Saturday, December 31, 2005

Security Now Audio Show & Podcast

I have always been a big fan of Steve Gibson's website ( with all his neat little programs. After using his hard drive repair utility (Spinrite) years ago, I have tried to follow what he is doing.

Now he has an internet audio show with Tech TV's Leo Laporte and talks a lot about computer security and new network ideas. It looks like they make a show every week that last about 20-30 minutes.

Check the show out:

I am listening to episode #20 now about the new Windows security problem and his show is quite informative. I like that he gives you more technical explanations. I learned about the security issue after my father told me about a story on NPR. That story was pretty vague about the issue except it be triggered by looking at image files on webpages. They interviewed someone from McAfee. Refer to

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Microscope Pictures of Water Particles

This Christmas season I have been sick with mostly a cough that does not want to go away. A number of days ago I bought a Vicks vaporizer to raise the humidity in the room I was sleeping. The instructions said black particles could appear in the water tub after a while. The device seems to work by extending a column down into a tub of water. Inside the column is a heater that heats the water to a point where it turns into steam. A small plume of steam appears about 10 minutes after the unit is turned on. After it had run overnight I looked in the tub and grayish flakes were sitting at the bottom of the tub. These flakes looked like good candidates for the microscope. I am guessing they are small pieces of charcoal used to filter the water at the treatment plant. Why the form into flakes is a question I cannot answer.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Mars Pictures

Well, my pictures of Mars are not all that great. Getting the camera locked on Mars turned out easier than I thought but getting it focused proved elusive.

Here is another picture of the moon that I took last night. It has not come out yet tonight so I might try and image it tomorrow morning.

Monday, December 19, 2005

More Telescope Pictures

It must be 20 degrees outside which just adds to the fun of trying to take a picture of Saturn. I was having a lot of trouble focusing even though it was a clear night. Lots of Christmas lights in the neighborhood so that always makes for good astronomy.

As you can see from the next picture my Saturn image did not turn out. I could not get it into focus.

My pictures of the moon did not do so well either.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Processed Moon Image from Last Night

Here is my first processed image from RegiStax. It is a neat program and I picked out 8 images and stacked them.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Moon Picture

I have taken my first image with the NexImage camera attached to a Meade telescope. The quality is poor due to several factors: 1) cloudy skies made the moon hazy, 2) I did not read the manual for the NexImage so I was muddling through the program while capturing images, 3) I need to read the manual for the image processing program as well. After capturing the images, I will probably upgrade to a faster computer to grab images. Also after finding the manual on the CD, I found that I was not using the maximum resolution to capture images. Also my exposure was not correctly set.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Microscope Pictures 3

The image to the right is of white house flour illuminated with the bottom light on the microscope.

The image on the left is of the same flour sample but illuminated from the side with white LEDs that seem to make the flour turn blue.

The image on the left is the same flour sample but illuminated with a red led from the side.