Archive for August, 2009

Snow Leopard: First Impressions

Friday, August 28th, 2009

I bought the 5-license upgrade to Snow Leopard and it arrived today. I installed it on two systems (one more to go). The install goes pretty quickly and mine took just over 45 minutes each. On one system I did not install Rosetta. When I tried to start an Office 2004 app, which requires Rosetta, the system told me it needed Rosetta and asked if it should go and find a copy to install. I said OK and it was done in about 4 minutes. On the second system, my main home system which has all of my email, I use Mail. After the install, I was informed that I needed to convert my old Mail account to work with the new Mail app. Again, I said OK, but this time things didn’t go perfectly. Mail fumbled the hand-off of my account settings, specifically the settings for the outgoing SMTP authentication. I had to edit the settings so Mail would use a username and password. Not hard to fix if you know where to find the controls, but I do not understand why Apple missed such a fundamental setting. Other than that, Snow Leopard saved at least 7.5GB of disk space. Unfortunately, only Parallels version 4 works with Snow Leopard. iStat menus also does not work. Those are the only two things I have found that do not work with Snow Leopard.

Lunar Mosaic

Sunday, August 16th, 2009
Young Moon (click for larger size)

Young Moon (click for larger size)

I took these images on June 25, 2009 and promptly forgot to include it here. This is a 19-panel mosaic of the Moon with modest Libration (+4). Seeing was not as good as it was predicted to be. I wanted to shoot this at f/10 with a green filter, but had to use a yellow filter and shortened exposure. I’m still experimenting with gamma corrections. More often than not, I end up applying curves in Photoshop instead of simply tweaking the gamma. The Moon is actually a pretty tough subject with its high dynamic range.

Equipment:
Celestron C-11 telescope @ f/10
#8 Yellow filter
DMK31 Web Cam
Stacked best 300 of 1300 in AviStack.
Wavelets and RLD

Universal Health Care

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

I’m sorry, but I can’t support Universal Health Care (as currently envisioned). It creates an open ended liability for the taxpayers with no control over future costs/liabilities. I’ve already seen enough of the social abuse of entitlements to know that universal coverage without a REAL DECREASE in the cost of health care is a huge mistake (future cost). We need to decrease the cost of health care by decoupling the market motives behind health care. Being healthy and living forever have infinite value. People will do/pay anything to be healthy and live long (the value is infinite!). The health system needs to be a regulated utility. It needs to become detached from the legal and insurance systems which feed off of it. If we could achieve a true reduction in medical costs, universality would be assured. The best way to provide coverage/availability for all is to make it affordable. Congress is headed down the wrong path and a brief reprieve from the legislative process might result in clarity of thought.

… but I’m not holding my breath.