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Theunicornhunter

Why no backup of the doctor's program?

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This has always bothered me - why didn't they have a backup of the doctors program. Wouldn't every program and system on such a sophisticated piece of technology like Voyager have backups of everything?

 

I think there was even one episode where the "backup" was stolen. So why were they always worried that the doctor's program would be "lost" with the mobile emitter? Surely there was a backup copy somewhere.

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This has always bothered me - why didn't they have a backup of the doctors program. Wouldn't every program and system on such a sophisticated piece of technology like Voyager have backups of everything?

 

I think there was even one episode where the "backup" was stolen. So why were they always worried that the doctor's program would be "lost" with the mobile emitter? Surely there was a backup copy somewhere.

 

Some possible explanations:

 

1) EMH's ARE the backup. They were never intended to serve as full-time CMOs.

 

2) A program as sophisticated as an EMH, even before the enhancements added along the way, must use up a lot of memory and other computing resources. Maybe LCARS simply couldn't handle redundant copies.

 

3) This gets into hologram rights, but one "doctor" is unique. All you need to do to create a virtual "race" of "doctor"s is have multiple copies. It gets into the whole "Measure of a Man" thing with Data. In fact, in one episode they showed this is exactly what happened with the Mark 1.

 

4) Isn't one "doctor" annoying enough? :P

Edited by Lt. Van Roy

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Wow I'm actually agreeing with all Van Roy said :P

 

You don't necessarily need a back up for a back up. The Doc is an Emergency Medical Hologram, the emergency part explains he's not supposed to be online that much.

Edited by MrPsychic

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Wow I'm actually agreeing with all Van Roy said :)

 

You don't necessarily need a back up for a back up. The Doc is an Emergency Medical Hologram, the emergency part explains he's not supposed to be online that much.

 

Wow I'm actually agreeing with all Van Roy said :P

 

You don't necessarily need a back up for a back up. The Doc is an Emergency Medical Hologram, the emergency part explains he's not supposed to be online that much.

Speaking of redundant copies...

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I realize the doctor's function was to serve as a "backup" for the real doctor - however he is still a computer program - and you back up databases or other programs for a safety net in the event of hardware failure like fire, theft, hard disk crash etc.

 

I have files I don't use every day but I have a back up copy in the event something happens to my hardware.

Edited by TheUnicornHunter

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If you are asking why they didn't have some kind of backup for the doctor on a separate storage unit - whatever the 24th century equivalent to a floppy or USB stick or external drive is - I don't really know. But I haven't seen Voyager address this with *any* of it's software technology.

Edited by Lt. Van Roy

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But didn't they actually have a back-up copy? I vaguely remember an episode where the Doctor ended up on some planet and he stayed there like forever. My understanding was that this ended up being one of the Doctor's back-up copies. Anybody remember this episode?

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I remember the ep but not the title - it was one of my favorite eps because for one thing it addressed how different sides write and interpret history - it was a pretty intiguing ep and this is the ep I referenced in my first post.

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another point is that the doctor was a prototype. So perhaps they didn't think to build a backup system. Also in living witness it never says when it happened. We all assume it happens in that season. maybe they backed him up once and had the technology stolen. Maybe they bartered for one storage device and one alone from an alien culture

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another point is that the doctor was a prototype. So perhaps they didn't think to build a backup system. Also in living witness it never says when it happened. We all assume it happens in that season. maybe they backed him up once and had the technology stolen. Maybe they bartered for one storage device and one alone from an alien culture

I don't think the doc was a prototype. It was never stated that he was, and even an ensign knew about him. Ensign Kim was the first one to activate him.

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The doctor was a program and a software program is millions of lines of written code - making a backup only means saving a "backup" copy of a file. I think "backup" copies are a little different than just "save copy as" because they have additional instructions. But still it's just making a copy of the files.

 

Thanks for the title, yes Living Witness, I do rememer they said something about parts being stolen from Voyager including the doctor.

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So the question is answered! There were indeed back-up copies of the Doctor as evidenced in "Living Witness"

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the doctor was new technology, he wasn't the prototype but was a prototype the mark 1 EMH where 1st put into newly built starships which voyager was at the time. I haven't seen "Living witness" so I don't know what happened in it, but in one episode didn't Tom and Harry try to make a new Doc, because he was away, so that Tom didn't have to do all the work but it didn't work. Also if they did have a backup EMH wouldn't they have used it as well as the 1st EMH?

