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Spec. for observatory computer

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17 years 4 months ago #42571 by NightCal
Spec. for observatory computer was created by NightCal
The computer in my observatory has just slipped off this mortal coil and hence I'm in the market for a cheap computer to replace it.

It needs to:

Run a Phillips Toucam Pro II for imaging without dropping frames
Run a Meade DSI 1 colour
Control my Meade LX200.
Run K3CCD tools.

It would be nice if it could run multpoint alignment on Registax 4, but this isn't strictly necessary as I have a Pentium 4 computer in the study that will handle this.

I'm looking at machine with the following spec:
Celeron 2000 processor, 160GB hard disk, 512DDR memory, 16x DvDRW and AGP onboard graphics. I already have a 250GB external IDE hard drive for back ups.

Thoughts please. Do you think this will do the job? No "well of course a Mac G6 would be best"-type suggestions please; I'm on a VERY tight budget for this.

Michael Morris
8" LX200 Classic
Orion 80ED
ETX 90EC (Grab 'n' Go scope)
Roll-off roof observatory almiraobservatory.awardspace.com/index.html
Co-author of NightCal Astronomical Calendar Software
www.nightcal.co.uk

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17 years 4 months ago #42575 by voyager
Replied by voyager on topic Re: Spec. for observatory computer
If you're on a tight budget and you want something small then you should consider the entry level MacMini. It's about 600 lids, runs Windows like a charm and is about the size of six CD cases stacked on top of each other.

I have the old model and it's agreat wee machine. The new models are of course faster and have the 512MB RAM you wanted.

Failing that a cheap generic Dell should do the trick too but it will take up a lot more space and may not be as reliable.

Bart.

My Home Page - www.bartbusschots.ie

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17 years 4 months ago #42576 by dave_lillis
Replied by dave_lillis on topic Re: Spec. for observatory computer
I originally went with a minimalist approach to an observatory thinking if it went belly up, it wouldn't matter and also thinking I'd do image processing next day in the house PC or using ultraVNC, WRONG!, using remote desktop software while doing heavy image processing just wasn't working out, so now I've come to the conclusion that the dome PC needs to be an animal :lol: as I do processing of one AVI (planetary imaging) with registax, photoshop another resultant image and be able to capture another AVI from the webcam and run starrynight and dslrfocus all at the same time.
So, I have a 2.8 GHz hyperthread pentium with 2 gigs of PC3200 memory (motherboard max capacity and speed), its lightening fast ! I'm waiting for the 3.4GHz pentium (socket 478) to become dirt cheap before I get it, give it 6 months, its the fastest the motherboard will take.
Thats my 2 cents on a observatory PC.

Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
Chairman. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
+ 12"LX200, MK67, Meade2045, 4"refractor

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17 years 4 months ago #42577 by voyager
Replied by voyager on topic Re: Spec. for observatory computer
Dave, you tried using RDP rather than VNC for the remote connection? It's a lot more efficient.

Bart.

My Home Page - www.bartbusschots.ie

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17 years 4 months ago #42579 by dave_lillis
Replied by dave_lillis on topic Re: Spec. for observatory computer
RDP ? haven't heard of that, thanks Bart, I'll give that a go.

Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
Chairman. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
+ 12"LX200, MK67, Meade2045, 4"refractor

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17 years 4 months ago #42580 by voyager
Replied by voyager on topic Re: Spec. for observatory computer

RDP ? haven't heard of that, thanks Bart, I'll give that a go.


RDP is the Remote Desktop Protocol. It's part of the higher versions of Windows. XP Pro and Win2k Server for example. The client is freely available for any Windows version so you just need the machine you want to get to to be either XP Pro or Win2K server. There is even a free client for the Mac of all things. I use that at work to connect to Windows machines from my Mac.

Bart.

My Home Page - www.bartbusschots.ie

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