The Winter Star Party opens to the public tomorrow, and today (Sunday) is setup day for vendors and exhibitors. Technically the "vendors" have to setup in a special area and are required to man the booths all day. This is for the benefit of the attendees as they can count on the vendors being open and available. Of all the star parties I visit regularly, the Winter Star Party has the best vendor representation of any of them, bar none. It's very nice too even for me because it doesn't matter if I need a red screen for my laptop (because I forgot it), or a new dew heater controller, I can usually find one the next day in the vendor pavilions. This year I'm in the market for some new scope covers, and rather than get one on-line, I want to "touch it", and if it doesn't fit as well as I imagined, I can just go back and exchange it for another. I really like NEAF for much the same reasons. Sure I use Amazon, but sometimes a trip to the book store just really is more satisfying.
Vendors usually have a "little" more to setup than most attendees, and we are "working", so getting in early is yes a perk, but also dramatically lessens our stress and we can have at least one night to enjoy the night ourselves. No matter how much you love your job, everybody needs a night off ;-)
Software Bisque is attending again this year as a "Manufacturer". There are some others here doing the same, typically scope vendors, and we setup all over the field so we can better mingle with the attendees during the night. Views and demonstrations go on until things get quiet, or we just conk out. I am typically imaging, showing off our software and mounts in the process, or out and about helping someone else with a software or Paramount related question. On a clear night, I'll be here till dawn, perhaps occasionally napping in my tent. Things slow down as the night wears on and I'll have a Brownie at Mickie's Kitchen with some friends, and/or look though some of the really big Dobsonian telescopes on the field.
Typically during the day, things are slow. I get very busy as the sun sets and people who have been hiding from the heat or attending talks all day come about to see what's on the field and talk to people. An early dinner out somewhere, and back on the field before sunset is the typical mode of operation. It's a long work week, but it's also my favorite event of the year. I've been coming every year for well over a decade, even before I was working at Software Bisque. I've only missed one year due to a "family emergency"... and that was last year. I am glad to be back this year. Life must go on.
Come and find me setup on a little hill we are calling "Paramount Hill" near the Wheelhouse where the talks are going on. I've setup with friends here who have also brought their Paramounts, so we should be easy to find!
Thursday I'm giving a talk about the "Future of Portable Imaging". It's mainly about my adventures with the Paramount MYT on the road, and how the iOS and SkyBox projects are coming along. I'm also for the first time unveiling "something new", a Technology Preview of a new product still in development. But it's not Thursday yet... you're going to have to wait a few more days.
02-18-2017 11:03 AM