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Comment: Stacks of scopes, portable and not-very-portable (Score 1) 201

by popoutman (#46079633) Attached to: Best skywatching equipment at my disposal:
I've got quite a collection of stargazing stuff:
  • o- 10x50 binoculars, cheap and cheerful and kept in my car for those quick looks.
  • o- 15x70 binoculars, got for free needing repair, battered but functional.
  • o- 20x80 binuculars, awaiting my construction of a parallelogram mount for them.
  • o- Coronado PST, for hydrogen-alpha observations of the Sun.
  • o- 70mm f/5 apo refractor with cut down Vixen Porta mount, fits in overhead baggage. Great for a holiday.
  • o- 80mm f6.25 apo refractor, my grab'n'go scope on a simple slo-mo alt-az mount. I have this up and running in less than 30 seconds, fantastic for a quick look when I come in from finishing on the second shift.
  • o- 6" f/5 Newt, pretty much unused but it came on the LXD75. I had plans to use it with low-light security cameras, but I'll probably sell it onwards
  • o- 8" f/6 Newt, .975 Strehl main mirror, fully flocked tube, curved-vane spider. Great performer of a scope. Running on a computerised LXD75 mount

I've quite an eyepiece collection as well, with a William Optics binoviewer, a scattering of Meade 82 and 68 degree eyepieces, a Baader zoom+barlow and a few other plossls.

The big problems? I live in Ireland and I don't get much chance to observe, plus I'm coming down with drusen on my retinas, so I'd better enjoy the views in the raw while I still can..

Comment: Re:So Great OS ran on top of crappy OS? (Score 1) 157

by popoutman (#45714291) Attached to: Google Brings AmigaOS to Chrome Via Native Client Emulation
People need to learn how to use English correctly, informally or not. "Should of" does not read correctly nor does it enhance understanding, therefore it is nonsensical to use it. Informal usage should not transfer to the written word. As far as I can gather the usage comes from ill-educated people that spell phonetically with unusual accents such as Essex English. I consider it close to txt spk for parsing ease when reading, and the poor use of language really gets in the way of the author's point coming across.

Comment: Ireland - pretty good options for me anyway.. (Score 1) 290

by popoutman (#44660187) Attached to: My ISP...
For my mobile internet, I use Three, and I have 15gb/mo. Plenty for my usage pattern on the mobile. I can also tether on the work BB but that's a little frowned upon..

At home I have a Magnet DSL connection, with the line rental bundled. It's fiber to the estate I live in, and have 4Mb down/ 1Mb up. It's a grandfathered connection in the current offerings - i.e. not available. I was chatting with the techs in the company as I know a few of them personally, and they don't have any metering in place on that offering. I regularly saturate both up and down for weeks at a time without problems. Pretty cool for tv shows (that I have already paid for through a sky subscription and a TV license fee).

I would like to have a faster unmetered connection, but at least the one I have is very stable with fantastically low latencies to my common internet places, as monitored by my smokeping installation...

Comment: There used to be only one.. (Score 0)

by popoutman (#44594851) Attached to:
When I started having an Internet presence, there was only one of me online, as I have a pretty unique name. Once the social media sites became popular, I found that there was a father and son in the next country over that had the same name. Unfortunately for that son, who went into showbiz, I got all the good names online before he did, with twitter/FB/google+/linkedin etc. It is amusing though that some of the people wishing to hire him end up calling on me instead.
At least 47 of the first results for a Google search on my name gives stuff that is me-relevant. ;)

