enter image description here

I'm fairly sure I've seen this object at least twice in the rec room during series 1, where I assumed it was some kind of futuristic game like the 3D chess or space checkers which also happened to be in that room. The "ribbon of colored squares" even reminded me of Connect Four for some reason.

But in TOS: "Who Mourns for Adonais?" we see it suddenly appear on the bridge (as shown above), for only one scene if I remember correctly, and there was no mention of it in dialogue. Since they brought it up here as part of their efforts to find a countermeasure for Apollo's energy field, it must do something useful. So now I'm curious enough to ask: Is there any canon evidence as to what this device is or what it's for?

  • 5
    I'm thinking... futuristic abacus. Sep 3, 2015 at 21:26
  • @JackBNimble Sounds more plausible than Connect Four.
    – Ixrec
    Sep 3, 2015 at 21:27
  • Wasn't this also used as a court stenographer's console in Wolf in The Fold? It's been a while...
    – Politank-Z
    Sep 3, 2015 at 23:33
  • 3
    Possibly a chicken soup dispenser. Were there any 3rd grade technicians in any of those episodes? Sep 4, 2015 at 0:08
  • 1
    @MajorStackings No, they were in stasis at the time.
    – Mr Lister
    Sep 4, 2015 at 5:53

1 Answer 1


It is probably a General Purpose Computer

Ex Astris Scientia labels it as a 'TOS Desktop Computer', seen in the recreation room in Conscience of the King:

enter image description here

Unfortunately it doesn't explain it's functionality!

This fan-made image shows the computer, also in the recreation room:

enter image description here

So it does evidently have some recreational value. The fact that we see the same (or a similar) device indicates that it also has some functional value as well.

However, I have come across this site which labels it as the 'Type 3 Alpha' Computer. The site focuses mainly on describing the appearance of the computer, however, in the image shown in the question (from *Who Mourns for Adonis?**), the sit explains that:

It was the type 3 computer operated by Lt. Leslie that helped Sulu determine where Apollo’s power source was located.

This 'Type 3' Computer is seen in the following episodes:

The type 3 computer appears in these episodes:

13 - Conscience of the King

20 - Alternative Factor

23 – A Taste of Armageddon

27 – Errand of Mercy

33 – Who Mourns for Adonais?

34 – Amok Time

42 – Trouble with Tribbles

48 – Immunity Syndrome

50 – By Any Other Name

53 – The Ultimate Computer

54 – The Omega Glory

60 – And the Children Shall Lead

63 – The Empath

66 – Day of the Dove

68 – Wink of an Eye

This type of computer is seen in the recreation room, personal quarters and on the bridge, so it's a versatile little unit! It is also seen in The Omega Glory as part of Dr McCoy's medical equipment.

My conclusion would therefore be that this is a general-purpose computer. Sorry if it's a bit of a cop-out answer, but considering all the purposes it is used for throughout TOS, it seems the most likely answer.

  • 1
    Heh, Star Trek laptop
    – BBlake
    Sep 4, 2015 at 14:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.