Re: Laptops in the field (was Re: (IAAC) Re: Uranometria)

----- Original Message -----
From: "Andy and Barry" <Timetrav2@webtv.net>
> But on the other hand I am very happy to view 10 to 15 objects in the
> course of a night, then going into bed and dreaming of what I saw.
> (can't do that if I spend 2 seconds on an object then move on to the
> next 35)
Hi Barry
Me too. Why do think a laptop (or any techno-gizmo) means one screams
through objects? In fact I am lucky to track down 10 a night if they are
difficult objects. THE most prolific observer I know uses a Millennium Star
Atlas and starhops. He does 100 or more objects in night if he wants to.
> Big problem with this hobby is all the technical toys everybody likes to
> spend their weeks wages on. My motto,  SIMPLE IS NICE.
I don't see that as a 'big' problem. My employer bought the laptop. But they
are fine if I use the older ones for personal use. I believe in using the
best tool for the job. Where I normally observe I have access to AC power.
So all I have to 'schlep' is the laptop itself. I mean why wouldn't I?
If'n I was you, I would not knock it till you've tried it. And I'll try and
do the same. :) In a few years, PDAs will be able to be used as detailed
star charts. Think about it. A Compact Flash memory card can already hold
128meg. That's plenty of space for several detailed observing areas that one
might plan to visit in a night. Once they get to 512mb, detailed charts of
the entire night's sky will be possible. And that PDA will run days
(months?) on simple AA batteries and fit in your pocket.
As for a week's wages, why yes. A laptop is just about that... maybe a bit
less. ;)
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