> The 47s

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To me, The 47s had to happen when it did or it never would have happened at all. If some show today started putting a particular number all over the place, there'd already be fourteen fansites devoted to it by the end of the first episode and I wouldn't have gotten to be on TV.

47: The Early Years
I was a junior in high school in 1994, and our local station showed reruns of Star Trek: The Next Generation every day at 5. Those reruns turned into a massive VHS collection. With a couple shelves full of six-hour VHS tapes, never a dull afternoon!

One afternoon I was half-paying attention to a rerun of "Conundrum," in which a crewmember says she just injured herself on Holodeck Program 47-C. It struck a chord. Wasn't there just a computer subroutine C-47 in that other episode...yes, there was, in "A Fistful of Datas." Curious. I got out a legal pad and started to jot down instances of 47 as I watched. The list started to grow.

This was before I had Internet access, so over the summer I wrote a letter to the Q&A column in the Star Trek Communicator. They printed it in the October/November 1994 issue:

I kept the list going through my senior year. Then I went to college.

47: The Internet Years
One of the first things I did when I got to college in September of '95 was get addicted to Usenet. I posted a message about 47 to one of the Star Trek groups and received a reply pointing me in the direction of Pomona College, where 47 is an inside joke. Thus was the mystery partially solved. But I needed proof!

In January of '96, I got an address for Trek writer/producer Brannon Braga and sent him a letter. He wrote back, and my tickled-pinkness when I got the letter earned me many geek points amongst my dormmates.

Around that time, I discovered that Stanford gave every student 6 whole MB of free webspace. I learned a very little bit of HTML, and thus was this site born.

47: The Glory Years
The original version of The 47s used CENTER tags liberally, had enormously ugly page dividers, and had white text on a starry background. I built the original site with PICO and tested it on Netscape 1.1. Ah! The pinnacle of 1996 web design!

Somehow, mostly through my self-aggrandizing posts on various Usenet groups, the site gained popularity. At its height, when "people with websites" were still slightly unusual, I was interviewed on a TV show, and the site was mentioned in a few magazines and books.

Meanwhile, DS9 and Voyager were still using 47 liberally, and I was actively updating the list. During freshman year, when I didn't have a TV in my room, I would stake out the dorm lounge Sunday nights, clipboard in hand. More geek points were awarded. But I kept on going!

I was also starting to get emails from people all over the world. Some of them submitted some of the 47s you will find in this site. These people contributed to The 47s back in the day and I would like to thank them for their enthusiasm.

47: The Hiatus Years
After I graduated from college, the site bounced around a bit, but my webhosts kept dying off. When my last host for went under a few years ago, I didn't bother to find another.

My interest in Star Trek had started flagging during Voyager, and though I stuck it out to the end (completist that I am) I never managed to get into Enterprise. It was time for a break.

And so, The 47s languished.

Until now!

47: The Return
The 47s is back today because it really was a labor of love for me when I was still a big-time Star Trek fan. I think it ought to be available for others to enjoy, or be scared by.

I may no longer be a manic Trekker, but I once was, and I can't deny it. This is for everyone who kindasorta feels the same way.


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