Philip P. Ide

Author, programmer, science enthusiast, half-wit.
Life is sweet. Have you tasted it lately?

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I'm a novelist and have an interest in space science and physics. I've been a programmer for more than 30 years and I like reviewing new and up-and-coming authors.
If you want me to review your novel, please look at my Rules on Reviewingplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigRules on Reviewing

First off, you should know I only have a limited amount of time, so I can't review a hundred novels at once. Sorry, but that's basic physics for you. If I agree to review your novel, you may have to wait a while for me to get around to it, and then I'll need time to read it. I only review hard copies.
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Perseverance Rover

Last Updated: 14:45:02 Fri Dec 02, 2022

Mars Chart 13 (MC13), Syrtis Major, with Isidis Planitia (Isidis Basin) to the east. Jezero Crater is in the North-East of Syrtis Major, the North-West of Isidis, and has a large mountain on it's Eastern crater wall.

The Perseverance Rover, M20, is navigating its way around Jezero Crater, which is located on the flanks of Syrtis Major and to the North-West of the Isidis Basin. Jezero is easily identified the large mountain on it's Eastern crater wall.

To put things in perspective, Syrtis Major is a volcanic mountain, made from black volcanic basalt, covering over a million square kilometres and easily seen from Earth. In fact it's large, black mass was the first topological feature identified on Mars. Jezero Crater once contained a lake, with water inflowing from the North-West, and outflowing through a breach in the East-South-East. Where that water went may be the subject of future missions.

Perseverance has been examining the crater floor, testing its equipment, and is currently en-route to the silt fan, left by the water flowing into crater.

→ Read more...plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigPerseverance Rover

Last Updated: 14:45:02 Fri Dec 02, 2022

The Perseverance Rover, M20, is navigating its way around Jezero Crater, which is located on the flanks of Syrtis Major and to the North-West of the Isidis Basin. Jezero is easily identified the large mountain on it's Eastern crater wall.

Insight Lander

This page is updated as new data is detected. InSight is no longer transmitting weather data. See InSight's Final Selfieplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigInSight's Final Selfie

[InSight's Final Selfie] The InSight lander is in the final stages of of its extended mission. This image, taken on April 24th 2022, is it's last selfie.

There was a possibility to keep going until the last operating science experiment had to be turned off, and then InSight would keep operating on safe mode until it eventually ran out of power.

Last update: 14:02 Sun. Jul 17th, 2022 BST

If the image doesn't display, please wait. The NASA websites sometimes get busy.

Explanation of the Wind Speed Chart
Wind speed is shown in meters per second, as measured by the pair of TWINS booms. The barbs extending from each wind speed data point indicate the compass direction of the wind (e.g., a wind blowing from the north will have a barb straight up above the point; a wind blowing from the west will have a barb off to the left). Full and half flags extending from the barbs indicate the wind speed, with each half flag representing approximately 2.5 meters per second. A circle in place of a barb indicates a wind speed less than 2.5 meters per second.

Full details can be seen at https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/weather/
Images Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/CAB

:!: Note: There is a discrepancy between the summary data and the charts provided by NASA (good on you if you spotted this - if not, go hunt the thimble!). I've notified them and hopefully they'll do something about it.

→ Read more...plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigInsight Lander

This page is updated as new data is detected. InSight is no longer transmitting weather data. See InSight's Final Selfie

Last update: 14:02 Sun. Jul 17th, 2022 BST

If the image doesn't display, please wait. The NASA websites sometimes get busy.

Explanation of the Wind Speed Chart

· 2022/09/11 10:34 · Phil Ide

Coffee Blog: 2022-08-14 Upgrade

There is a coffee roasting machine called the Aillio Bullet. You have to read its specs hear the hype to see what it is capable of, and at £3,250 it appears to be worth it. However, it doesn't have a flu or chimney, just a vent, so all the steam and oil it releases just fill up the kitchen. Hopefully they'll see the short-sightedness of this. Not all of us have garages, basements or cellars.

