November 2011

Help Shape the Future of Ground-Based Optical and Infrared Astronomy

by Kelle November 30, 2011

I am a member of the new System Roadmap Committee formed by NOAO to assess the state of the ground-based optical and infrared system of observing facilities, including both private (e.g., Keck, Magellan) and public (e.g., NOAO) observatories. We are a successor to the past ALTAIR and ReSTAR Committees that performed valuable one-time assessments of […]


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Valuing all Kinds of Astronomy Smarts

by Kelle November 21, 2011

A couple weeks ago, Sean over at Cosmic Variance brought up the topic of “smart” with respect to Steve Jobs and I want to use that post to springboard to a slightly different opinion piece: Astronomy (and Physics) will not be as scientifically productive as it could be and will not make meaningful progress towards […]


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Digitize that figure, fast

by Jane November 17, 2011

Here’s a common workflow:  “I want to overplot a curve from the literature on my new plot.  I could write the author and wait several days for them to dig up the plot file and send me the digitized version, but I want to compare now!” One solution is to digitize the published plot. I […]


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What postscript-viewers are available for iPad? [Ask AstroBetter]

by saurav November 9, 2011

Cameron M. recently got an iPad and is frustrated by the lack of a postscript (PS) viewer: I recently got an iPad that I’m trying to use for research (e.g., paper reading / annotations, outlining, etc).  It looks like it can be useful, but a major annoyance is no PS viewer.  I’ve even jailbroken my iPad. If anyone […]


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Solid state drives – a geekout

by Jane November 7, 2011

Today I’m going to geek out about solid-state drives. I recently purchased a 120 GB solid-state drive for a desktop.  It doesn’t hold my data; just the operating system and frequently-used programs.  It cost about $200. The speed difference is striking.  The computer boots in only a few seconds, but the biggest difference is the […]


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What about MS Word?

by Jane November 2, 2011

I wish I lived in a world without Word.  But I’ve finally accepted that, outside our little corner of academia, when you need to send 100 words of information, you send a Word document.  Every office party flyer, every travel authorization form, gets sent as 10 MB of Microsoft bloatware. (Why?) I used to complain.  […]


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