open source

Telescope cam creation

Transformed webcam

This is a continuation of my Telescope cam debugging blog.

Unfortunately it proved rather hard to obtain  plastic mounting feet and screws tiny enough for me to be able to put the camera assembly in a small project box. However,  I did realised I had a custom fit plastic camera housing to hand - the one I'd just cracked open.

I'd noticed earlier that metallic ring with Zeiss branding on the front of the camera was pretty much the same diameter as the 1½ inch eyepieces and adapters I have. Since I have two adapter rings (I was generously given a second one as part of a kit by mig5) I decided to glue an adapter ring straight onto the camera housing.

Telescope cam debugging

Webcam Pro 9000

I was reminded the other day that if you want to do planetary astrophotography, hacking up a webcam is a cheap and easy way to computerise image capture. Better still, software exists to process videof rames into a single higher quality still image.


A spot of researching which webcams are best suited for this found a page explaining how to hack a Logictech Webcam Pro 9000. Better still, my corner discount computer parts shop actually still stocks these for all of $35 a piece.

Cheesy open source

Mmmm, delicious!

What's better than cheese? Nothing, surely.

Actually, there is: open source cheese. And stop calling me Shirley.

Last saturday I finally cashed in on last year's birthday present, a one-day cheese making course at the William Angliss instutute of TAFE taught by Giorgio Linguanti of La Latteria fame. The course teaches how to make fresh mozzarella and a basic pecorino style cheese called primosale.

Over the course of the day, Giorgio explained that he thinks the australian cheese industry is quite closed and not many producers are happy to share ideas and recipes with each other. That's as opposed to the part of Italy he's from, where people are forever talking with each other about how to make better and more interesting cheeses.

So in the spirit of open source cheese, here is Giorgio's mozzarella recipe, which makes a delicious cheese.

Value Added Tax?

Could it be? No! Never!

A few weeks ago I saw a tweet by the Drupal Assciation asking for feedback on, amongst other things, how it could make being a DA member more attractive. The survey appears to still be open, so if nothing else please go fill it out.

However, before you do so I would draw your attention to question 15:

How much would the following benefits interest you in becoming a Member (or renewing your Membership)?

and in particular one of the options listed there:

How do you update Drupal?

Sitting on #drupal-support on IRC, you see people drop by with update problems from time to time. With Drupal 6.21, 6.22, 7.1 and 7.2 released earlier in the week, today was such a day.

The person in question had attempted a Drupal core update via drush, but ran it in the wrong directory. Drupal had picked up this incorrect location for its core modules, so when the drupal-6.22 directory got deleted, it was unable to load any of the core modules. Oops.

This led me to wondering whether the way I manage my Drupal updates is odd and whether sharing it would be useful. Being an open source person, I am of the opinion that sharing is virtual always useful (except when it comes to cheese) so I'll document the way I manage updates here.

Drupal Pronunciation Guide

To avoid misinterpretation of the project name, Linux has had a pronunciation guide for quite some time.

At Drupal Down Under in Brisbane, Australia, kattekrab obtained one for Drupal as well. So if you hear people mispronouncing "Drupal", you can now point them at an authoritative example :-)

Open Source Mac 2009.08

After the relative popularity and success of the OpenSourceMac 2008.08 disc I made for Software Freedom Day last year, I now have an updated 2009.08 version.

Most applications have had bug fix releases, so I've included them. The disc includes the latest Firefox and I've added OpenOffice.org Aqua instead of NeoOffice. It also no longer includes some apps that have been re-licensed as payware.

Download it, burn it and give it to friends and family and ask them to do the same :-)

Not Open Source, Better Source

I was pointed at an article about a report on Open Source adoption and use in the dutch government, which reminded me of an interview my co-authors and me gave to SearchEnterpriseLinux.com. Specifially, we were asked why organisations should use open source in preference to closed source software.