Sunday, April 10, 2011

(dot)Astronomers like Apples

Another quick snippet from the dotAstronomy conference. On the first day we all had a lot of trouble with the wifi network at New College. Very frustrating for a group of people who came to a conference about using the internet to learn about, do, and communicate astronomy!

Anyway on hack day (Tuesday afternoon when we were all working on various projects), Boris Haeussler went around photographing us with all our internet connected devices, and produced the below video. His final census - 40 astronomers, 86 internet devices! Comprising 38 Macbooks, 6 other laptops, 5 iPads, 2 other tablets, 22 iPhones, 9 smart phones, and 4 other phones. That's a lot of Apple products!

And I was about average - with a Macbook and an iPhone. So why do I like Apple so much..... well I find they just work, and because the OS is based on Unix I can run a lot of the astronomy related programmes I started using on a Unix desktop when I was a new graduate student natively on my laptop. No dual booting (which is what I see those with other laptops doing). I don't have a lot of time for fussing around, so I like how easy it all is. I've actually moved to using only my laptop in recent years - connected to a screen on my desk, and also connecting remotely to the big computers at work for certain things.

This site on Using OSX for Professional Astronomers, by Dr. Jane Rigby is the most useful resource I've found for Mac users who are astronomers. Jane is now writing for AstroBetter (tips and tricks for professional astronomers) which is also a great resource.

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