Thursday, December 21, 2006

2006 Dawson Christmas Collage

2006 Dawson Christmas Collage
Originally uploaded by drtadd.
Eva and Marilyn in 2006

Friday, October 20, 2006

Mogg Astro Webcam Adapters


You no longer need expensive CCDs to take astrophotographs. You can use a webcam! Lots of cool things are happening, but it all started at the QuickCam and Unconventional Imaging Astronomy Group (QCUIAG).

Most webcams today use CMOS sensors which are not suited for astro work. But some old quickcams had a CCD in it. These include the Vesta and ToUcam webcams among others. Some people have figured out how to modify the electronics to get them to make long time exposures. However when you have very long exposures thermal noise saturates your picture. Two ideas were developed to remedy this.

The classic solution is to cool the CCD. This has been done by many, but it is difficult to do. The second method is to stack a whole bunch of individual exposures. This gives a resulting image much better than any single one. Software like RegiStax (freeware) does this, and very well. You don't even need to modify your webcam's hardware to do this. Just make or buy an adaptor to fit it to the scope. So webcam astrophotography actually begins with the right adapter to fit the webcam to your telescope's eyepiece holder. Steven Mogg makes them.


I am enclosing a picture (above) of the moon I took a few days ago with my ETX 90 telescope and an unmodified Phillips Vesta web camera with a Mogg adapter. Each picture is the integration of some 60 shots.

-- Gaston Groisman

Mogg Astro Adapaters
$20 - $75
Available from Web Caddy Astronomy

See Wikipedia for a good intro to webcam astrophotography

Source: Mogg Astro Webcam Adapters
Originally published on Fri, 20 Oct 2006 13:00:00 GMT

Monday, May 08, 2006

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Using AJAX to query Exchange in Sharepoint - Via [Carlos Segura Sanz]


Via [Carlos Segura Sanz] found on

A great example how to query an exchange server from a sharepoint content webpart:

We can use asynchronous data retrieval, inside of a WebContent webpart, this is a little sample of how to do it.

Part 1
Querying an exchange server and retry results inside of sharepoint webpart, this first sample use the Search web dav method using XMLHTTP request (Exchange Store WebDAV Protocol), query the last five elements from user inbox and gets the date received, the sender name and the subject.

See Carlos his site for more information

[SharePoint Blogs]

Thursday, January 26, 2006

[Jonathan Kauffman] Taking the Show on the Road [Sharepoint Team Blog]


I just finished a couple weeks where I got to present our “12”-wave plans to internal and external groups.  I told audiences not only was I excited to talk about the new software, I was equally grateful to be released temporarily from the locked R&D lab and to sample the heady fragrances of the outer world.  (No actual sunshine of course – it is Seattle after all.)  Kidding aside, I see my family every night, but the teams are definitely starting to feel the burn as we try to get everything checked in, fixed, and polished for the public beta.


  • There were a number of applause moments from folks who are currently running (or supporting) the 2003-wave product when I showed how we'll be addressing their feature requests for item-level security, lower-cost disaster recovery options, workflow, more flexible authentication, etc.  The top moment was when I demonstrated fulltext search over customer data from our CRM system to about 750 technical field specialists and sales folks who have to find customer info every day.
  • We’ve put together some demos for how the new features and services interact; they’re fun to show.  It's all based on our private beta bits (pretty close to what we showed at the PDC) so I am looking forward to freshening these with newer code.
  • The "common platform" message is getting across – it’s easy to describe how all that approval and versioning stuff that worked in the document scenario works almost identically for web content, or how just like you can get an RSS feed to announcements on a team site, you can also get an RSS feed to reports in a report library, etc.
  • This is overall just a pleasant time-window for the engineering folks to describe their work – we’ve got “new” features to show, we’re still getting pats on the back for the stuff we’ve improved, but no one has had the serious time to find all the things we’ll be working on in the next release.  The honeymoon will end, but it’s nice while it lasts.


