Catching Googlebot

It is always nice to see unique visitors to your site. For a blog that doesn’t get too many hits, it’s very nice.

Google Analytics is a great, robust way to analyze your visitors based on various parameters such as date visited, location, etc. It produces readable charts and graphs and datasets that can be exported via the web interface.

Anaytics is part of Google’s Webmaster Tools which in itself is very useful. You provide a site map and Googlebot will crawl your site and index it. Today, I caught Googlebot in the act.  Continue reading Catching Googlebot

Jupiter: Through the Telescope

A 100% crop of Jupiter taken with a Canon Powershot A95 mounted on a Newtonian style telescope.

If you are thinking about buying a telescope, please manage your expectations. I have a 5″ Newtonian Reflector scope which I picked up used for about $150. The image quality you can expect is marginal at best. Notice the bands on Jupiter? They are barely present. The storm is not visible whatsoever at this magnification. If you expect to see detail much greater than this, you could probably spend a bit more on a Dobsonian if you don’t mind the weight.

If astrophotography is your goal, I would recommend a refractor mounted to a Canon 60Da SLR body. This combo will run upwards of $2000 but should provide the best results.

Continue reading Jupiter: Through the Telescope

Arbitrary Value Rating Lookup Table

2012 Canadian Penny
The penny would get a low value rating as it costs more to produce than it is worth. In fact, Canada has now discontinued its production as of May 2012.

If you are looking for an easy way to compare values of a given subset I have created a simple lookup table for arbitrary value vs. rating. For example a $10 item scoring 10 points would have a value of 10 such that the rating is determined by squaring the item’s score divided by the price of the item. It is very useful for rating items in the range of $10-$100 and can be easily manipulated to represent the value of any range by factoring the value of the lowest priced item in the range to equal 10, such that for a range of $100-$1000 the price would be factored by 0.1 (100 x 0.1 = 10).



Here is the simple math:



Read on to see a sample lookup table. Continue reading Arbitrary Value Rating Lookup Table

Fall Photography: Using Lightroom to Create Surreal Autumn Landscapes

It’s that time of year, where the leaves change color and begin to fall – I guess that’s why the season Autumn is colloquially known as Fall. Here I attempt to create surreal landscape photos using Lightroom to process RAW files taken on my Canon EOS 60D. This process really only involves 3 steps. Continue reading Fall Photography: Using Lightroom to Create Surreal Autumn Landscapes

Bitcoin: Data Cost

Somehow my blkindex.dat file became corrupt the other day so I got a little nervous as I remember that one .dat file contained all my bitcoins – within a split second I realized this is the wallet.dat file so I quickly backed it up again for added piece of mind. While in the bitcoin data directory I noticed the size of the blkindex.dat file was over 1 gigabyte! And then the blk0001.dat was 2GB, blk0002.dat was another GB! Let’s not forget about debug.log – another gigabyte. Over 5GB to be able to use the currency? And how many people are using the currency? A lot. This is a problem that is inherently created due to the nature of the currency. But what are some possible solutions? Continue reading Bitcoin: Data Cost

Wind Mobile’s Terrible Mobile Data Speeds

Wind Mobile is hands-down the best voice alternative to replace existing cellular and/or land-line service. Plans starting around $25 a month get you the equivalent of a basic home phone line from Bell, at a couple dollars cheaper per month – plus unlimited text messaging and some data to boot. Go up to the $40 per month range and you’ve got yourself unlimited long distance and unlimited data too! What’s the catch? Continue reading Wind Mobile’s Terrible Mobile Data Speeds