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23rd century tape technology is introduced to the 22nd century mirror universe

Microtape, 2260

A microtape

Record tapes, also called library record tapes, library tapes, microtapes, or simply tapes, were a type of computer memory storage medium used by Earth and Federation space exploration vessels from the 21st through the 23rd centuries.

In 2065, the disaster recorder of the SS Valiant was equipped with tapes. When the recorder was recovered by the USS Enterprise in 2265, both Captain Kirk and Science Officer Spock hoped that "its tapes were still intact" despite the age of the recorder and its distressed condition. Spock later commented that the tapes were burned out, but he was able to interpolate data stored in the memory banks. (TOS: "Where No Man Has Gone Before")

They were susceptible to being scanned and understood by advanced races. The Talosians did so in 2254, as well as Balok in 2266. (TOS: "The Cage", "The Corbomite Maneuver")

Constitution-class vessels routinely carried a large number of entertainment tapes – more than other class vessels, including the Antares. (TOS: "Charlie X")

In addition, the sensors aboard Constitution-class vessels maintained microtape records. In 2267, the USS Constellation's tapes were pulled and beamed to the Enterprise for analysis of the planet killer. (TOS: "The Doomsday Machine")

A Survey on Cygnian Respiratory Diseases

A starship nurse gives the chief medical officer a medical survey report on a portable microtape

A portable version of record tapes resembled 20th century music cassettes but with far greater capacity. These color-coded microtapes, in use on starbases and starships, could store and retrieve recordings, flight recorder data, logs, encoded orders, reports, and computer programming. (TOS: "The Cage", "The Menagerie, Part I", "The Menagerie, Part II", "Tomorrow is Yesterday", "Court Martial", "And the Children Shall Lead", "The Lights of Zetar", "Obsession"; TAS: "The Survivor"; ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II")

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Types of tapes[]

Files on tape[]

See also[]


Background information[]

In the final draft script of TOS: "The Naked Time", examples of this type of device were referred to as "tape cassettes", whereas, the final draft script of the next installment to be produced, "Charlie X", referred to them as "microtapes".

A deleted scene from "The Menagerie, Part II" established that, to lock the Enterprise on a course to Talos IV, Spock had jammed "the series 'seven' tapes." Hence, cross-circuiting that series of tapes could enable the starship to be returned to manual control. [1]

A behind-the-scenes sidebar in the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual [page number?edit] expressed amusement that the original series' microtapes were roughly the same size and shape as the 3.5-inch floppy disks used in the production of that book decades later.

This device was described as "data square" in the audio description for "Ad Astra per Aspera".

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