I have posted before about stardates and stardate apps for iPhone. A free new app was released in November (55877) named Sternzeit, which is German for "stardate", by Sebastian Bothe. Originally the US AppStore description was in German, although text within the app was in English, but the description has now been translated.

Version 2 was released today (56015), which fixes an issue with not being able to select the year. You can now select dates in any year to convert to a stardate. Initially there was a bug which caused it to revert to the current date every 30 seconds, but it's working now for me.

The unique feature of this app is that it gives you the ability to share the stardate via Twitter, email or SMS, with a default message like, "Captains's log, stardate : -310757.56". You can also follow other users of the app on Twitter via a hash tag from within the app. I appear to be the first tweeter.

The real problem I have is that the algorithm he uses starts counting from the year 2323, which means that all stardates in the current century are negative, as well as being six digits, unlike the ones on TV, which were four or five digits, and lack the minus sign. It's fine if you want to find the stardate Capt. Janeway brought Voyager back to the Alpha Quadrant in the year 2378, but it's not what I want in my tweets. I know that the "algorithm...is known throughout the net", but it was devised specifically for the 24th century, and doesn't even work for Capt. Kirk's time, let alone ours. There are plenty of other stardate algorithms on the Net, like the contemporary date algorithm at TrekGuide.com. (I don't recommend the Andrew Main algorithm, used by Google Calendar.)  IRL astronomers have their own way of dating star observations, which looks a lot like the stardates on The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager.  And of course, the latest version of Star Trek simply uses the year number with a decimal.

At least he no longer states that 2323 was the year of the first warp-flight, when every Trekkie knows it was nearly three centuries earlier, in 2063. How did he think Kirk got around in the 2200s?

Sadly, I can't update to the new Sternzeit version on my iPhone 4S because for some reason the app requires the new iOS 5.1, and I am stuck on 5.0.1 because I'm jailbroken. Funny, I've updated scores of other apps this month and none of them require 5.1. I had to try it on my iPad, so of course it looks like crap because it's designed only for iPhone, for some reason.

MJD 56016.339

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