OK, it’s been a day….

The old blog turns out to have an incompatible data structure with the new blog, so first I have to upgrade the old blog, then export the content, port it to the new servers, and then import to the new blog. That’s going to take longer than anticipated (and it’s not as though I updated on a regular basis, though I had promised to be a little more active just recently).

Patience, Grasshopper.

…..and a week later, images are still outstanding, but text is up!

Tick tick….

I have theoretically switched over to my new ISP, but so far everything is still being directed by DNS to my old location. Supposedly it will take 24 to 72 hours to propagate the change, so I suppose we’re still within bounds,but I ambeginning to wonder whether my former dns provider is supposed to transfer control or there is some further action I am supposed to take, such as confirming that the transfer is legitimate. Time will tell. That, or an additional bill will show up in my mailbox.

A change is gonna come…

It’s been a long while since I posted with any frequency. I’ve been meaning to do something about that, but as with any retired person, I’ve been busy (no, really, it’s very strange how every retired person I know is busy as hell within a few weeks of retirement).

A couple of weeks ago my network connection went down for a few hours, during which all my services – mail, web, FTP, and others – went offline. During the outage I spent a lot of time talking to tech support, being told there was nothing wrong while my modem kept insisting there was no PPoE server available. Eventually I set a monitor to sound an alarm if ever service came back and wandered off to read a book. Two hours later the chimes drew me back to the disaster area that is my office, and service was back to normal. Next day I had a repeat of the outage and once again was told the network was just fine. This is typical for a weekend outage. Weekday outages are handled faster, but it’s always a frustrating exercise.

So. Heads will roll somewhere, but I’ve decided to move my services over to HostPapa – let them deal with outages – and move my connection from a DSL to a fast cable connection. While the DNS moves over there may be interruptions, but at least the cause will be known, and eventually the drive will be a little smoother. And I promise to update more often…

Venus transit, 2012 edition

With uncertain weather for the Transit of Venus, I decided to stay home rather than chase holes in the clouds in the hope of being able to observe the transit. Predictions for my home location were for clearing at least a little bit in the late afternoon, so I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

I did a quick and dirty dry run last week to make sure everything was working in the observatory, but today it turned out to have been a little too quick. Everything worked, but few things worked properly. The pier has shifted over the winter, and required levelling. The mount tracks and slews properly, but the alignment is off (due to the shifting pier), and once the mount was levelled, the alignment was off even further. Consequently, though the mount tracks something, it doesn’t track the sun very well at all. I wanted to try the Lumix camera mounted a focally on the 110 mm refractor, but I had trouble locating the correct cable for the focuser, and when I tried to focus through the screen, it turned out to be just a touch too small. There’s no way of controlling the Lumix from a laptop, so I had to trigger the shutter manually – with all that implies for image sharpness.

Still, I was able to muddle through, and I’m fairly happy with the images I did manage to get before the clouds rolled over me. I will post at least one of the images (pre-second contact) and, I hope, a brief movie (second contact showing black drop effect). Right now everything is on the iPad though, and it may take a while – watch for a link!