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Old 05-06-2009, 12:26 PM
ngcles's Avatar
The Observologist

ngcles is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Billimari, NSW Central West
Posts: 1,616
Parallels ...

Hi John,

An interesting tale and it is curious the number of parallels between yours and my "career" in amateur astronomy.

My Tasco was a 60mm -- not 70. My distractions didn't involve the gee gee's, but did involve an irish-woman. I married her.

My first log that I kept with the 60mm refractor and observing through telescopes borrowed from the Sutherland Astronomical Society in the 1970s and early 80s is now lost. It was in an exercise book but probably contained about 100 different objects and a few sketches. I completed an 8" f/5.5 mirror in 1978-79 but didn't have the money to finish the telescope

During most of the early 80s I did some casual observing with binos but it was Halley in 1986 and then 1987A that really got me going again. I competed the 8" 'scope in 1988 (I think), went to 10" in 1994 and it was not long after I moved to 10" that I started to keep a formal log in hard-copy A4 paper in Lever-Arch binders. Moved to 12" in 1999. I used to faithfully transcribe my tape-recorded notes by hand onto purpose-made forms. I used to file reference material with the observations as well.

Consequently, by the time I got to 2002, the log needed 4 Lever-Arch files and was in danger of undergoing gravitational collapse. I needed a milk-crate to carry it round. When I started on a 5th folder, that was the break-point. I realised it was now or never electronic -v- hard-copy.

In 2002 during a hiatus from work, I bit the bullet and purchased some appropriate astro-software and started typing. It took 3 months on and off but boy I'm glad I did it. Now in 2009 it is 75% bigger again than when I typed it out.

I'm interested to hear how Skytools 3 goes because I am thinking about swapping to that one.


Les D
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