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the doctor was new technology, he wasn't the prototype but was a prototype the mark 1 EMH where 1st put into newly built starships which voyager was at the time. I haven't seen "Living witness" so I don't know what happened in it, but in one episode didn't Tom and Harry try to make a new Doc, because he was away, so that Tom didn't have to do all the work but it didn't work. Also if they did have a backup EMH wouldn't they have used it as well as the 1st EMH?

 

And that episode, Message in a Bottle, is exactly what prompted me to start this thread. I had just recently rewatched that and I thought - why didn't they have a backup; and as others have stated - there was a backup in Living Witness - it doesn't make any sense.

 

And being "new technology" doesn't negate the need for a backup copy. I am sure all programmers everywhere (at least the good ones) keep backups of what they're working on.

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As far as the question, "Where did it come from?" is concerned, I believe that the best answer is that it was picked up some where along the way.

 

As it was noted, the episode "Message in a Bottle," there was no back-up for the Doctor. "Living Witness" occured later on, after the events of MiaB. It is possible that the crew of Voyager found and purchased a data storage device complex enough to a copy of the Doctor's program in in. Here is an image of it...

 

backupmodule.jpg

 

The device in question is held in the man's left hand. In other words, not the object emitting a blue glow. As you can see, this device doesn't seem to have any resemblance to anything we've seen used by Starfleet/Federation members.

 

It's also logical to assume that the data stored in the device includes up-to-date memories up to the point it was removed from Voyager. After all, once the back-up program was activated, the Doctor recognized the man in the image as being of the race that attacked Voyager and stole the device. (Though the device hadn't been stolen yet.)

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Considering the fact that the Voyager EMH became the full-time doctor, you would think that they would have created a back-up program in the event of something happening to the original program.

Just a thought....

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Considering the fact that the Voyager EMH became the full-time doctor, you would think that they would have created a back-up program in the event of something happening to the original program.

Just a thought....

but I remember that there was an episode in which the program of the doctor was instable and he tried to search help from an hologram of his creator, who helped him. But I think that the doctor was unique in his genre, therefore he was similar to an individual - a story similar to that of Data - therefore there is no backup of his programme. :P

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well i think the only reason there isn't any backup is

 

a: in case if a enemy takeover of an federation starship, they really can't afford but to backup his medical files unless from square one.

 

b: if anyone has a backup, it'll be starfleet command or starfleet medical along with dr. zimmerman.

 

c: as for voyagers doctor, star_rose is right, he's exactly just like data. he wanted to be more human, and feel more useful than just a tool of starfleet.

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Considering the fact that the Voyager EMH became the full-time doctor, you would think that they would have created a back-up program in the event of something happening to the original program.

Just a thought....

 

That's precisely what I was thinking. Of course you need a backup of a backup if the backup is all you have! :hug:

 

It is confusing, though. Sort of like when Seven uses her nanoprobes to repair Neelix's necrotized tissues after he's been dead for something like 18 hours--but then she never does that with anyone else. Does that seem odd to anyone but me? Or am I just being dumb and missing something key? Please, feel free to tell me if it is the latter. :hug:

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I believe there was an episode (the one where Kim and Paris were trying to build a back up) in the episode I believe it is Kim who says that for all the complexity of the doctor and the near sentience (though I believe he was) his programme took too much computer space up. Inf fact when they had to take the diagnostic programme to fix him, it was akin to a patch not a full over haul. As the diagnostic programme said It was never meant to be continuous. Think about the gigabytes of information your PC would gain if it was near continuous in operation and learning all the while.

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the only other backup would of been his holo-emiter...i think...

Edited by tj_hawk

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the only other backup would of been his holo-emiter...i think...

 

They couldn't have backed up the holo-emitter. It came from the future.

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what about his sentience. it means that to back him up would give him near immortality. Also it brings up the dilemma of effectively cloning a person. hmm... maybe that why there was no back up of the drs program

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Take into account, ladies and gentlemen, that they weren't prepared to go through what they did to end up where they ended up and that they would lose the CMO and other medical personnel - the EMH, was a prototype, and that having to rely on the program almost exclusively would allow wear and tear to take its toll. It wasn't expected to have to access that often, and being a large and complex program, it was possibly decided to use computer memory for other, higher priority systems. This was only to be a Mission to the Badlands - not a extended voyage in little known space.

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Wasn't it not only a matter of the program but also the holomatrix? At least that's what the hologram of Dr. Zimmerman in The Swarm said. And they had to use that hologram's matrix to save the Doctor. That story doesn't exactly mesh with what we saw in Living Witness or with how freely characters are created in holodecks in general. Either we're missing something about 24-century holotech or the writers were just being a bit goofy on that point for the sake of drame created by the Zimmerman hologram's having to sacrifice this existence.

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