Comment: PWM - quite annoying for me, but no headaches (Score 1) 532

by popoutman (#44066681) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Does LED Backlight PWM Drive You Crazy?
I can easily see the flashing of PWM driven LEDs as used on cars, to the extent that I can identify the brand of a distant car at night purely from the speed of the flicker of the taillights. I can also easily see the flicker of my Galaxy S3 screen, especially at night. During the day I can easily see the flicker of LED DRLs.
Whatever way my vision works, I often end up gaining detail from a quick scan of my eye's focal point around what I am concentrating on. When a PWM-driven light source is in my field of view I see it as a trail of distinct dots, where a continuously driven light would appear as an evenly illuminated streak. Maybe it's just because I've got a lot of practice of looking at things from 30 years of observational astronomy so I am used to getting the best from my mk1 eyeballs
Cinemas are often painful as I can very easily see individual frames in panning shots, even with the motion blur on the individual frames. Motion blur annoys me as my vision system can't figure out if it is out of focus or blurred, so my eyes get very tires from certain films :(
Back in the CRT days I could easily differentiate between 85hz and 100hz monitors, and I could identify whether a game was operating at 100hz or 120hz if the monitor framerate was higher than that. Mostly by being able to see each frame when the POV was changing quickly, and I could gauge whether there were 8 or 10 frames used for a rocketjump and that kind of thing. This led me to having to spend real money on decent monitors that I didn't see the flicker on.
Newer flat panels have light sources that are a lot more steady, and that never truly drop in brightness as there is no longer an active scan in progress. These no longer flicker as much as older monitors did.
Ophthalmologists didn't find anything odd with my eyes at that stage, it was just my having a particularly discerning vision system. Lucky that I have, as I've located drusen on my retina that I've spotted early enough to possibly be useful in any treatment of this precursor to macular degeneration. Sucks, but I'm still in my 30s so worst case I have more time than most to get used to using peripheral vision for daily tasks.

Comment: Fantastic. (Score 5, Insightful) 261

by popoutman (#43421333) Attached to: Microsoft Game Director Adam Orth Resigns Following Xbox Comments
This is one appropriate course of action for someone in that position that made those comments. However it should have been treated publicly as a firing offence though instead of a graceful exit, as most companies I know would have seen these communications as an example of gross incompetence and would have treated accordingly.

Comment: Re:patch much (Score 3, Informative) 187

by popoutman (#43325639) Attached to: NetWare 3.12 Server Taken Down After 16 Years of Continuous Duty
There was a patch for SuSE recently to fix a 208-day bug, where certain CPU registers on a particular CPU would hold their value through a reboot. We patched servers in work, and they still fell over at various times past 208 days of uptime. It was then realised that there was a need to fully cold-boot the affected servers for the condition to clear correctly.
So, that was one example of a patch that required shutting down the power.

Comment: My poor experience with astronomyforum.net. (Score 1) 247

I own a domain name, and when I sign up to online forums I use unique email addresses specific to that particular forum.

Last year, I started to get spam to the email I signed up to http://www.astronomyforum.net/ do being a good net citizen I informed the admins of that forum about this. I found out that I wasn't the only one that was getting spam to addresses that were used specifically for that forum as there were three other users that were saying the same thing. What was the admin's response? Perma-banning my account on that forum.

Definitely not the expected response, but apparently it's typical behaviour of those running that site to do this once it's known that the email list was compromised.

Thankfully I had no real personal details in the database on that site, but it's a pity to see such a knee-jerk reaction to something that most real admins would be happy to know and then be able to do something about it.

What would you do in the same situation? I just walked away and blacklisted the email address used, as I am still receiving spam to it.

Comment: Re:A counter-argument... so? (Score 1) 75

by popoutman (#42634305) Attached to: On Second Thought, Polaris Really Does Seem 434 Light Years Away
Actually Polaris is not the easiest - it's any stars nearer the Ecliptic Pole, which is based on the Earth's orbit. This is in Draco, and the nearest naked-eye star to the Ecliptic poles are 36 Dra in the northern sky at about 2 degrees from the ecliptic northern pole, and Eta1 Dor at the south ecliptic pole. Surprisingly enough, the LMC is only about 4 degrees from the southern ecliptic pole.
However, Polaris would show the most diurnal parallax, as that is indeed based on the earth's spin.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying. -- Woody Allen

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