Well, it's official: I'm no longer an astronomer. Instead I get paid to write computer programs. Here's a laundry list of useful and/or interesting links related to my day-to-day computing.




My Linux box is an 8-year old dual-core AMD64 running at 2.2 GHz with a mere 4 GB of RAM running Ubuntu as a server and sometime development machine. The system drive is a 64 GB SSD with a 2- and a 3-TB data drive which are used to back up all of our photos.


In late 2012 I took the plunge and bought a Mac, a neat little 13-inch Macbook Air with a 128 GB SSD and 8 GB RAM, which has been phenomenal - the best laptop I've ever owned by far. I even didn't hate OS X (now macOS) as much as I expected :-) and I could almost say I now like it, though I miss some of the GNU versions of utilities. It's up to date with macOS Sierra, which seems fine to me. My only real complaint is the screen — it's not good enough for accurate colour work when processing photos.

Which is why, after three years, I bought a nice little 15" Retina Macbook Pro with 16 GB RAM and a 256 GB SSD :-) Oh, that screen... It's nice to have such a powerful machine for a laptop, but man does it get hot on my lap.


Of course, everyone has to have Windows machine somewhere in their closet. It's reasonably specced with an Intel quad-core CPU running at 3.1 GHz, 8 GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD as the system drive. The 3 TB data drive is filling up fast thanks to shooting raw files with 3 cameras. The monitor is a decent Dell 2209WA, which I trust for colour, plus it's a 16:10 ratio (which is better for me since I have a TV for watching movies!). The graphics card is a puny Radeon 5450 but it's fanless which I value more than performance. It's up to date with Windows 10, which seems OK apart from a couple of irritating quirks (I'm looking at you, auto-updater... :-/).


Mobile computing is handled by Android: a Nexus 7 tablet and a Moto G phone. I quite like the Nexus 7 form-factor, though it's a pity Google has decided it won't qualify for upgrades to Nougat. The Moto G was an experiment as my first foray into smartphones. Safe to say I've outgrown it (plus it really does have a terrible camera) but I don't feel like spending the money to replace it yet, even though Motorola/Lenovo has decided on a terrible security update policy. My next phone will definitely not be a Motorola thanks to that silliness.


Yup - had to happen eventually, but I've quite taken to Java especially when coupled with Spring Boot. It's almost - well - fun (something I never thought I'd say about Java).


Perl was my first love, but Python has its charm.


Astronomical software

Other software

Computing news and views

About these pages

These pages are all hand-coded, mostly using Emacs (with a sprinking of Bluefish in the early days) and, more recently, Atom. I can be a stickler for details, so I originally wrote strict XHTML - I've recently updated to HTML5, and you may notice that I've used Bootstrap for layout and styling.