  • I still haven’t found the best way to get it all into an hour.  With the new investments in Business Intelligence, Forms, and Content Management on top of the enhancements to the 2003 stuff, it’s super hard to deliver the overview without making it feel like a content-free screen-a-minute whirlwind tour.  We still need to do a bunch of demo tuning to maximize the show:tell ratio.
  • Everyone wants to know the details of pricing, packaging, and naming.  We’re not ready to announce yet, not even within Microsoft.  It makes some folks grumpy, but the pain of saying “here it is” and then saying “nope, we were just kidding, here it is really” seems worse.  My “Bear with us, we’ll get there” message isn't too satisfying.

Other Top Questions I Heard

Q:  How will upgrade work (for SPS and WSS deployments.)?
A:  [short form]  You get to choose one of three ways:

  1. “In-place” for small deployments where you take the server down, press “upgrade” and voila in a few hours (or a weekend) all the content is upgraded in place to V3/”12”.
  2. “Gradually side-by-side” for larger deployments.  We run the old stuff and the new stuff on the same web front ends, and you move batches of sites at a time, with some clever URL-magic to make it look as seamless as possible.  It conserves hardware almost as well as in-place, but it’s more complicated.
  3. “Gradually across farms” for larger or rebuilt deployments.  Make a separate farm, and we'll pump upgrade content (again, in batches) into it.  You need more hardware, but it’s obviously the least disruptive to existing deployments.

Q:  How will the SharePoint web parts experience relate to the ASP.NET 2.0 web part framework?
A:  The new SharePoint releases (both Windows and Office) will just use the ASP.NET framework.  Old web parts will still run.

Q:  Will you do better with Firefox and Safari?
A:  Yes, they’re in our test matrix and we’re doing a bunch of work to make the experience more consistent across these and IE.  It won't be perfect but should be significantly improved from 2003 in the public beta.

-- Jonathan Kauffman, Group Program Manager, SharePoint Portal Server

[Sharepoint Team Blog]

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Effective Code Reviews Without the Pain

Effective Code Reviews Without the Pain
The Code Review process has been viewed in through many different lenses. Unfortunately, some of these lenses have been thought to be on the end of a endoscope. I am posting this link to make sure I share with some team-members and other devheads.

SharePoint Customization: Content Editor Web Part (CEWP)

The use of the CEWP for this has proven valuable in our enterprise implementation of some added features. Thank you to the authors for posting this.

While the Content Editor Web Part is anything but ideal for actual "content editing" it does serve as a great tool for adding snippets of javascript to a page to manipulate the DOM or add a client side mini-application. I am a big fan of using the CEWP for these types of jobs.

One of the key things you can do in SharePoint using the content editor web part is manipulate the DOM using getElementByID.

Learn more about using getElementById:

Todd Bleeker has bunch of great CEWP things in the works

[Graphical Wonder]

The A to Z of Programmer Predilections/Predilections

A very enjoyable read about the various programmers we come across in our adventures. I am not quite sure which one I fit, however, I did see a mix and definitely could draw a picture of the accused at work. Enjoy, be careful, you might laugh out loud.

Digg shares an Hacknot article that shows funny caricatures of 26 different types of programmers.

[Ant's Quality Foraged Links (AQFL) - Top quality and cool links foraged and approved by Ant.]

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

NASA Overjoyed at Catch From Stardust


mknewman wrote to mention a New York Times report that the Stardust project has exceeded NASA scientist's expectations. From the article: "While they had expected mostly microscopic samples, the researchers said, a surprising number of the particles were large enough to be seen with the naked eye ... The cargo in the Stardust's sample container, which was opened Tuesday, 'was an ancient cosmic treasure from the very edge of the solar system,' Dr. Brownlee said. Scientists believe that these particles are the pristine remains of the material that formed the planets and other bodies some 4.6 billion years ago."