Rants and Raves Pages M20  

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My Rants

For the most part, nobody has really irritated me enough to make it to this page yet... Well, the really poor design work done on my first scope, a Meade dobsonian telescope might be a good place to start. It was really fortunate that I got it at a close-out discounted price or I might really be mad about some of the things that were wrong with that scope. It was easy to see why that particular model was discontinued.... I don't really want to pick on Meade, I am sure that they make some absolutely wonderful products. Most of my most frequently used eyepieces were made by Meade, but I must say that I have had too many unfortunate experiences with some of their products. More than once would be too many in my book. So, for the most part, I am a Celestron man. When I try out a new Celestron product I fully expect it to work from day one, and it always has. When I try out a new Meade product, I am never sure what I am going to get that first night and many times, I have ended the evening disappointed. But I think I may just be snakebit. Many people swear by their Meade equipment.

And My Raves...

One thing that I HAVE noticed is that everyone I have met in this hobby has been very friendly and helpful. They all seem to be very nice people. That is pretty cool.

While I appreciate all the advice given to newbies about a first scope purchase being a dobsonian, and I do enjoy my Meade, I think that first scope advice should now be modified. I absolutely love my little Nexstar. It is soooo much fun. The price of goto scopes has come down to the point that they now make a better choice for a first scope. I think that for any beginner living in a heavily light-polluted area, a goto is definitely a better choice for a first scope. I think that the goto will give a better chance of getting the newbie "hooked" on the hobby. Just my opinion....

Another Rave... All of the Nexstar owners on the Yahoo Nexstar group. Amazing bunch of people. Very helpful, funny, and knowlegable. I am glad I found them. You should check them out if you are nice people too... With time, I have expanded that feeling to include nearly all of the astronomy-related Yahoo discussion groups. It seems when we are not out under the stars, we just want to talk to others about the stars, our equipment, and the images we are taking when we are out at night, and there sure seems to be a lot of us. Whenever I am thinking about making a change in my equipment, the first thing I do is check out whether there is a specific Yahoo group covering that particular piece of equipment or software. There usually is, and the discussions are always helpful.

Gee, when you get going on this Rave thing, it is hard to stop. I need to thank all the amateurs who have written the free or inexpensive software that the rest of us use every time we go out under the stars. Most of the software I use was written by amateurs for their own use. Then, they have just shared that software with other enthusiasts. I would name names, but there are so many who have made contributions that I am sure I would neglect to include too many important contributors if I ever started such a list. So, you people know who you are. I just want to say "Thank You" from all the rest of us!!!!


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