Initial Thoughts on the iPhone 4

This week, I upgraded from the original iPhone to the iPhone 4. I ordered using the Apple Store app on June 16th (the second day of pre-ordering). It shipped from China on July 1st and was delivered into my hands July 6th. It set at the FedEx office in Austin for three days due to the holiday.

The packaging was the usual minimalistic Apple, with the phone, a set of headphones, a USB cable, a charger and a bit of …

Astrophotography and the Digital SLR

I've been taking astrophotographic pictures for a few months now, and while I'm certainly no expert, there are a few things I've learned. I'd like to share some of the insights I've had taking such pictures with my Nikon D200. Most of the advice should be translatable to any digital SLR. To begin with, yes, you can take good photos of astronomical objects with a digital SLR. But, no, you're not going to get closeups of planets with such a setup. The longest lens you're likely to have is a slow 500mm. Not accounting for any crop factor your camera might have, that's only a 10x magnification. Most planetary observers use telescopes in the 20x to 30x range. That would be equivalent to a 1,000mm to 1,500mm lens!