Category Archives: Software

Great programs for doing science, or how to write your own.

Report: Shelf-life of Scientific Data is Now Twenty Years


A biologist at the University of British Columbia says 80 per cent of data by today’s scientists is lost within 20 years, a victim of digital storage. Continue reading…

Posted in Best Practices, Computer Science, General Interest, History of Science, Measurement, Observation, Open Science, Open Source, Publishing, Software, Tools | 2 Comments

Sky Temperature Sensor

The first sensor to go on my instrument platform may be an infrared sky temperature sensor. The sky temperature can be used to determine if the sky is clear or cloudy and when the sky is clear the temperature is a measure of the total column water vapor above the sensor. The sensor electronics consists of two modules from SparkFun Electronics,  an evaluation … Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Climate, DIY, Electronics, Experimentation, Imbedded Software, Instrumentation, Measurement, Programming, Sensors, Software, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Wanted: Raspberry Pi Columnist(s)

Image: PC Magazine

CSL is looking for one or more people who are conversant in using Raspberry Pi and other types of microcontrollers who would like to share their expertise and enthusiasm with our readers. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Community, Computer Science, CSL News, DIY, Electronics, Engineering, Instrumentation, Invention, Makers and Making, Open Science, Open Source, Publishing, Research Tools, Software, Tools | Leave a comment

Citizen Science Musings: Remembering Grace Hopper

Today (Sunday) is the 107th birthday of computer pioneer Grace Hopper, who did most of her ground-breaking work while part of the US Navy Reserve. Continue reading…

Posted in Citizen Science Musings, Computer Science, Electronics, History of Science, Mathematics, Navy Stories, Programming, Software | 1 Comment

Citizen Science Musings: Making Amateur Scientists

One of the telescopes featured in Ingall's inaugural column,made by E. L. Worbois, 127 Adam Street, Tonawanda, New York.

This past week I was graciously invited to speak to a local astronomical club, the Peninsula Astronomical Society. After some consideration, I decided to talk about the role of Scientific American’s famous, much-loved and equally-missed column, “The Amateur Scientist” in the growth of amateur astronomy. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Astronomy, Citizen Science Musings, DIY, History of Science, Invention, Machine Shop, Makers and Making, Observation, Optics, Physics, Projects, Science Education, Software, Space | 1 Comment

A Cheap, Quick, and Dirty SDR Radio

SDR dongle

A new computer TV tuner came on the market a few years ago. The computer “dongle” (NOT dangle, for those of you with dirty minds) allowed European users to tune their TV on a computer. But… it also contained troubleshooting mode that allowed tuning radio signals for Software Defined Radio or SDR. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Radio, Computer Science, DIY, Electronics, Instrumentation, Makers and Making, Software, Tools | Leave a comment

A Review of MICA

I have been looking for a way to get accurate high resolution data of the sun angle below the horizon after sun set and before sun rise. The first place I go for this sort of information is the U.S. Naval Observatory web site. There I found that they have written a software application called MICA (Multiyear Interactive Computer Almanac). This application can … Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Astronomy, Instrumentation, Research Tools, Software | Leave a comment

Analog Microcontroller Review

I have been trying to decide what to use to digitize the signals from my sensors that have analog outputs. The original thinking was to attach a 16 bit A/D converter to an ARM processor module. The other day I decided to revisit the Analog Devices Analog microcontroller family of parts. These parts are intended to process analog signals with their built in … Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Experimentation, Instrumentation, Programming, Projects, Reviews, Sensors, Software | Leave a comment

Citizen Science Maps the Congo

Commercial logging in the Congo.

A new mobile software may help local communities in the region of Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, manage their natural resources and monitor logging activities in the forest. Continue reading…

Posted in Activism, Biology, Botany, Community, Environment, Software, Tools | Leave a comment

Citizen Science Musings: The Future of Citizen Science?


Recently it was my pleasure to have a long, informative chat with a couple of gentlemen who are part of an emerging trend outside the more settled model of “citizen science.” Continue reading…

Posted in Best Practices, Citizen Science Musings, Community, Computer Science, DIY, Engineering, Mathematics, Open Science, Open Source, Publishing, Research Tools, Software | 3 Comments