So here we are at the end of 2022, and I think I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I can’t do everything that I think myself capable of, and find so interesting that I just have to do them. I really personify the idea of one’s reach exceeding their grasp and I’m probably still way overcommitted with my personal and professional projects. THIS blog is just going to be about my work and passion for developing astronomy software, and I’m going to leave/move anything astrophotography related (or really amateur astronomer related) over on my more active blog The Evening Show. I still can’t just abandon some ideas I have, but perhaps my balance is just accepting the fact that they may take a very long time to bring to fruition. I’ve always preached that ideas are worthless, it’s the execution that matters, and well… my execution may be slow… but also as they say, it’s the journey, not the destination. Not winning a marathon does not remove the many benefits and enrichment of participating does it?
After spending many years as a freelance contractor, mostly working for Software Bisque, I’m now working full time in the graphics technology industry at LunarG. However, I am continuing to work on some of my own astronomy software products under the umbrella of my own S-Corp Starstone Software Systems, Inc. Two flag-ship products/daydreams are currently code named #BTS, and #TSA…. both are GPU accelerated and will do things (eventually) that I hope will break new ground in astrophotography and observing tools. I’m also occasionally putting out little do-dads. I’ve done a free open source project that controls a DayStar Quantum solar filter (Mac, Windows, and Linux), and an astronomy calculator tool sponsored by Sky-Watcher USA for iOS and Android. I did a lot of things while at Software Bisque that I’m proud of, but I have a lot of creative energy that demands to be realized (and on my own terms for now on), and it was simply time for me to step away and spend more time on these other labors of love. Links to these projects and upcoming releases are all available over on the “corporate” web site at starstonesoftware.com. Alas, I must be on some hacker hit lists, as the site is often down because of repeated attempts to guess the password via brute force (the site just blocks all access after a couple of failed attempts).
I also still write prolifically as a contributing editor over at Sky & Telescope Magazine. I’m amazed, and impressed that they have figured out how to keep a magazine alive and thriving in these later days and times of screens and YouTube video stars. I’ve also despite pledging to not do this at all, found myself contracting with some fine folks I admire and respect in the astro-industry on a very-very part time basis kicking around some other product development ideas that I’m helping them out with. I really love my new day job, and it can be very demanding of my time and attention at times, but it is also very clear I’m not going anywhere when it comes to astronomy and astronomy software/product development. I “need” to code. There are things that only exist in my head, and through code I can make them a real thing on this Earth. This is to me an act of creation – a form of art if you will allow, and I am driven from somewhere deep in my soul or DNA to do this or die – and so… well, here we are 😉 If you are reading this, welcome to my blog, um diary, about astronomy-software engineering, and product development in general.