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
I’m a former history student who got an opportunity to follow my 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 with technology, to enrich their lives and share with friends and family. (I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s true!)
I fell in love with Star Trek during the first season of Deep Space Nine in 1993. DS9 has always been my favorite, but I have enjoyed every single series. During my high school years, using the wonderful Star Trek Encyclopedia as a starting point, I created a personal database of ships, episodes, characters, and planets—something that reflected my interest in the details, background, and history of this rich fictional universe.
This interest has led me to become involved in a number of fan projects over the years. In 2003, I co-founded the Memory Alpha wiki with Harry Doddema. From 2001 to 2004, I contributed to the Star Trek: Renaissance fan fiction project, which explored the aftermath of DS9’s Dominion War. I’ve collaborated with Masao Okazaki on a few ship designs and articles for his amazing Starfleet Museum site. And certainly most exciting, in 2015 Harry and I were contacted by Simon Pegg—yes, that Simon Pegg—who solicited our contributions concerning a certain plot element in Star Trek Beyond!
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:
- HTML5 and CSS3, including the @font-face attribute
- PNG and SVG image formats, including alpha-channel transparencies
- Video encoded with the H.264 codec
- RSS 2.0
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 iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5-inch, 2017): 3.6 GHz quad-core, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB flash storage, macOS 10.13
- Coda: A versatile web development tool, for editing, styling, previewing, and uploading.
- BBEdit: A powerful text editor with unparalleled search and replace capabilities.
- Affinity Designer: A surprisingly powerful tool for vector and bitmap images.
- Hype: For creating HTML5 interactive web pages.
- MarsEdit: 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.
- MXGuardDog: A free spam filtering service for your own hosted domain.
(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 and services that aren’t controlled by monopolies!)
Fonts Used in Star Trek Minutiae
- Chopin Script
- Courier Prime
- Deja Vu Sans and Deja Vu Sans Mono
- Magic Medieval
- Oxygen (main body font)
- Titillium Web (main title font)
Special thanks go out to everyone who helped me put together this site:
- Bernd Schneider — for his advice on a whole bunch of topics, from the warp drive project to general website management.
- Charles Capps and Infopop Corporation — for generously hosting the Subspace Comms Network for so many years.
- Masao Okazaki — for his valuable input which kept the History of the Earth-Romulan War project alive, and for many stimulating conversations on topics ranging from Federation diplomacy and interstellar political theory to Human missionaries converting Klingons to Christianity.
- To the entire staff of Star Trek: Renaissance — Harri Tusa, Yehuda Katz, Admiral Leyton, Rob Jelley, Kegg, Garth Rice, Bill Jasper, Robert Crosswell, James Sampson, Christopher Davis, Chris Edmonds, James DiBenedetto, Shaun Hamley, Will Sjorensen, Andy Kinnear, Adam Jackson, and Josh Maley — for four great years of great Trek.
- Harry Doddema — for the awesome idea of a Star Trek wiki and partnering with me to start the Memory Alpha project.
- “Cureboy”, “Krenim”, “Swordtail”, “8 of 12”, and “Johnny Octane” — for writing The Voyager Coronary, Star Trek: Series ?, The Celestial Parodies, The Trek Coronary, and The Adventures of Berman and Braga, providing me with endless hours of entertainment, and letting me share their goofy stories with everyone.
- Kristian Trigwell — for letting me use his excellent high-resolution renditions of various logos and insignia on this site.
- Paul van Garderen and John Burke — for their input on Star Trek: Restoration, my first foray into the world of fan fiction.
- Peter Ansprach, John Au, Michael Bartel, Jesper Boesen, Roy Bryant, “Cadet Sorak”, Patrick Carroll, “Cirrus”, Jason Colbert, Curt Danhauser, Daniel Fallenstein, Brian Finifter, Matthew Galaher, Jason Gaston, Carl Giddens, “Golden Tiger”, “Heiwa”, Graham Kennedy, Chris Keavy, Jan Hendrik Kobarg, James Krayenhagen, Paul McCoy, Stephen Millard, “MJ”, “Mr. Wilbur”, Keith Nelson, Mark Nguyen, “Odon”, Nick Ottens, Fabio Passaro, Thomas Pemberton, Ben Pieper, David Polenšek, “Rivannovic”, Timo Saloniemi, Warren Siegel, Steven Sigley, “Spaceman Spiff”, “Spamwarrior”, “Spocko-chan”, Chris St. John, Steve Sutton, and Robby Van Calster — for their suggestions, contributions, and bug reports.
- Everyone at The Trek BBS, the Subspace Comms Network, and the Flare Sci-Fi Forums for many useful suggestions, opinions, and discussions.
- Richard Hanley, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Delaware and author of The Philosophy of Star Trek — for giving me lots of ideas to think about and offering an awesome course on Time Travel which I took in Winter 2004.
- Rocky, Adam, Antwain, and Kacey, my college roommates — for putting up with my continuous chattering about Star Trek. 😀
- Jeffrey, my freshman year dorm counselor and a fellow Trekker, for beta-testing my database and website.
- Matt, Camo, Ben, Fred, Clarence, Harry, John Paul, Troy, Becca, Chris, Mary, and everyone else at Team C., for helping me learn all sorts of cool stuff (like how to make Dashboard widgets) and sharing many, many geeky discussions on sci-fi, television, computers, and all sorts of other excellent subjects.
- And finally, my parents, who, sometime back in 1993, made me to sit down and watch some dumb show called Star Trek.