Weekend Report

Wow, this is almost becoming a regular feature.

I bailed from work pretty much on time Friday, came home, and I think I stopped by the Russian deli for piroshki (though that might have been Thursday). M and I had piroshki, mine with a side order of leftover Tom Kha Gai soup. D called after we had finished eating and asked (of course) if we were considering dinner – we informed him that dinner was no longer a concern, but that we were open to any proposals for dessert. Met D and C later for dessert at Max’s.

As has been previously mentioned, I spent a good bit of time Friday and Saturday calling register.com to try and get them to correct their lameness. After calling Friday night and chatting online with a tech support weenie later Friday night, neither of them were able to understand the problem well enough to fix it. The lady I spoke to Saturday at noon or so was able to understand the issue, but could not explain how such an aggregious error had occurred. But she offered to put back the previous name servers, if that was what I wanted (Yes, please, for God’s sake, as quickly as you can!) At that point their Whois information had actual nameservers listed, so I stopped bugging them, but it was still sometime between 2am and 8am on Sunday morning before the actual org zone got updated correctly.

Saturday, other than that, we didn’t do much of anything during the day, but made our way to D and C’s house as dusk fell to have a night of movie-watching and perhaps star-gazing. It turned out that the night was reasonably clear, so we set about setting up the scope. It was much easier to align correctly this time, as the finderscope was reasonably close to aligned and we had mostly figured out the deal with the eyepieces.

After some tweaking we were able to get a good view of Saturn, rings and all, and a couple of its moons to boot. We experimented with different colored filters as well. Mostly we were using 32mm, 15mm, and 9mm eyepieces, giving magnification of 87x, 186x, and 311x. At 186x Saturn is clearly visible as a white silhouette of a disc with rings around (also white). At 311x we could make out a gap between the two rings, but we would have to keep adjusting the scope every minute or so or it would drift out of view. (The scope follows objects as the earth rotates but the tracking is not perfect.)

Most of the group watched Monsters Inc but I decided to stay outside and try to figure out how to get the computer to control the scope. After about an hour of trying different cables and upgrading all the drivers, I found the secret: it was plugged into the wrong port. It apparently doesn’t plug into the PC, Aux1 or Aux2 ports, but into an almost-completely-hidden jack at the bottom of the handset. So, it is pretty neat to be able to click on a star chart (or to choose a nebula from the list of visible features :) and tell the scope to Go There.

Regarding the nebulae, it looks like it is not really dark enough in the Los Gatos/Summit Road hills to see a nebula. At one point we thought we saw a smudge of light barely perceptible between two stars, but this is about as close as we come. For now we will stick to planets, stars and try galaxies before working up to nebulae. We finally returned home about 1 am.

Sunday, went to get sushi take-away and refills of prescriptions, and then met L here for more geeking. We got sendmail set up on neko-base, tweaked with virtusertable and aliases, and got things prepared so that we could edit virtusertable and aliases for both neko-base and charon from the same place. We set up a quick 2-line script to verify the email addresses were all valid after doing this. Tuesday we should be ready to apply the changes to charon as well and start migrating users (me first!) Having L around, we are finally getting some of the server tasks done that I have wanted to do for a long time.

That is all.

0 thoughts on “Weekend Report

  1. torquemada

    I am pleased both about your getting the telescope hooked up fully and that having L help run the servers is already turning out well. I should be ready to migrate over to neko-base at pretty much any time I’m home — after eight any night this week through Thursday, and then whenever I have some kind of working ‘net at the new apartment.

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