Last week, Steve Jones (@way0utwest), Grant Fritchey (@GFritchey), and I spent a few days at the Redgate Headquarters in Cambridge. Meeting at the office would not be unusual except for the times that we live in right now, as we typically get there about once a quarter. This is the first time that we’ve all been together since late 2019.
We record videos and meet with the folks working in Cambridge at the office, like engineers and program managers. When not recording or attending meetings, we work on articles or demos, but we might also spend some time just catching up with our team members.
Grant and I ended up having a couple of very lively discussions. The first was about 3D printing. I started 3D printing over two years ago to have another fun activity to do with grandkids. I bought a printer (Qidi X-one2) that showed a photo of a grandmother and her grandchildren using it. The printer turned out to be easy to use but has a tiny bed which limits what size articles can be printed. Eventually, I bought two larger printers and learned a lot more since these were not as forgiving. All three were almost fully assembled out-of-the-box, which I appreciate. Grant went the popular Ender 3 route which means he started with a box of parts and 14 pages of assembly instructions. We are both having fun with our 3D printers, and Grant is also doing laser engraving.
No meeting of database fans would be complete without a science fiction discussion. Since William Shatner, aka Captain Kirk, made his actual space debut while we were in the office, we ended up talking about our favorite Star Trek characters, captains, and series. We both agree that the more recent series are not as engaging as the older ones. My favorite is The Next Generation (TNG), while Grant believes The Original Series (TOS) is the best. (I need to watch that one again.)
My favorite captain is Jean Luc Picard (TNG), followed by Kathryn Janeway (Voyager). Picard is a fan favorite on many lists, but I like Janeway because she is a great engineer and very commanding. She stands up to their adversaries in the Delta Quadrant and the crew. Grant likes Jonathan Archer (Enterprise) and Benjamin Sisko (Deep Space Nine, DS9) the best. Archer showed outstanding leadership in the early days of Star Fleet. Sisko (also high on my list) commands a space station instead of a ship, but he also must deal with bad guys from the Gamma Quadrant.
We both think that Miles O’Brien (Transporter Chief on TNG and promoted to Chief of Operations on DS9) is a great character. I love the characters who solve the problems, and O’Brien takes on that role on the clunky repurposed space station where things constantly go wrong. I also admire Worf (the Klingon raised by humans) and Geordi La Forge (TNG’s Chief Engineer).
Grant thinks there should be some stories about the enlisted members — the “red shirt” characters who usually don’t make it back from away missions. I’d love to see more stories with ethical and moral dilemmas that take brainpower instead of firepower to solve.
Overall, we had an excellent time at the office and look forward to more “geeky” discussions. And, by the way, have you heard about The Orville?