java-gnome to the stars

Here is one I made earlier, as they say.

Dalriada StarViewer is a java-gnome program that I developed last year when I was doing a weekly evening class on Introduction to Astronomy at Glasgow University. It uses Postgres to store records of 119,617 stars downloaded from the HYG Database, and PostGIS to do stereographic projections (after Ptolemy, 2000 years ago).

I was intrigued to see if I could port it to Raspberry Pi / Archlinux, and I succeeded after a bit of combined tactics. I used eclipse of course to develop it on my amd64 Debian box and RPi isn’t up to that I think so I just copied in a jar file.  The data came via pg_dump, which generated stardb.sql .

Not exactly a project for beginners but a simple star catalogue database would be quite feasible and maybe using python, or perl instead of java.  Then a query like

SELECT * FROM Star WHERE DEC >34

finds all the stars which are circumpolar at Glasgow (lat 56° N).

Turtle tracks

Archlinux doesn’t do Scratch, I think, so I looked around for something visual and instructive that kids could do.  I discovered and installed KTurtle, which is just what I was looking for. Once upon a time I used Logo for my kids, and KTurtle is based on that.

Still no joy

Lorna at element14 arranged a replacement of my RPi, which arrived by UPS courier today (I didn’t log the problem until 17:00 yesterday).  But the new one doesn’t work either :( .