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Comment Re:Jumped the shark a long while ago (Score 1) 148

And maybe TOS was best because its three leads were archetypes; you had the brave and adventurous Horatio Hornblower figure in Kirk, you have the cold intellectual in the form of Spock, and you have the emotional and moralistic McCoy. Though the casting was never quite that intentional, it's pretty clear that by the first few first season scripts were being produced that Roddenberry and his writers understood the good fortune they had in the chemistry between Shatner, Nimoy and Kelley, and fleshed out those three characters to a point that by the mid-way point of the first season, we basically have the Holy Trinity in place. Thus, when you have the penultimate scene in The City On The Edge Of Forever, where McCoy is restrained from saving Edith Keeler, you have those three archetypal characters in one of the entire franchise's most dramatic moments.

And that really is the magic of TOS; some damned good stories matched up with actors with incredibly good chemistry (which is something you can't manufacture, but was just damned good luck on Roddenberry's part), and the rest just flows. Even awful episodes are redeemed by the fact that Kirk, Spock and McCoy are in it.

You can see through the other Star Trek series where the writers and producers tried desperately to reproduce that chemistry, but even when they came closest in the final seasons of TNG, it still felt somewhat stilted, as if the actors and writers were trying to show us what good friends they all were, without ever really convincing us emotionally that these people were more than just comrades. I suppose the friendship between Geordi and Data came closest, but even that felt one-dimensional as opposed to what seemed like genuine love and friendship between the three TOS leads.

And the brilliance of the TOS characters extends even past the three leads. The second tier characters; Scotty, Uruha, Sulu and Chekhov all were well enough written and portrayed (more the latter than the former considering how few lines these actors generally got) that you could feel some emotional attachment to them. Scotty, in particular, is one of my favorite characters out of the whole ST universe. A bit cranky, but brilliant and incredibly competent, he's sort of the archetypal engineer, to the point where I've read that a lot of people were inspired into technical fields because of Jimmy Doohan's portrayal.

Comment Re:Sounds like wrong approach... (Score 1) 148

Enterprise could have been incredible, and there were brief glimpses here and there, and particularly in the fourth season, when it became clear that it wasn't going to be renewed. If Enterprise had been about the founding of the Federation, if it had paid more attention to the cold war between the Andorians and the Vulcans, if it had spent some time on the human supremacist movement on Earth, instead of squandering so much screen time on that idiotic "Temporal Cold War" crap in the first three seasons, and in particular on the idiotic Xindi arc which made the third season into a pointless aside, then it would have been possibly the best Trek of them all.

I like to imagine an alternate Enterprise, where the first season is for the most part what was shown, minus any Temporal Cold War episodes. The second season could have been more about the Andorian and Vulcan conflict, plus run of the mill exploration episodes. Season 3 could have seen the founding of the Federation and then season 4 would have been the Romulan War, then I think you would have had a killer series. But I don't think Braga and Coto ever knew what to do with it, and just tried to turn it into another Voyager.

Comment Re:Sad end to a great operating system (Score 1) 112

Focusing on the Alpha was also a mistake. People learned UNIX by running it on cheap machines. Even during the heyday of proprietary UNIX systems, people were learning BSD on the Amiga and then going to work on SunOS, AIX, or whatever. In the i386, Intel added the 4-ring protection model to x86 because DEC said that they needed it for VMS. Instead of porting from VAX to i386, they ported to Alpha (which only had two rings). If they'd made a cheaper uniprocessor VMS (maybe missing some of the clustering features), they'd have had an entry-level system for people to learn about the system. Instead, you had 100 people who knew UNIX for every one who knew VMS and this made it a no brainer to use UNIX.

Comment Re:Sad end to a great operating system (Score 1) 112

No, but more importantly it was never ported to the PDP-11. The Multics process and library model required a lot more from the memory management unit than most modern commodity hardware provides, whereas UNIX ran on systems with no MMU at all. You could run UNIX on a toy computer, even if you couldn't afford something that could run Multics. That's a key lesson for tech companies: watch out for competitors eating the low end of your market because economies of scale matter.

Comment Re:HBO needs to get its head back in the game (Score 1) 145

I found that once I stopped having a TV, I also stopped being bombarded with adverts for TV shows and movies, and I stopped caring about whether I was watching something new or something 5-10 years after release. I wonder how much this will become the norm as more people switch from broadcast TV to other media.

Comment Re:Speculative Trading (Score 3, Informative) 161

Investing is always a gamble. You're giving a company capital and hoping that that company makes sufficient money that they can either pay you dividends, or that the value of your shares go up enough that you can sell them to make a profit. A share is a piece of property, to be used either as a means of collecting dividends, or to be sold.

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