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    Richard S. Wright Jr.
    Senior Moderator

    “Astronomy Software for Astronomers, written by astronomers”.  That's the tag line right? I can tell you everyone at Software Bisque loves what they do, and they love astronomy. Whether we love astronomers… well, depends on the astronomer ;-)

    You just can't make the kinds of products we make and sit at a desk all day. Everyone without exception has spent many a night under the stars, sometimes freezing, sometimes fighting off sleep. It's a sickness though, because we really can't help ourselves. Thank God we don't work at a bank or something where our bosses would take careful note of how late we stumbled in the next day. “I was up all night balancing those spread sheets…”. Yeah, sure.

    Well, this is MY blog, so I'm going to tell you about MY latest adventures. I've joined a small crew of other astro-images who have acquired some property down in Okeechobee County. It's very rural, and is near the Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park. Oh, did I mention I work remotely from Florida? Many people know that by now, but no I'm not in Colorado with the brothers Bisque. In this day and age of the Internet and Federal Express, working remotely works well for a lot of people. Anyway, we have really dark skies down there (we are calling the site Stardust Ranch btw), and I have a small spot all my own to develop for astronomy. You can see right now that it's just a camping site, but we have power, and running water, and are building a bath house, etc. I'm pouring a pier sometime this summer, and errecting a small building in a couple of weeks… okay, don't judge me… I'm actually having a small building “delivered” ;-)

    I came this -><- close to getting as small domed observatory, I've found two used recently in fact, but my personal tastes don't lean toward rotating domes. A clam shell perhaps, or a roll off roof. Eventually. In the mean time, I'm looking forward to ditching the tent and having a room with an AC to hide from the bugs in, and a pier outside that is already 99% polar aligned. I'll leave the Paramount ME down there too, and I can on a whim when the weather is good, drive the two hours down to the site and be up and running in less than 1/2 hour. Spend the night, drive back in the morning. Perfection.

    So what was I doing last weekend? Well, it was all for you my friend. Field testing a new X2 Robofocus plug-in, works on Mac and Windows, btw. Doing some final testing and tuning of that baby before we let it out. I also was using a brand new X2 plug-in for the Loadestar guide camera that I have working under Windows now. Wow, that's a sensitive camera. Don't ever let anyone tell you that you don't need a 16-bit guide camera. Yes, the 8-bit cameras work, but lordy lordy, there be some extra guide stars to choose from with a more sensitive camera! Anyway, it's grueling work. Filled with sacrifice, bug bites, physical endurance staying up and clear headed all night, and it's all for our customers. Oh… I MAY have also just happened to maybe kinda-sorta got a little bit of AMAZING narrow band data on a few objects I'm working on… but THAT's not why I do it…. really… ;-)

    Got any tips for the budding observatory architect? Come and see me at the Bisque Booth at NEAF the weekend of April 20th! It's one of my favorite events becase of all the shopping… um, all the great customers I get to meet. See you there!



    David Gwyn

    “but THAT's now why I do it…. really…” = Freudian slip?


    Charles Walker

    Glad this is working out for you. My MX, that I've owned now for about 45 days has a severe electronics problem and it's just sitting on my kitchen island while I try and work with SB through the support forum. And let's not forget, this is Friday, they all want to get out with their PMEII's for the weekend. Good for them, too.


    Matthew Ota

    I love using TheSky tio drive my Meade LX250GPS telescope. At public outreaches I let children drive the telescope using it…


    Richard S. Wright Jr.
    Senior Moderator

    @Matthew, I remember the first time I used a laptop to control a telescope. It was intoxicating. Soon you'll be able to do it from an iOS device too ;-)


    Richard S. Wright Jr.
    Senior Moderator

    @Charles, I heard about your mount problems. That does stink I know. Last I heard you were up and running before the weekend was out though. I know Tom was indeed out this weekend with a PME II, fighting a bug to the ground, last I heard he was pretty frustrated too, so it's not always a picnic and we do try to fix these problem before they get to customers. ;-)

    My blog though is about (my) software development… I'm currently fed up with my Starlight XPress driver. It's almost ready for release, but I wanted to have it ready before NEAF.


    Daniel R. Bisque

    @Charles: We've learned through OPT support that your mount is up and running again as of Tuesday afternoon, April 16, 2013.

    While we understand that any problem with any Software Bisque product is completely unacceptable, we appreciate your patience with this unfortunate situation.  

    Thank you.

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