My Interests

Star Trek Memories

Posted in Star Trek, Star Trek Online by ERJHolton on June 4, 2016

The Star Trek Online team recently started a lovely new blog series called “Star Trek Memories”, where various team members write a paragraph or two on what made them fans. (Part 1 here; part 2 here). It’s great for a couple of reasons–first, the individual tributes are touching to read; and secondly, it’s an excellent reminder that the people who create the game are fans as well. It’s a good exercise for this anniversary year, so I thought I’d share mine.

Probably my first memory is watching The Motion Picture at the cinema, at the age of 8. I remember being enthralled at the space scenes, and I’m sure I fell in love with the Enterprise during the ship’s lengthy introduction. I don’t think I got much else from it, being a bit young to really understand what was going on, but hey, spaceships!

Star Trek wasn’t on TV that much in the UK during that time. It would be on BBC 2 during the Summer months every couple of years, so most of my Trek fix during the ’80s came from books. James Blish’s adaptations of the original series, Alan Dean Foster’s adaptations of the cartoons, dozens of original novels. Through them I started to understand the messages and philosophy at the heart of the show, starting with IDIC–Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations; as Mark Lenard (speaking as Sarek) said on the “Inside Star Trek” record: “It has given us quite a lovely universe”. Other messages, of equality, exploration, cooperation, and tenacity, also resonated with me. Together they said “The future will be a better place if we come together, celebrate our differences, and work for it”.

That message, combined with the characters who embodied it, are to me the essence of Star Trek, and what made it the enduring cultural phenomena it is. May it live long and prosper.

Tagged with: , ,

Comments Off on Star Trek Memories

Block Windows 10 Automatic Upgrade With Steve Gibson’s Never10

Posted in IT by ERJHolton on June 1, 2016

The period to upgrade Windows 7 and 8.1 to Windows 10 is ending soon, and Microsoft are pushing users harder to accept it, using tactics that are earning them some bad press.

I like Windows 10 a lot, enough that I’m now using it on all my Windows PCs at home, but I also believe that OS upgrades should be planned, not driven solely by the vendor’s timetable. Things can go wrong during an upgrade, which is why pre-upgrade tasks like backing up data are important.

Microsoft has provided a mechanism for disabling the Get Windows 10 (GWX) app, but making use of it is beyond the confidence level of many users. There are some apps floating around to make it easier to implement the block, but the cleanest I’ve found so far is Steve Gibson’s Never10. It’s a tiny download, with a simple interface, and leaves no footprint after deletion. Definitely recommended for those who want to take control of the upgrade process.

Comments Off on Block Windows 10 Automatic Upgrade With Steve Gibson’s Never10

“Star Trek Beyond” Trailer

Posted in Films, Star Trek by ERJHolton on December 14, 2015

A few days early, probably because of what appeared to be leaks, the Star Trek Beyond trailer has landed. View below:

People who know me understand that I’m not fond of the reboot movies (my review of Star Trek Into Darkness is here), but with Abrams’ departure from the franchise and the news that Simon Pegg was writing the script, I was at a point of looking forward to this one.

But based on this trailer? I’m not happy at all. Beastie Boys as the background track wasn’t the best start, but, with the film’s compressed production schedule, I wouldn’t be surprised if the score wasn’t complete enough yet to take excerpts from. It wasn’t the music that grated though, it was the fact that the trailer felt almost completely empty. Just a succession of loud visuals with no context, including what looks like the Enterprise being dismantled by a swarm in scenes very reminiscent of the Machines’ attack on Zion in The Matrix Revolutions. There was one moment I liked; that being the “Well that’s just typical,” moment (0:40 to 0:50), but then again I have a soft spot for Urban’s McCoy in these reboot films.

(As an aside, once again, we appear to have the Enterprise effortlessly overcome. I know; needing to take characters from their comfort zone, writers / designers wanting something new, blah blah blah. Tired of it. At least have the enemy work for it for once? Please?)

I’m hoping that the second trailer will add some context to the flat noise of the first, or perhaps I’m just not the kind of the Star Trek fan Paramount is interested in marketing to these days.

Comments Off on “Star Trek Beyond” Trailer

Star Trek Online: Tour The Universe

Posted in MMO, Star Trek Online by ERJHolton on March 3, 2015

While this will quickly become obsolete, I wanted to share the strategy and route I’m using to fully complete the Federation version of the Tour the Galaxy daily mission.

What is Tour the Galaxy?

Tour the Galaxy is a daily mission where you are challenged to visit all sectors of all sector blocks, except for Omega Leonis and the Delta Quadrant, within a time limit of 15 minutes.


Comments Off on Star Trek Online: Tour The Universe


Posted in Fiction, MMO by ERJHolton on November 25, 2013

“In almost all known cultures, there are songs and tales that celebrate the vessel as much as the voyage or the crew.”

“A starship is more than a collection of alloys and ceramic and circuits. Invested into each one is the hope of its designers, the pride of its builders, and the love of its crew.”

“As commander of this vessel, I promise you all—we shall bring hope and comfort to our allies; fear and defeat to our enemies.”

— Vice Admiral Elaron, excerpts from his speech at the commissioning ceremony of the USS Sky Road.

Comments Off on Fiction