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Busy Bee
Richard S. Wright Jr.'s Blog

Well, I have been one busy bee since I returned from the Winter Star Party. The next big event was NEAF, where I met one of my hero's (as well as 100's of thousands of other Astronomy Cast fans) of the astronomy podcast world, Pamela Gay (I'm secretly in love with her, shhh....). Steve and I were introduced to her at a social event the Friday night before hand, and then she came by our booth twice the next day! We all talked with her a bit, and she was just a super terrific person to met and chat with. I gave her a free copy of Seeker :-) She absolutely did not have that "I'm a celebrity and your not" air about her either. Great... now I'm twice the fan.

I believe to my ruin, I have "crossed the line" when it comes to telescopes. I have three 8" reflectors currently, and while at the Winter Star Party, I picked up a used 80mm refractor. My astrophotography interests lie mostly with lunar photography, and my 8" SCT is just horrid at trying to shoot the moon, so I thought a small refractor might do the trick. I made the mistake of looking at Saturn with it. Wow, what skies I thought, and pulled out a bigger reflector.... crap. Total crap. Now, I'm ruined, and I think I'm going to become one of those snobby "refractor" people. At NEAF I bought a 6" refractor... I took it to my local clubs star party. Yep, I'm ruined. I plan to donate two of my 8" reflectors to an educational facility, and the 8" SCT is now in the hands of my very happy 16 year old son. It's not even a super high end refractor either... yeah, I'm ruined! I think the "trash scope" for a lot of people prejudices us against refractors. A shame really. Speaking of "Trash Scopes", check out www.365daysofastronomy.org. It's a daily pod cast about the International Year of Astronomy. I'm doing one on December 26th, called "Confessions of a Christmas Trash Scope".

June is going to be just nuts. I'm going to the annual Apple Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco and have some specific plans to improve Seeker while I'm there. In particular, my QuickTime code needs to be brought up to date more, and I'm not doing the best job possible getting the best bit rate out of it. Last year I spoke with some engineers there and got some pointers, but never got around to digging deeply into it. My goal this year is to spend some time in the labs and "get it done"... with a little help from my friends of course! The Apple Developers Conference is actually one of my very most productive weeks all year. I'm also very excited about learning more about Snow Leopard... there are definitely some interesting technologies there that we might get into.

The week after that is SEPA (SouthEastern Planetarium Association) in Nashville, TN. That's going to be a great week too. We will have a 25' inflatable dome in the vendor area courtesy of our friend Christi Whitworth over at PARI, and have a killer demo planned for the 60' dome, all made with Seeker! Christi is also going to help me with my workshop there and talk about how she used TheSkyX scripting to create a Messier Marathon for one of her "Evening at PARI" presentations (that's www.pari.edu to save you a Google on that). Steve is coming too, and we'll be showing in our booth/dome a really nice projection system from Ashe Enterprises. Going to be a great week I think!

Richard

 

 


Posted 05-21-2009 10:57 PM by Richard Wright
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