship is pursuing another and using the prefix code would end the chase quickly. Such as in DSN's "Past Prologue".
I get the sense it's only used as a last resort, sort of like the auto-destruct. Who knows what it would take to program in a new code, given that it's used to take over all major bridge functions?

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Old June 25 2013, 10:18 PM   #10
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Re: The prefix number

It can't be too hard to change the prefix code. Spock considered Khan capable of doing it. He probably would have, too, if he had known about it.
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Old June 25 2013, 10:21 PM   #11
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Re: The prefix number

Pavonis wrote: View Post
It can't be too hard to change the prefix code. Spock considered Khan capable of doing it. He probably would have, too, if he had known about it.
Khan who was a genetically-enhanced superhuman. After all, Saavik was herself highly intelligent, and she had no idea what Kirk and Spock were doing until the admiral explained it to her.

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Old June 25 2013, 10:27 PM   #12
Pavonis
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Re: The prefix number

Which might just mean that junior officers aren't aware of all the security measures available on a starship. Somebody had to be the cabbage head, and Saavik was the only one who could play that part for the audience.
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Old June 25 2013, 10:29 PM   #13
Sran
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Re: The prefix number

Pavonis wrote: View Post
Which might just mean that junior officers aren't aware of all the security measures available on a starship. Somebody had to be the cabbage head, and Saavik was the only one who could play that part for the audience.
Which only proves my point. If a Starfleet cadet or junior officer doesn't know of the prefix code's existence, why would a criminal from the twentieth century? That Spock assumed Khan could not only know of the code but be able to reprogram it speaks to his respect for Khan's intellect. He follows up his suggestion that Khan changed the code by saying, "He's quite intelligent."

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Old June 25 2013, 10:36 PM   #14
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Re: The prefix number

Spock probably presumed Khan might have hacked Reliant's computer systems and consequently learned about the prefix code, whereas Saavik wouldn't be doing such things.
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Old June 25 2013, 10:37 PM   #15
Pavonis
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Re: The prefix number

Yes, and sometimes intelligence manifests as simply being aware enough to bother looking something up. Khan's smart enough to do that, if he hadn't been overconfident.
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