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Times Be A Changing! (NEAF 2014 Post-Mortem)
Richard S. Wright Jr.'s Blog

Yet another NEAIC/NEAF is in the books. This was my eleventh NEAF with Software Bisque! I can't believe it, but yes, that was me back in 2004 demonstrating Seeker (originally named The Grand Tour). What an event! I remember Tom introducing me to all the other vendors at the Sky & Telescope reception, and dinner at Outback with some of the guys who used to run Meade Instruments.  It was an experience that left a huge impression on me as I realized how colorful and fascinating this industry is, as well as the incredible people involved in it. We had some banners, a couple of computers, and boxes and boxes of TheSky6 to sell.  I was demonstrating Seeker, our soon to be released 3D Solar System Simulator, and I recall I could answer almost no questions about TheSky, and I would have to apologize about not knowing anything about the mounts or CCDSoft..."Hey, I'm just a visual guy...", I'd say.

My how times have changed. We no longer lug boxes of software to conferences as it is almost all purchased and downloaded now directly from the Software Bisque on-line store.  Our newest product, TheSky for iOS, can only be purchased from Apple's App Store.  TheSky6 is now legacy software, and TheSkyX is cross platform, with the a far more advanced and powerful feature set. While Seeker is still an exciting project for me, my main focus has been pushing our mobile strategy and helping to expand device support for the Camera Add On.  In the exhibit hall this year, we were wirelessly controlling the Paramount MX+ from TheSky for iOS on both an iPad and iPhone with Software Bisque's WiSky Wi-Fi control module.  We can't wait to get these technologies into your hands.

As far as me being "a visual guy", well, I've totally succumbed to the imaging virus now and only Tom spends more time imaging and mucking with equipment in the dark than I do, and, at my observatory in south Florida, I now run two Paramounts simultaneously.

I've been to three NEAICs now, and three AICs.  Our imaging suite continues to gain traction, and I (and many others) use it exclusively on the Mac for imaging runs. We have quite a bit planned for our Camera Add On, and next NEAF I think will be quite exciting on the imaging front. The latest TheSky for iOS release contains quite a few useful features for the imager, and the tablet version will be seeing significant enhancements along this direction over the next year. Significant. 

Another milestone was that Sarah Bisque, Steve's eldest daughter, was there to support our presence. A mechanical engineer, and Software Bisque's production manager for the past three years, Sarah got to experience the excitement of NEAIC/NEAF first hand.  I was relieved that she could answer so many hardware questions that stumped me.

Steve Bisque, a fifteen year NEAF veteran with daughter Sarah Bisque, NEAF's rookie of the year.

Software Bisque is, after all, a family business (and I'm proud to have been adopted into it!), and it's wonderful to see this tradition carrying on to the next generation. In fact, in a similar vein, my own son who is studying industrial design will be interning at Software Bisque this summer. I'm not sure which of the two of us is more excited about that! Stephen (Wright) has been my star party buddy for years and has watched first hand his dad's transition from "visual guy" to "digital imager armed with Paramount."

The only downside to this year's conferences was that I picked up some kind of 24-hour flu bug. Friday Steve and Sarah manned the booth without me (thanks!), and I spent the entire day in bed at the hotel. I haven't been that sick in many years, and it was one of those really bad bugs that fortunately only lasts one day. It hit me late Thursday night and by Saturday morning it was like it never happened.  I was really bummed to miss a day of NEAIC as it is slower paced than NEAF, and I enjoy the "spare" time talking with other vendors and customers about our shared passions for imaging.  Next year, I'll take some vitamins and get more sleep before I travel.  ;-)

Richard


Posted 04-22-2014 6:56 AM by Richard Wright
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Comments

Roystarman wrote re: Times Be A Changing! (NEAF 2014 Post-Mortem)
on 04-22-2014 4:59 PM

Okay what was the big NEAF surprise hinted at?

Richard Wright wrote re: Times Be A Changing! (NEAF 2014 Post-Mortem)
on 04-22-2014 9:18 PM

Ah, yes, the MX+! Bigger motors (same as in the ME II), additional capacity, torque, slew speed, and a redesigned worm block.

peter27284 wrote re: Times Be A Changing! (NEAF 2014 Post-Mortem)
on 04-24-2014 3:29 PM

Richard you needed a box of Tamiflu with you. I may go next year. I'll have one with me if I do for you!!

Peter

Charles Walker wrote re: Times Be A Changing! (NEAF 2014 Post-Mortem)
on 05-01-2014 10:15 AM

Any chance the + improvements will fit existing MX's?

Stelk wrote re: Times Be A Changing! (NEAF 2014 Post-Mortem)
on 05-04-2014 10:31 AM

Was any information released at NEAF regarding the MX+ price and availability?

Thanks!

Mark

   

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