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What was I thinking?

Tomorrow I have to be at a client’s business early…well early for me when I typically don’t have to show up until noon or so. I planned on leaving here between 8 and 9am to arrive there between 9 and 10am. I got home from work today around 8pm, then found out my parents were putting together my mom’s work shed/greenhouse. So I scarffed down dinner (bad idea, but I hadn’t ate yet today so it seemed smart at the time) then went out and helped them.

The shed part has its front and rear walls put up, but the doors for both aren’t on and none of the other walls are either…but it was past 10pm and we could barely see anymore so we called it quits.

Since I didn’t have much time after that before bed I started watching MythBusters that TiVo recorded for me while I read my RSS feeds…I saw there was a new entry from space.com so I quickly went to the bottom of the list to see what was new. Hoping to at least see that the Russians have recovered whats left of the failed ICBM launch that was to take a solar sail into space. Instead it was an article telling us that Hubble confirmed the existance of a young planet. At the same time I decided to check out the Starry Night software again. Thats when I saw the cheaper priced Enthusiast version ($79.95 instead of $149.95); so I took a look at in, then hit up the product comparison page. What’s this!?! “Starry Night Enthusiast Digital Download v5.0 ($24.95)” I really like that price so I hit up the product page and low and behold it has a 10-day trial version. On top of that the digital download version is split up into several modules, so you can buy just the parts you want…another cool factor, and they’re only $5.95 a piece. If you buy all the modules the price also comes up to $66.60…besides the shipping and the actual CD media I wonder what is different or missing. I’ll find out later, for now I must …..

Download, download, download.

At about that time I realize that I just drank my last cold soda and I still feel hot from the work I did earlier; so I let the installer run (and do its extra downloading) while I head off to the gas station to grab a cold drink.

Come back and the download is done and it just needs to finish the rest of the installation. A few seconds later that, too, is done and I can run the program. After some simple configuration (and a minor error on my part thinking it would pick the correct GMT offset when specifying my longitude/latitude) I see the night sky in front of me. First things, first. Find out what the heck that bright star is to the southwest. Spin my virtual head around and point it in the right direction and mouse hover over it…oh! It’s Jupiter, I thought that was supposed to be gone by now, I guess not.

That was at 11:30pm. Its now 2am and I’ve just been wheeling around the sky checking out various things.

Now of course there is a downside to all of this: The software can only fake the view with pixels and some approximations of the objects you want to look at. The upside to it of course is that if you have a telescope with the right equipment, and a slight upgrade to the Starry Night software you can use Starry Night to tell the telescope what to view. Blam! Real thing right in front of you…of course your real image may not be as clear nor as big as what you see on the monitor.

At least I have 10 days to decide if I really want to take this fascination a bit further.

Must go now, or I won’t get up until noon and my whole plan with this client is shot — and who do you think would really be paying for this if I decide to do it.

Edit: And to top it all off, I never did read my RSS feeds.

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About James

I am a Senior Developer/Consultant for InfoPlanIT, LLC. I previously spent over 7 years as a Product Manager for what eventually became ComponentOne, a division of GrapeCity. While there, I helped to create ActiveReports 7, GrapeCity ActiveAnalysis, and Data Dynamics Reports.

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