It does though, have one intriguing piece of technology tucked into it's sleek features, that got me rather excited.

→ Read more...plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigCoffee Blog: 2022-08-14 Upgrade

There is a coffee roasting machine called the Aillio Bullet. You have to read its specs hear the hype to see what it is capable of, and at £3,250 it appears to be worth it. However, it doesn't have a flu or chimney, just a vent, so all the steam and oil it releases just fill up the kitchen. Hopefully they'll see the short-sightedness of this. Not all of us have garages, basements or cellars.

· 2022/08/14 11:54 · Phil Ide

Coffee Blog: 2022-07-31

Yesterday, I roasted Profile I, which I'd come up with after sampling Profile H. I did two loads, each of 200g.

Profile I
Load 200g End (mins)
Pre-heat 200°C
Stage 1 (to yellow) Drying 200°C 6:00
Stage 2 (to 1st crack) Caramelising 250°C 10:30
Stage 3 Development 240°C 16:30
Ambient Temp 25.8°C
RH 49%
Coffee Columbian - El Carmen

→ Read more...plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigCoffee Blog: 2022-07-31

Yesterday, I roasted Profile I, which I'd come up with after sampling Profile H. I did two loads, each of 200g. Profile I Load 200g End (mins)Pre-heat 200(^c) Stage 1 (to yellow) Drying 200(^c) 6:00Stage 2 (to 1st crack)

· 2022/07/31 09:15 · Phil Ide

2022-07-30 Fix Website

Update to site software breaks something.

→ Read more...plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big2022-07-30 Fix Website

Update to site software breaks something.

There was an update to the software used to run this website - Dokuwiki - and unbeknownst to me, fixed a fix I had made and broke something. To put that more clearly, I had made a fix to the template I use for layout etc., so it was friendly to Facebook. With the

· 2022/07/30 09:25 · Phil Ide

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  • ISSplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigInternational Space Station

    This page has a portal through which you can view the current location of the International Space Station, updating in real-time. The tracker itself comes from the European Space Agency (ESA).

    There is also a handy link to get email notifications direct from NASA when the ISS is visible in your night sky.
  • Mars Weatherplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigMars Weather

    Weather Reports Insight Lander Perseverance Rover Curiosity data to come [Current positions of Earth and Mars] Image courtesy of and © Dominic Ford

    This image is updated once per week. A daily update is available on the Mars Solar Conjunctions page when such events are active.

    You can check the position of Mars vs the Sun and Earth for any date here:
  • Downloadsplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigDownloads

    Orbital Calculator Current Version This is a portable application, meaning there is no installer. Just unzip into a folder and run the executable. Since it is portable, it can be run from a USB stick.

    A full description and a list of the features are available
  • Orbital Calculatorplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigOrbital Calculator

    I needed to calculate orbital characteristics for any orbit around any gravitational mass (because I write sci-fi stories), so I wrote this program because I'm a programmer and I'm too lazy to do it by hand all the time. The program has expanded over the last few years, sometimes from suggestions by other writers. I make it freely available and as simple to use as possible. It now has a list of functions as long as your arm (assuming you're not a tentacle user), and the numbe…
  • Cookie Policy & GDPRplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigCookie Policy & GDPR

    There are NO tracking cookies on this site!

    The Cookie policy is straightforward. This site only uses cookies that are required to make your experience of using this site better, and only uses session cookies (see exceptions below). Session cookies are deleted when you close your browser.
  • Book Reviewsplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigBook Reviews

    Here you can find all the book reviews, broken down by genre, and further subdivided by author. If you want me to review your novel, please read my Rules on Reviewing.

    * Science-Fiction * Fantasy * Non-Fiction
  • Contactplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigContact

    If you have a burning desire to contact me, use the discussion form below. Anything you say remains private between you and me.