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Comment 40 year old spectrometer (Score 4, Interesting) 617 617

I work on the 12 meter radio telescope on Kitt Peak. It was built in the mid sixties, refitted with a new dish in 1982, and replaced last year with an ALMA prototype antenna. We still use the old filter bank spectrometers. They were built in 1973-4. This item.

Comment Converted old cell phone to uplink transmitter (Score 5, Interesting) 210 210

Many moons ago, I got tired of what was on the radio, and I built a pirate FM station. It had a studio supplied with over 50 volunteer DJs, but most of all it had the transmitter up in the mountains, with a UHF uplink system, to allow for very broad coverage of our city. I made the uplink transmitter form a 1985 Motorola cell phone, the old brick type. It was suitably modified to put out wideband FM audio. You might be able to read about it by Googling "Radio Limbo Tucson".

Comment Re:Nothing that money can't buy (Score 1) 65 65

I work on one of the telescopes that is on Mt. Graham. My father was an astronomer who did the initial site surveys for the Mt. Graham observatory and spent a good bit of time on Mauna Kea as well. He took his family to several observatories in Arizona and Mexico; I never thought of observatories as "desecrating the land". Rather, they are quiet places in which solemn work gets done to better understand our place in the universe.

My current boss's husband is the guy who made the special legislation happen that allowed the scopes to be built. He's proud of his underhanded accomplishment. I'm also friends with several Earth First!ers who were on the other side of this fight.

I think both sides on this war are assholes.

Comment Apple ][ was a great product (Score 4, Interesting) 74 74

I worked at a Byte Shop in 1978-9 as their repair department. I was in high school. We sold Apples, TRS-80s, S-100 bus stuff, etc. The Apple was the most impressive machine, by far. It was apparent just from looking inside it, that the design was the way of the future.

Comment Yes, really. (Score 1) 158 158

My wife has more than I do. My 1958 Chevy is not GPS-enabled. My 2011 MBP laptop is not either. My older Nikon DSLR, nope. That leaves my iphone, and the iphone that a friend found on the street and gave to me. I suppose I could include the GPS receiver I bought for the never-finished SCRA [cathodecorner.com] Scope Clock project.

If money can't buy happiness, I guess you'll just have to rent it.

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