Finally, after I don't remember how many years, I have a new computer at work. No longer do I have to suffer sub-gigahertz speed and a nearly full hard disk. After all the needed files were transfered from the old CPU (R.I.P.), it's a great feeling to know that I have a clean slate of a hard drive. All those mystery DLL files that unstallers didn't want to remove are finally gone, as are the multiple Web-browser profiles. Oh, and the computer is quiet — no more whining fans to interfere with streaming radio.
More importantly, I'm no longer leery about installing new astronomy software to try out. Tim DeBenedictis of Carina Software made an opportune visit on Monday with the latest version of Voyager. He says an update will be available on their website in a few days. He also handed me a prerelease version of the soon-to-be-released update of Sky Gazer, an education-oriented version of Voyager.
And now I'm ready for Microsoft's forthcoming World-Wide Telescope, which I discuss in the just-published December issue of Sky & Telescope.
A new flat-panel monitor means a bigger screen area and more open space on my desk for "accessories." Perhaps I'll bring in my die-cast Gort. I'm still debating whether I want to make my desktop wallpaper a big version of the NASA logo that I found last week. Or maybe one of the new images of Saturn. (Uh, "diamond" anniversary?! I don't think so.)