This is Astro Better

by Kelle on April 11, 2009

Most Mac-using professional astronomers know about several websites describing how to get X11, IRAF, and IDL setup on a Mac. In case you don’t, here they are:

These sites are incredibly useful, but a bit static and narrow in focus. The goal of this blog, Astro Better, is to provide information and tips about streamlining all the ways we use our Macs everyday. Not only will I talk about X apps, but I want to expand the discussion to include email, web browsing, paper organization, iPhone apps, and the like. In case you just can’t wait, many of my first posts will come directly from the applications and tips I’ve already listed on my webpage.

In addition to just computing topics, I also would like to provide methods for increasing productivity and efficiency in our self-directed work environment. It’s just too easy to focus on proposal deadlines and upcoming observing runs (and blogging) instead of actually writing papers! We scientists are not the only people with this problem and there are some really nice, motivating resources out there that I’d like to share.

While I like to sound like I know all the answers, I actually don’t. My intention is for this blog to be a dialog with lots of comments and readers’ personal experiences about what works for them. I already have some guest posts in mind and will hopefully eventually recruit some people to share this blog with me. I have many things in mind to tell you about, but I still want to hear from you. Could you use some advice for choosing which software to use for something (e.g., Bibdesk vs. Papers, TextMate vs. Emacs)? Did you find a better way to browse astro-ph? Or figure out a cool IDL trick that lots of people could use? Suggest a topic or offer to guest post. Together, we can make some progress towards stopping this madness of everybody re-inventing the wheel. Together, we can Astro Better.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Eilat April 28, 2009 at 3:59 am

Cool! I am now subscribing to your feed.

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