Monday, November 26, 2007

Another Thing That Bugs Me

The sign on the front door to my kid's school asking "Got Your Driver's License?"

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Mac Developer Wanted

Are you a Macintosh developer? Do you know XCode and QTKit? Would you be willing to help me develop a new webcam capture application for Leopard? I have a good idea what it should look like and exactly what I want it to do. I'm thinking open source, but shareware would be fine, too. All I want is my copy and any updates free.

The goal of the app is a small, streamlined capture application for USB-webcams using either macam or IOXperts drivers. The camera settings (gain, white balance, etc.) must be accessible. Specify the file destination in a standard save dialog or have a preference to date-stamp filenames and save to a designated location. Must be able to specify the number of frames to capture in a dialog and display a running count during the capture. Full-size (640 x 480) live preview. Zoom-able preview nice, but not necessary.

Let me know if you're interested.

Curses, Foiled Again

It must be a conspiracy.

First the time changed. Falling back is supposed to be easy, but for whatever reason this year it totally screwed me up. It's hard to do astronomy in your sleep, and when you're going to bed at 9:00, well, you know.

Then it was time to travel. First we visit my sister's new place on this side a Brenham. A real house, with a real bedroom--yay! The sad part is it's much closer to town than the previous place, so there's no real reason to set up a telescope there.

Then it's off to Dallas to see the mother-in-law. Since she's in an apartment in the middle of town, the same thing applies. Never mind she lives in a scary complex.

Now we're home, and I've upgraded the trusty MacBook to Mac OS X 10.5, Leopard. I like the new version, and it does a lot of neat things, except it broke both EquinoX, the application I use to image with the webcam, and Nebulosity, the Canon imaging app. Sigh. Nebulosity gets updated pretty quickly, just in time for the clouds. I worked with the developer to beta test a new version of EquinoX, and was going to try it out on the moon tonight. I got about 60 seconds in when the clouds start rolling back in, just long enough to see that the fix isn't going to be a good one. Fortunately, I cloned the hard drive before I installed Leopard, so I can still boot from the previous version from the small external drive.

And so here we sit, back under solid clouds. Imagine if you will in the space below a decent shot of Gassendi and maybe a blurry Mars.

Still, the evening wasn't a total loss. While I had an eyepiece in the scope Ian came out in sat in my lap. He looked at the moon in the eyepiece and exclaimed, "Cheese! Let's go there. Gromit will help us make a rocket. Where's the alien?" I love that boy.

Friday, November 09, 2007