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  1. #1
    Sirius's Avatar
    Sirius Guest

    Default Astronomical Equipment

    This was really prompted by the recent digital camera
    vs. film discussions.

    It seems to me that amateur astronomy (and other
    hobbies as well) have been seized by what I
    call "lastest-and-greatest-itis."

    The thinking is that newer technology automatically
    MUST be better, and older MUST be obsolete.

    For instance, DSC's have to be better
    than setting circles, right?

    Naglers, Panoptics, and Radians have to be
    better than Orthoscopics, right?

    Digital cameras & CCD have to be
    better than film, right?

    Nobody would want to star-hop when they can
    have GPS GoTo, right?

    If newer = better, then one question:
    How come the best electric guitar amps
    still use vacuum tubes?

  2. #2
    Davoud's Avatar
    Davoud Guest

    Default Astronomical Equipment


    Would that be the one that showed that digital and film cameras both
    have their proponents, and that some people like and use both?

    Hobbyists have always liked the latest and greatest. Amateur astronomy
    is not a monolith; it is a collective name for a whole lot of people
    doing their own thing. Some go for the latest and greatest, others are
    more conservative.

    Never heard anyone say that, but it's often true that newer technology
    is better than old technology.

    Yes, for some people at some times.

    Yes, for some people at some times.

    Yes, for some people at some times.

    Nobody wants to star-hop? Not a single amateur astronomer on Earth?
    That seems unlikely.

    Nonsense. Besides, the sound of that abominable instrument does not
    require or deserve more than a RadioShack cheapie.


    usenet *at* davidillig dawt com

  3. #3
    David Knisely's Avatar
    David Knisely Guest

    Default Astronomical Equipment

    Sirius posted:

    Not necessarily, but sometimes newer technology does have some advantages over
    older technology.

    Well, maybe yes and maybe no. The DSC's require power and (sometimes) a
    little electronic tweaking. Analog setting circles require no power, but can
    be hard to read if they aren't large enough or if not illuminated properly.

    Naglers and Panoptics have better correction over wider fields than the older
    Orthoscopics. Radians often have considerably longer eye relief than many
    Orthos. Orthoscopics still offer very good performance, but if you need eye
    relief or wider well-corrected fields of view, the newer eyepiece designs
    might be a somewhat better choice.

    In terms of sensitivity, yes. In terms of no chemical "mess" and faster
    processing, yes. In terms of reciprocity failure, yes. In resolution, film
    still has an edge, although that edge is shrinking noticably over time.

    Not exactly, although GoTo is nice to have when you are pressed for time. I
    still star-hop, and many people with the more advanced capability still drop
    back a bit from time to time.

    Newer does not necessarily mean better, although in some of the above cases
    you cite, it can be so. Clear skies to you.
    David W. Knisely
    Prairie Astronomy Club:
    Hyde Memorial Observatory:

    * Attend the 11th Annual NEBRASKA STAR PARTY *
    * July 18-23, 2004, Merritt Reservoir *
    * *

  4. #4
    Starstuffed's Avatar
    Starstuffed Guest

    Default Astronomical Equipment

    Sirius wrote:

    Newer equals better and older equals obsolete. . .sounds to me like the same
    way society has been conditioned to perceive its aging populace. Of course,
    what else would one expect from a "throw away/use it and loose it" culture?

    "Faster" would be more correct than "better."

    Different, yes; Better, no. Each has their own strengths.

    There are times when I star-hop and there are times when I use my digital
    setting circles and I would bet there are many others who also do both.

    Remove "ilikestars" from email address to reply

  5. #5
    Andy Francke's Avatar
    Andy Francke Guest

    Default Astronomical Equipment

    "Sirius" <> wrote in message

    Bad example. Overdriven amp distortion, sustain, compression, and dynamic
    response - in other words, "tone" - are a matter of personal taste, and
    there is absolutely no question that tube (pre)amps sound different when
    pushed to distortion than solid state. You can't sound like
    Jimi/Eric/George/Brian/etc. by cranking up a solid state amp. Nor can you
    sound like Pantera and all the nu-metal bands using a vintage Marshall or
    Fender Twin.

    A more apt question would be, "if newer == better, how come everybody's
    still using real tube amps instead of modeling software + clean high power
    solid state amps?" The answer, naturally, is "straw man." Nobody's arguing
    that newer is per se better in every respect.

  6. #6
    JAS's Avatar
    JAS Guest

    Default Astronomical Equipment

    Real guitar pickers pick Martin acoustic-- and your guitar should cost more
    than your truck.

    Next question.


    "Sirius" <> wrote in message

  7. #7
    Trane Francks's Avatar
    Trane Francks Guest

    Default Astronomical Equipment

    On 12/31/03 19:04 +0900, JAS wrote:

    My DR cost more than my bicycle. Does that count? ;^)

    // Trane Francks Tokyo, Japan
    // Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty.

  8. #8
    donutbandit's Avatar
    donutbandit Guest

    Default Astronomical Equipment

    Sirius <> wrote in

    To me, there's something about sitting there with a star chart, trying to
    match the view in your finder, that's unreplaceable.

    I can see the appeal in GOTO, but to me, that would take all the enjoyment

    Let's look at M57 - there it is! Now let's observe Beta Lyrae. Got it!

    It's almost like flipping channels on the TV.

    That's my opinion, anyway.

  9. #9
    donutbandit's Avatar
    donutbandit Guest

    Default Astronomical Equipment

    Sirius <> wrote in

    No solid state replacement for a 6L6. Yet.

  10. #10
    Al's Avatar
    Al Guest

    Default Astronomical Equipment

    > If newer = better, then one question:

    Unfortunately, I know nothing about guitars, so I can't answer your
    question. But you say...

    This is usually the case. Newer is often better because it was invented or
    developed to improve on what was available. Automatic transmission is
    better (for most people) than standard transmission, hydraulic brakes are
    better than mechanical brakes, natural gas as a household fuel source is
    better than coal, electric lights are better than gas lights, and on and on.

    However, there are many situations where newer was not better. Panoramic
    windshields (wrap around), turbine engines in cars, beta format VCRs and TV

    Now back to astronomy...

    The Naglers, Panoptics, CCD and digital, GOTO are all better than what they
    were intended to replace for _MOST_ people. But we all don't march to the
    beat of the same drummer.


    "Sirius" <> wrote in message


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