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NEAF, Orange Venus & Stuff
Richard S. Wright Jr.'s Blog

Well, I'm back from NEAF. We had a great time and I enjoyed meeting many of our customers and talking to people about Seeker. It's amazing how many people I'm getting to know in this industry. One of my friends from the local astronomy club even flew up and stopped by to say hello. If you've never been it's awesome. The only bad thing about being a vendor at NEAF was I was too busy to spend as much time as I would have liked visiting the other vendors booths. I didn't even come home with a new eye piece! ;-(

Apparently, smoke from the forest fires in Georgia have traveled to Central Florida (where I live and work from) and I could smell the smoke as soon as I stepped off the plane. Yesterday evening the Moon was a beautiful orange until very high in the sky. Over head it still had an orange cast to it, even through binoculars. We've all seen an orange moon before when close to the horizon, but it was still a bit cool. What was really mind blowing was Venus. It was blazing bright and as orange as can be. It looked like Procyon had gone supernova! If the atmosphere is the same tonight, I'll try and take some pictures.

By-the-way, the new ATI drivers (4.3) has solved the Seeker issues on Vista. Unfortunately, laptop users are still a bit out of luck unless the laptop vendor issues a driver update for the Radeon mobility on Vista. Poor laptop users (unless your running a Mac).... video drivers are often not upgradeable except from the original OEM. There are some web sites with hacked drivers, but I have so gotten into trouble using them, so I don't recommend it unless your absolutely desperate and are an expert computer user who won't mind discecting thier computer to get it back to working order again!

In other news, Seeker looks great on a Dome! I had a chance to run my new code in an e-planetarium portable dome with a fisheye projector. I had to make a few on the spot tweaks, and I have a lot of work yet to do, but the general framework is good and it's totally freaking cool (I know a very scientific term!) to just fly under the rings of Saturn interactively in a dome environment. Visit your local planetarium! A flat computer screen is no substitute for a fully immsersive theater!

Well, this leaves my plate for now pretty full. We have a few new moons to roll into the next Seeker update and NEAF visitors got a preview of the new Clemintine based moon in the works too. I'm being pulled into dome work by one of our partners in a hurry for a dome solution, the pressing need to ship TheSkyX, and of course "regular" Seeker related work. There is a really exciting "big" feature in the works for this summer that I can't wait to get back to work on...


Posted 05-01-2007 2:58 PM by Richard Wright


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