About the Site

Motivation and Purpose

Over the years, the purpose of Star Trek Minutiae and my motivation for maintaining it has changed considerably. When I first started making plans for my own website in late 1999, I was quite enthusiastic for the Star Trek universe, and used the website to channel all my creative thoughts concerning the show. There were all sorts of projects that I either dabbled in speculatively or threw myself into entirely: the Advanced Starship Design Bureau, the History of the Earth-Romulan War, and Star Trek: Renaissance, to name just three.

But as I spent time creating and expanding the site, I discovered another interest as well: web design. STM has also become a platform with which I can experiment with new design techniques, and learn new coding languages and technologies. Sure, I may end up spending as much time redesigning STM as I do adding new content (or maybe even more!), but I think it’s a useful endeavor.

But in the end, what is any personal website about in this day and age? I might as well just come out and say it: it’s all about me! STM is a place for me to showcase whatever catches my fancy, to share with everyone else the stuff I think is cool, and to get on a (virtual) soapbox to at least pretend that other people are interested in what I have to say. And that’s what the whole Internet is really about, right?

See also: History of Star Trek Minutiae

About Dan Carlson

Me and My PowerBook (ca. Spring 2006)
Me and my PowerBook. (ca. Spring 2006)

I’m a former history student who got an opportunity to follow his passion and work for an insanely great technology company. I spend my days sharing that love with others, showing them how they can do all sorts of cool stuff, to enrich and share their lives with friends and family. (I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s true!)

In addition to Star Trek, my big interests in sci-fi are the grand, character-oriented space operas: Babylon 5, Farscape, Firefly, and Battlestar Galactica. I’m very fond of my cats Patches and Vala, and I’m slowly developing an interest in amateur photography.

Site Design Philosophy

As a technophile, I always love the latest and greatest. I also like to dabble in web design; not as a career, just a hobby. But everything you see on this site was built from scratch, no templates or stock code here! STM is not just a hobby for Star Trek, it’s also a platform for learning about the most recent Web standards.

I used to have a detailed list of recommended browsers and which versions are capable of displaying this site properly. But over the years I've come to a simple realization: no matter which browser you use, just make sure you're using the most recent one! Web technologies can evolve quickly, and you never know when something might break. I periodically test my website designs to ensure functionality on the latest version of the major browsers.

In order to display STM’s content properly, your browser should support the following standards:

I have used several advanced design techniques that might stretch the capabilities of older browsers in various ways. If you are using the latest version of your browser and encounter a problem with the site’s design, please feel free to report it — I am always willing and eager to listen to feedback concerning my work! However, if you are using an older browser, don’t bother complaining, because I will just ignore you. The technology of the Web is constantly evolving, and everyone must keep up in order to keep using it.

Computer and Software

Apple 27” iMac (Late 2012)
3.4 GHz quad-core, 24 GB RAM, 3 TB Fusion Drive, OS X 10.11
A versatile web development tool, for editing, styling, previewing, and uploading.
A powerful text editor unparalleled search and replace capabilities.
Affinity Designer
A surprisingly powerful tool for vector and bitmap images.
For creating HTML5 interactive web pages.
For publishing your blog from the desktop.
Hex Color Picker
The perfect way to choose colors (if you make web pages).
Fluid Dynamics Search Engine
An effective and configurable local search engine that doesn’t require ads.
A free and easy to manage web analytics package.
Titillium Web
A freely-licensed font, used for the titles and headings on this site.

(You may have noticed there’s no tools by Adobe or Google in this list. It’s amazing what you can do if you look around for apps that aren’t controlled by monopolies!)


Special thanks go out to everyone who helped me put together this site: