EAE Award Winners 2002
and Gilso Star
Trek Schematics (January 2002)
The January 2002 EAE Award goes to two sites with different organizations but similar goals: the resurrected Starship Schematic Database (SSD) by Jim Stevenson and the new Gilso Star Trek Schematics by Gerard aka Gilso. The SSD is an extensive searchable database that includes every ship of which orthographic views are available, canon and fan-made. For a couple of years, the SSD has been the most popular place to look for Star Trek schematics - so popular that traffic limits forced webmaster Jim to take the site temporarily down. Now it is back, and I think thousands of fans are glad about it. The SSD has a simple basic layout, but the single sections on Federation and alien ships (and the non-Trek ships too) all have distinctive graphic interfaces. Gilso Star Trek Schematics offers a great deal of orthographic exterior views too. In addition, the site has technical data on the ships, cross-sections, bridge floorplans, high-resolution images and modeling instructions. Gilso cleaned up all the schematics from various sources, and he created a "checkered paper" look for them. The same style is maintained all over the website, giving it a typical "technical" look. Congratulations to Gilso and Jim!
Trek5.com is a new site with some of its content still under construction. Nevertheless, I feel that the fresh new approach to Star Trek deserves to be honored with the EAE Award. Trek5.com is quite unlike other sites I have visited lately in that it consciously doesn't try to present just everything, but picks items of special interest. The site has something like a collection of media and articles for the ambitious fan. The most prominent features are a growing gallery of high-quality screen caps, wallpapers and an Enterprise episode guide. In addition, there is a video collection of TOS bloopers, interviews with the production team, and specials like the new "Enterprise" font. The site design is the most innovative I have seen recently, although it is not even very complex and it doesn't use any slow-loading effects. The success of the design lies in the countless individual graphics that all have a very professional look. It is fun to discover Trek5.com, and I am looking forward to future attractions that webmaster Matt may have for us. Congratulations!
Sometimes I'm sorry that the above rules for the EAE Award give RPGs only a small chance, but this is because they usually don't have what most Trek fans are looking for in the web. The Antares Project is one of only few sites in this category that are attractive with their content and design also for non-members. As a SIM, Antares Project is convincing in that the site provides a thorough introduction and rules for beginners, and I think the size of the SIM may be taken as a sign of quality too. The ships attached to Antares Station have their own websites, all with a pleasant web design and an elaborate presentation as far as I can tell. Frequent announcements, articles written by members and a Trek trivia game complete the presentation of the community. Supported by a large and easy to use database, Antares Project members shouldn't have to look around everywhere in the web for Trek information. With hundreds of entries, the Antares Project Database provides a complete overview of the races, vessels and technology. This is also the probably most interesting feature for non-members. Congratulations to the makers of this great SIM website!
"All of Star Trek in one site" may be a good intention, but many fans are looking for more specific information and for expertise in a certain field. This is exactly what Phasers by Lee Kelly, one of the best themed sites, is aimed at. The site is unique in that it covers the hand weapons of Star Trek in the greatest possible detail. Chronologically ordered, Phasers provides a complete overview of about 30 types of weapons with basic descriptions, specs from technical manuals, specific observations and oddities, behind-the-scenes information, images, screen caps and schematic diagrams. Not even Captain Proton's ray guns (which, as we should know, actually work) are missing. There is also a section on the principle and the different settings of phasers. The site exists for quite some time, and is updated whenever new information becomes available. The page design is simple and pleasant, as it does not need flashy illustrations or effects. Thanks for this comprehensive coverage of a specific aspect and congratulations to Lee!
"Welcome to a different Star Trek website!" Trek Brasilis keeps this promise. Most of Trek Brasilis is in Portuguese, as the site serves as an internet portal for Jornada nas Estrelas ("Journey to the Stars") in Brazil, but it is much more than just a collection of links and the usual features of Star Trek sites. Trek Brasilis is made with the intention to present something special, and not simply to translate or warm up content that has been presented elsewhere. The episode guide encompasses the movies and all Star Trek series in great detail, including trailers for download. In addition, there is an extensive special on the never produced Phase II series, with lots of background information and a guide to the lost episodes. There is nothing comparable on the web, and I wish that it may be translated to English soon. Other highlights are the series of interviews with Michael Piller, Rick Sternbach, Andrew Probert and Robert Duncan McNeill, as well as the homage to 35 years of Star Trek. Almost no need to mention that the site also offers features like daily news, a TV guide, a forum, a newsletter and a trivia game. The original web design of Trek Brasilis with many, but never too large illustrations completes the overall excellent impression. Congratulations to webmaster Salvador Nogueira!
Formerly known as "Remember: The Lost History of Star Trek", Greg Tyler's Trekplace is a treasure trove for fans who think they already know everything. Greg has archived several interviews with major players in (technical) Star Trek, including the designers Andrew Probert and Rick Sternbach, but also with Shane Johnson (Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise), Bjo Trimble (Star Trek Concordance) and Franz Joseph Schnaubelt (Star Fleet Technical Manual). Technical articles, such as on the question "Constitution class or Enterprise class?", on the mystery of the torpedo bays of the refitted Enterprise or on the Enterprise-D studio miniatures, complete the site. Navigation through the sections is easy, and the simplistic site design doesn't distract from the content. What I especially like about Trekplace is that it presents original content and that it does not remain silent about critical or controversial issues, such as the possibly undeserved de-canonization of Franz Joseph's work. Thus, Trekplace is not only a look behind the scenes, but also beyond some common fan preconceptions.
To Boldly Go
- The History of the Enterprise (July 2002)
Even the smallest Star Trek site seems to have a section dedicated to the history of the (star)ships with the revered name "Enterprise". I used to deem the information on most of these sites little interesting because it was already well-known and too often literally taken from reference books. I changed my mind when I discovered To Boldly Go. This site presents all aspects of Enterprise ship history in great detail, including images, technical specs, crew information, key events and trivia - with new observations and personal remarks. If there is one place to find anything about the six (sorry, seven) starships named Enterprise, it's here. But that is not yet all. Webmaster Nick Angeloni has developed his site beyond a mere database. Unlike it is on most other themed sites that are too often considered as "finished as they are", there are frequent updates, and new sections like a TNG episode guide are already being prepared. The design of To Boldly Go is clean, navigation through the pages is easy. Congratulations and thanks for a great website!
The Computer Core Dump
Many fans are seeking general Trek facts or pictures in the web, but this is often more time-consuming than one might think. There are a lot of databases, but most of them seem to be permanently under construction. Fortunately there is a one-stop place called The Computer Core Dump. This site has all the canon information about characters, ships, places, uniforms and equipment from all five series that fans are looking for. The Computer Core Dump has a good balance between textual information and pictures, and there are frequent updates with new information about Enterprise or about the upcoming movie. The site's navigation is very user-friendly, as the visitor does not have to browse through menus with abstract names, but finds direct links to all the categories already on the main page. The LCARS design of the Computer Core Dump may be overused throughout the web, but I think it suits the site. As the site's introduction says, it is "for new people and old pros alike", and I can affirm that.
Titan Fleet Yards
Harry Doddema's Titan Fleet Yards is not one of the mega-sites that have much of everything (or claim to have). The site may not have the most content, but all of it is carefully selected and original. Harry, the webmaster and our dear colleague in the ASDB, has talents in many fields, including graphic design, technical (starship!) design, writing, scientific analysis and programming. All of this is visible at the latest version of Titan Fleet Yards. Instead of making just another list of existing (canon or conjectural) starships, Harry is creating his own ones, and they are always getting better. A highlight of his site is the section on the members of the Federation which is the most profound and most extensive of its kind in the web. There are also book reviews and articles on starships and other topics. Everything on the site has been consciously developed instead of just thrown together, and sources are unusually carefully credited. Harry has recently upgraded the whole site with an unusual and modern graphic layout and PHP scripting, leading the site into a bright future. Congratulations, Harry!
Science Fiction Modelers and Erick's Models
This month's EAE Award goes to two modeling sites. I first became aware of Erick's Models when he built the Cheyenne class and the New Orleans class based on our reconstructions at the Flare Forums. Being a skilled kitbasher, he created the first authentic models of these ships besides the almost forgotten originals. There is some sort of friendly competition with the Maritime Science Fiction Modelers in this respect. The group has built, among other models, a large number of canon and non-canon vessels from the Star Trek Universe. In particular, Stephen L. who is also the webmaster has reconstructed several Wolf 359 and DS9TM ships with great attention to details. None of the two sites has a sophisticated web design, but that is no disadvantage. On the contrary, it would only distract from the model galleries. With a wealth of photos of their work, descriptions and modeling tips, Erick's Models and the Maritime Science Fiction Modelers are an inspiration for anyone building starship models (and I should really take the time to start building again myself...).
Trekpulse, albeit not yet complete (but which website actually is?), may be the most exciting new Trek site lately. Formerly known as The Mess Hall - Enterprise (which I already liked a lot), the site has recently been completely redesigned and newly conceived as a universal place about all things Trek. Presently the focus is still on Enterprise with an encyclopedia, an episode guide and reviews, character and tech info, multimedia. It is possibly the most comprehensive collection on the web - and always up to date. The same will (hopefully) be soon available for the other parts of the franchise too. In addition, Trekpulse has a community section with a forum, chatroom, links and an award. The professional design approach of the webmaster Robert Gallagher who studies web design and Mike Broadhead who created the graphics is quite visible all over the site. Hundreds of accurate graphics and a well-defined color scheme leave a long-lasting impression of Trekpulse, inviting the visitor to return. Congratulations and thanks for a new "must-visit" site!
Trek (December 2002)
Original Trek exists for quite a while, but I discovered the place only recently. After learning the secret of the somewhat mysterious navigation on the index page (one has to click the colorful buttons to get to the single sections), the rest is very easy to navigate. Original Trek presents itself as the probably most complete site of its kind, covering everything about TOS and nothing else. Aside from the usual features such as the episode guide, an image gallery and video clips, Original Trek has a wealth of technical and political information from canon sources and from established fandom such as Franz Joseph's Technical Manual. The site design is pleasant, as it doesn't overuse colors and instead of that relies on a strict palette and precise illustrations. Some sections are still under construction and the last update dates back a while, but I hope the author keeps up his good work. Congratulations!