I have more or less left research astronomy at this point; my latests posts have been more about the iPhone than anything else. I just don’t do research day to day, so I have little to contributed to the Mac/Astro web.
Kelle, at Astrobetter has graciously agreed to host the archive of Macsingularity on her server space. So my old posts and people linking to my old posts will continue to work. But there will be no new posts, no updates to the installers, etc. Though if someone else out there wants take up the mantle of making IRAF installers, I’d be happy to note that here and elsewhere.
Good bye, and thanks for all the fish.
April 13 Update I see that I neglected to transfer the latest iraf button… I’ll get on that and on putting up the source code tonight.
Tags: archive, farewell — .
So, this new site I found the other day – Astro Better is what this site should be. That is, they have multiple people contributing, they post about IDL, IRAF, and various tips. It’s actually updated more than every 3 months.
The future of this site remains unclear – I’m in full transition mode away from actual science research to science policy, and while the site seems harmless enough in terms of content, I certainly have less time for it, and I just don’t spend much time doing astronomical research anymore, so that’s why the content has dried up. And, horrors, I’ll most likely be stuck with using a Windows machine in at my next position. A nightmare!
Anyway, check out Astro better, contribute, subscribe to its feed, etc.
Well, I’m way late to the game on this, but our long national nightmare is over – Xquartz for Leopard support full screen!
Check out the latest version – 2.3.1 – at MacosForge.
Tags: full screen, x11 — .
My friend and colleague Dan Kocevski has written ArXivReader, a $0.99 app that lets you browse and search the Arxiv preprint server, and importantly save any PDFs you find to the iPhone for offline reading later.
So, if you’ve got a dollar to spare, and you read pre-prints regularly, go try out the app. Seems to work as advertised in my testing over Wifi (I imagine it’s slower over my original iPhone’s EDGE connection.)
I realize it’s been a long time since I’ve posted. Also, I haven’t updated say, the STSDAS installer to the latest version. Though, I haven’t heard much clamor for updated installers (I usually do update them when someone emails me about it.)
In any event, perhaps there just hasn’t been much news related to the intersection of astronomy and Macs, other than the proliferation of iPhone observatory type programs that have appeared on the App Store, some of which I wrote about in my last post.
Also, I suppose I don’t do much research day-to-day anymore, so various tips and tricks aren’t occurring to me to share. Still, this site isn’t going anywhere and I hope to do a better job with updates in the future.
Tags: site updates — .
iLounge has a good review of all the various iPhone programs that allow you to upload and view supported file types. These are typically PDF, images, Office and iWork documents. One could upload a PDF of a journal article or preprint to read on the plane or train (assuming you don’t prefer paper.)
Of course, none of these will be Papers for viewing journal PDFs, but still could be useful. It seems that File Magnet and Datacase both get A- scores for Macs. FileMagnet doesn’t work on Windows, and Datacase gets a B+ on Windows. However, since Mac users are the ones reading this site, the Windows score or compatibility shouldn’t matter too much.
Tags: apple, files, iPhone, PDF — .
A friend recently needed a Fortran compiler, and I pointed her to the useful high performance computing. However, things didn’t work and that’s because the program also needed to Apple’s developer tools – which include a compiler, etc. – to install properly.
Xcode is usually included somewhere when you buy a new Mac. Either a disc image hiding somewhere on the hard drive or on the DVD that came with your machine. If all those things fail, or you don’t want to look around, it’s also available at the ADC site for free. You simply must register for free ADC “Online Membership.” The advantage of downloading is that you will get the latest version. Be advised to make sure you’re getting a version of Xcode that works on your version of OS X.
The latest Xcode runs on the latest OS X, so today that means that Xcode 3.1 works on Leopard only. You should be able to find an older version for Tiger.
At the web site, look for Developer Tools and then Xcode 3.1.
The only real trick after downloading them and installing them is to customize the install, and I only do this to save disk space. But unless you’re going to develop a real Mac OS X app, you don’t need all the documentation and examples. It’ll save you about half a gigabyte. You want to uncheck “Core Reference Library” and be sure that the “UNIX Development Support” is checked.
Tags: apple, compiler, Leopard, unix, xcode — .
So, I do have an iPhone, and I can’t wait for the App store. If you have iTunes 7.7, then you can browse the store. I found this neat looking program, called Starmap. Looks pretty handy – you can read more about it at its web site
Hmm, this is disappointing. The author of star-map says, in regards to controlling telescopes,
Do you plan to control telescopes with Starmap?
This is technically possible to control telescope mounts with Starmap. I have made some successful tests through wifi (Skywatcher EQ6). However, following the agreement with Apple, no public application controlling mechanical devices will be released.
This is a tad surprising, since according to the NY Times this morning:
Instead, [the iFund venture capital fund] is backing, among others, iControl Networks, which is creating an application to let homeowners turn off their lights and alarms at home, as well as monitor security cameras, via their iPhones.
Indeed, iControl is listed in the App store. Perhaps turning off a light is different than moving around telescopes? I can’t say I quite get it.
Update There is at least one other similar program – iAstronomica. This one is $20, rather than $12 for Starmap. Be advised that apparently once you click “buy” that’s it – no warning, no shopping cart – so click carefully.
Update 2 The popular Clear Sky Clock also has an iPhone App version. It occurs to me that, astronomy being something that occurs in remote parts of the country, it may be hard to get online out there. the aforementioned programs carry their data with them, but the Clear Sky Clock will clearly need either EDGE/3G/WiFi to be of use.
Update 3 Indeed, as my commenter notes, there are other apps in this category as well. Uranus (iTunes Link), and GoSkyWatch Planetarium (iTunes Link). I think the app store needs some sort of demo/shareware option, where the program will work for a week or so at least. Hopefully someone will review all of these.
Tags: apple, iPhone — .
So, I’m returning to DC from the AAS today (a bit earlier than some). I found something interesting – the Boingo-run wifi hotspots at the St. Louis airport offer 15 free minutes to iPhone users, if you watch an ad. What I discovered is 2 things:
- They determine you’re on an iPhone via user-agent strings
- You can reset the 15 minutes by deleting boingo cookies
So, it’s fairly easy to get WiFi indefinitely on a Mac or your iPhone. On the iPhone just clear cookies (though that’s a pain because you can’t easily select which cookies to delete, so you may lose automatic logins to other sites too)
On a Mac you use the Safari “Develop” menu to pretend you’re Mobile Safari, watch the ad, then you’re in business. Once the 15 minutes are up, open up Safari’s Security preferences, show cookies, and select only boingo ones (easy to do with the live search text field), and then load a page at you’re back at the initial trial offer.
Who knows how long this will work or if they won’t shut the whole thing down when they read this post but it’s a neat trick and if AAS members read or subscribe to RSS from this site, you can try it out at the airport.
Tags: airports, boingo, free, iPhone, mac, wifi, wireless — .
The PDF tracking software Papers is now up to version 1.8. It includes support for NASA ADS and other search engines and I have mentioned it in the past now and then.
This update to 1.8 may have happened some time ago, but the program continues to be improved and I think becomes more useful with each update.
Tags: ADS, papers, pdfs — .