Tuesday, November 01, 2022

working from an old edition

I had a horrible thought.

What if Dave C had been following on old list? 

What if he was using an early edition which was now superseded? If he had dozens and dozens of observations for things not on the current and final list... that'd be bad.

After sharing his observation and sketch, I started to worry.

I said, "I'm worried there might be others... I know it'd be time-consuming to compare the current SkySafari lists to what's required. Would it be easier just to download and install the new/current SS lists?" 

He replied, "The thing is I have many from my SS list checked off as observed. Tomorrow I’ll look at it again, I might simply be able to edit what I have."

Oh no.

I felt terrible.

We could do a spot-check, I thought. I pulled up an early draft in SkyTools.

I asked he had any of these in his SkySafari observing list. I grabbed a sample.

  • 14 CMi
  • 5 UMi
  • 55 Eri
  • Adara
  • Aladfar (aka eta Lyr, 20 Lyr, HR 7298, HD 180163, SAO 68010, HIP 94481, STF 2487)
  • HD 159481
  • HD 164536
  • HD 174005
  • Upsilon CrB
  • V402 Lac

All. He had all of 'em on his list.

Damn it.

"Well, then, this is bad news," I shared. "I believe the list you have is different significantly from the final. In other words, about half the entries are *wrong* or not in the final."

I sent the complete list from SkyTools, all the entries which I believe were in his SS list. I marked the ones that had been deleted... About 40 or 50.

Also included a list of what was missing. What he'd need to add to his SkySafari list to bring it up to date. It was long... Very long. 

Ugh. It would be awkward to make these changes. In a phone. I'd hack it on a computer. Manual reconciliation of over a hundred records.

Later Dave confided, "It's been a couple of years since I worked with it. I think I was 'beta testing' and then I drifted away from it. Don’t worry, I'll figure it out. The good news is (I think) that I am working from the final version in print, and the SkySafari list is simply an observing aid."

I felt a bit better.

The next day, he added, "I don't use the skylist to record observations, only to highlight observed and unobserved targets in the sky and to slew my telescope to them. I enter in basic observations to indicate they have been observed."

Then he said what I was thinking.

"It would be easier at this point to download the current skylist and work through the several I have actually observed :)"

If he's only observed a few, yes, the easier way to go. He said "many" before but I was hoping it was 10 or 20% of the list.

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