Make your own captain’s log with Simon Jacobs’ “Trekkie Tracker”

Trekkie Tracker
Trekkie Tracker

The Star Trek Universe is vast. If you’ve been watching since the 1960s, the story is not difficult to understand. To begin, you just go to the start — The Original Series, then the films, then The Next Generation. But for younger fans, who started with Voyager, Enterprise or Discovery, going back that far can be a huge challenge. After all, there are almost 800 episodes of Star Trek available to watch. Seems like you might need a “Trekkie Tracker” so you know what you’ve seen, and what is left to watch.

Luckily for us, Trek fan Simon Jacobs created such a thing for us. His Trekkie Tracker software allows users to log the shows they’ve seen, make notes, and look ahead to the next series or related episode which they want to watch next. This allows younger viewers to binge a series (like Deep Space Nine) but also jump around to those seminal episodes (like “The Measure of a Man” or “The City on the Edge of Forever”) as they are mentioned in Discovery or Picard.

Jacobs is originally from Australia, where he worked in the motion picture industry for 35 years. He spent some time in the gaming and casinos, but found his way to Brazil, where he’s an English teacher at the Cultura Inglesa Manaus. He makes his home in Brazil now, along with his wife and children. Along the way, Jacobs dabbled in programming, which led gave him the skills to create his application — the “Trekkie Tracker.”

Simon Jacobs and his children. Courtesy of Simon Jacobs
Simon Jacobs and his children. Courtesy of Simon Jacobs

After three years of work, Jacobs now wants Trekkies around the world to make use of his app, which is available for Microsoft Windows — though he says a version for Android and iOS is on the way. We spoke with Jacobs after he announced the release of the app.

How did you come up with an idea for a Star Trek-based app?

There is so much Star Trek and I became increasingly frustrated keeping track of what I had watched and trying to research what to watch next. So, I googled for a tracker back in 2019. Admittedly, I found a very simple Excel sheet that then gave me the idea to start building what ultimately became Trekkie Tracker.

The Excel database library contains separate rooms or sheets for every series and movie. Every behind the scenes shows like After Trek, and The Ready Room is there too. It also includes all official documentaries and value-added materials, usually released for Blue Ray or other disc sets. A unique database called MY TREKS allows you to record any new programs you discover relating to Star Trek.

Programs you add in MY TREKS are shared across the world with all Trekkie Tracker subscribers and fans so everyone ends up with the most comprehensive database of Star Trek programs ever compiled in the one place.

The Trekkie Tracker allows users to input the shows that they've watched and rank it as well. Plot notes there too. Courtesy of Simon Jacobs
The Trekkie Tracker allows users to input the shows that they’ve watched and rank it as well. Plot notes there too. Courtesy of Simon Jacobs

MY TREKS compilations are regularly released to lifetime subscribers. Any other application updates, which can include bug fixes and your suggestions and the addition of any new series as their release dates are announced. For example, the current version of Trekkie Tracker already includes Picard Series 2 and Lower Decks Series 2 — both recently announced for broadcast in 2021.

In an up and coming update due very soon, I will be adding the independent series — Star Trek Continues, which is based on TOS but completely new. And of course, both currently available Short Treks series are also already included.

To record your personal viewing data in Trekkie Tracker, it is simply a matter of choosing the series you would like to watch from THE BRIDGE and then confirming the date you watched episode. You can also indicate how often you watched this episode and whether or not it was one of your favorites’.

The statistics panel is where users can see a real time update of viewing progress across the whole Star Trek Universe. Courtesy of Simon Jacobs
The statistics panel is where users can see a real time update of viewing progress across the whole Star Trek Universe. Courtesy of Simon Jacobs

Once you have indicated that you have watched an episode or movie, all the statistical analysis regarding your own personal viewing habits is updated. Details and graphical analysis are available from various bridge consoles and a very unique summary screen showing all the main details of your current shows — including your progress and even if you haven’t finished watching an episode yet; all this information is displayed on the main BRIDGE CONSOLE.

Are you up to date with Discovery, Picard, and Lower Decks?

Absolutely. Every series ever produced or about to be produced has been — and will continue to be included in Trekkie Tracker. A lifetime registration means exactly that. The application will continue to be updated with new series and movies as they are announced. I have even heard on the grapevine there is going to be a Picard movie!

Tell us about your history with Star Trek… when was your “First Contact”?

During my second career was as at the Sydney Casino, I was involved with a lot of shift work. What did I do when I came home from night shift in the casino or couldn’t sleep at 2 a.m. on my days off? Turn on the television, which is where I found The Next Generation. And the rest once again, is history.

I fell in love with Picard and Data (and possibly Deanna Troi — but don’t tell my wife). All the morals and ideals of Star Trek sat so comfortably with me that I never wanted to miss an episode. Thank goodness for the hard disk recorder back then!

Eventually I bought the TNG box set and I have been a fan ever since. I think I also watched TOS when I was a child but it must have been an early re-run because I was only four-years-old when it first aired.

What is your favorite version of Star Trek?

Had you asked me this question a couple of years ago, I would have always said TNG. Although I really love Deep Space Nine too. But now… well nothing beats Picard. It is absolutely brilliant and the last episode is absolute genius. I have never seen anything like that ending! Goodness only knows what could and will happen in the second series.

Get complete details on Jacobs’ application, updates to the Trekkie Tracker, and future developments at his website.