I can't believe it's true myself, but I just returned from my 15th consecutive NEAF as a member of the Software Bisque team! I can remember like it was yesterday when I came along to demonstrate a new 3D solar system simulation I was working on, and Tom Bisque was pointing out people at a reception and telling me who they where and where they worked. Today some of these people are my very best friends, and I can't believe how much time has passed. Time does truly fly when you're having fun!
I was going to say I've been attending NEAIC, the imaging conference held just prior to NEAF, for about five years but decided to look it up on my personal log... 8. Yes, eight years of NEAIC to boot... I was a closet imager for a few years before I even joined Software Bisque, and dearly departed friend David Toth was constantly encouraging me to "step up", but I was quite intimidated by some of these guys and kept pretty quiet, and ignorant really, until the imaging virus would not be held in check any longer. Now I have a bench mark, because I know I only started attending NEAIC because that was the time we started deprecating the planetarium/theater products I had been working on and I started to focus more on our core business, imaging, and was finally stepping up to the "imager" plate myself. Eight years... 15 years... wow. I was actually at Starry Night too for a year, so that's actually 16 years in this industry. That's something to be proud of, and I am.
Enough reminiscing, let's talk about the event! I must say NEAIC was possibly the best I'd ever attended. It was a full house and the busiest in recent memory. My friend Kevin Legore from Sky-Watcher and I were scheming to work on the X2 mount plug-in at NEAIC (we setup next to each other) for their mounts as we knew we'd have plenty of time... nope. Not a chance, it was non-stop all day long both days. This is great of course, and we had so many great conversations with customers and fellow vendors. Plenty of great ideas and suggestions, bugs I did not know about, and just plenty of conversations about imaging best practices. I also gave a talk to a standing room only crowd about astronomy on "tiny computers". The Raspberry Pi phenomena is here to stay, and there was a ton of interest in getting people's work flow off of the same computers they use daily for more "consumer" purposes.
At NEAF it was just Steve Bisque and me doing booth duty, and the first day really kind of flew by as we had a constant stream of people, sometimes queued up two or three deep waiting to talk to us. A very lovely Canadian couple took home our MYT that we were showing at the booth, and many "old timers" stopped by to catch up on what all has transpired in the past year. We had at MYT and a Taurus 400 on display, but "nothing new". I hated telling people we had nothing new to show because it looks like we are... well, not doing anything! Nothing could be further from the truth though! Stay tuned, there are some pretty exciting developments brewing, but like in baking, sometimes you have to let the dough rise a little bit. Rome was not built in a day!
Next on the dance card for me is the Texas Star Party! I'll be there with a MYT on the north field with the other vendors showing off imaging with TheSky LTI, which has become quite mature of late. After that I am going to the Grand Canyon Star Party along with R.J. (our System's Engineer and Staff Astrophysicist... coolest title in the company). That event is more consumer driven, lots of outreach, and tens of thousands of people. A perfect opportunity to show off something new... something that is just about ready to pop out of the oven.
Till then ;-)
04-24-2018 7:56 AM