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As you can see in the below image and, as I'm sure most TNG watchers would have noticed, there are a series of orange 'plates' on Picard's desk. Does anyone know what these are (as in, does Picard ever use them, or talk about what they are?)?

enter image description here

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On occasion he types on them as if they are pads. –  TheDoctor May 1 at 21:42
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There the ignition key for the Enterprise... –  oɔɯǝɹ May 1 at 21:45

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

They look like giant isolinear chips or circuit boards.

I can't find any documentation on those exact ones, but these pretty-similar-looking ones from ST VI and ST VII are referred to as isolinear chips in a plexiglass isolinear chip holder: Similar-looking translucent sky blue (3), hot orange (5), and yellow (1) isolinear chips mounted upright on a clear plexiglass stand.

The ones on Picard's desk in TNG have more rounded corners, but they have roughly the same design.

You can see some slightly smaller and more conventional-looking isolinear chips on Troi's desk here: Frontal shot of Counselor Troi's light tan and white desk in front of her tan high-back chair. A PADD, a smaller screened device and some loose isolinear chips ranging from the small flat-stick-shaped to a couple of much larger ones are scattered on the desk. An isolinear chip holder is shown on the left side, with 4 or 5 largish square chips resting in it.

Here are some more from Picard's Enterprise-E ready room that are used in First Contact, Nemesis and Generations: Three isolinear chip holders holding a dozen large square and rectangular isolinear chips with 3 loose rectangular chips. Some are blue, others are green, yellow and hot orange. Picard in the Enterprise-E ready room with 5 or 6 PADDs laying on his desk. Two isolinear chip holders are to his left, another is on sitting on a shelf behind to the right of him.

Picard is seen holding a stylus or circuit-diagnostic/repair device to one of these plates in one episode. So they might be more like circuit boards or interactive e-readers than simply storage devices.

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Cool. Now where do I get those? –  LarissaGodzilla May 1 at 10:04
    
The actual TV/film props cost a pretty penny: icollector.com/… (sold for $650) liveauctioneers.com/item/7457717 (sold for $400~600) icollector.com/… (sold for $8000) But you can find fan reproductions for a lot cheaper on eBay. –  Lèse majesté May 1 at 10:11
    
Yeah, well, not in germany, I'm afraid -.- –  LarissaGodzilla May 1 at 10:26
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So, high-tech versions of the floppy disk? (The timing is certainly right..) –  Izkata May 1 at 12:26

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