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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2022-05-15

flat roaster

In 2021 I decided to take my love for coffee a stage further. For quite a few years I'd been making my own blends from pre-roasted beans, and that had met with varying amounts of success (as you can probably imagine). That is until I started getting serious with it and making charts with the various flavours and notes I perceived and what the strengths were of these and whether they were desirable or not. For example, I might taste a berry flavour, and depending upon how strong that flavour was I'd give it a numerical value. If it was undesirable, it was a negative value.

Using these charts I could blend different beans (they might be roasted lighter or darker, or be from different regions) and in the right ratios, the negative flavours could be minimised and the desirable flavours enhanced. With a bit of skill and experience, the right flavours could be balanced - you do have the numbers after all. It's a simple but very effective system.

It stands to reason then, that one day I'd want to start roasting my own beans.

→ Read more...plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big2022-05-15

In 2021 I decided to take my love for coffee a stage further. For quite a few years I'd been making my own blends from pre-roasted beans, and that had met with varying amounts of success (as you can probably imagine). That is until I started getting serious with it and making charts with the various flavours and notes I perceived and what the strengths were of these and whether they were desirable or not. For example, I might taste a berry flavour, and depending upon how strong that…

· 2022/05/15 18:53 · Phil Ide

A Coffee Maker's Blog

2022-05-15plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big2022-05-15

In 2021 I decided to take my love for coffee a stage further. For quite a few years I'd been making my own blends from pre-roasted beans, and that had met with varying amounts of success (as you can probably imagine). That is until I started getting serious with it and making charts with the various flavours and notes I perceived and what the strengths were of these and whether they were desirable or not. For example, I might taste a berry flavour, and depending upon how strong that…

· 2022/05/15 18:51 · Phil Ide

Adding a Chromebook

I have a network with wiki-farm server to support my writing, a NAS and a home-made laptop. All of these things are based on Raspberry Pi's. Besides using the wiki-farm (which is used to write novels), I also use Zim-Wiki for making copious notes, character creation, world-building and plot development. Zim-Wiki is available on both Linux and Windows, and there is an ARM build that runs happily on the Raspberry Pi. And then I added a Chromebook, and that went from good idea to nightmare and back again.

→ Read more...plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigAdding a Chromebook

I have a network with wiki-farm server to support my writing, a NAS and a home-made laptop. All of these things are based on Raspberry Pi's. Besides using the wiki-farm (which is used to write novels), I also use Zim-Wiki for making copious notes, character creation, world-building and plot development. Zim-Wiki is available on both Linux and Windows, and there is an ARM build that runs happily on the Raspberry Pi. And then I added a Chromebook, and that went from good idea …

· 2022/01/24 11:22 · Phil Ide

The Climax

Whether you work out what happens at the end of your story before you start writing, or discover what happens when you write the climactic scene, understanding why the scene is so important to the protagonist's story is critical to getting it right.

→ Read more...plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigThe Climax

Whether you work out what happens at the end of your story before you start writing, or discover what happens when you write the climactic scene, understanding why the scene is so important to the protagonist's story is critical to getting it right.

· 2021/06/07 11:46 · Phil Ide

Astronomer's Nightmare

Orion Nebula with satellite trails. Image taken and composed by Amir H. Abolfath

Satellites offer such huge benefits, including communications, taking the internet where it wouldn't otherwise be feasible, monitoring our weather and sea-level changes, GPS etc. etc. We shouldn't forget spying (um, military intelligence) either, because despite its sordid nature, it is important. At least, some people think so.

Every nation able to build and launch a satellite is doing that, and they usually are building one or more constellations of satellites for permanent white coverage (no blackout windows when cover is not available). Even if they can't build or launch, they can usually pay someone else who can do these things for them. A constellation may have more than thirty member satellites.

While this is great for general consumers of the services they provide, it's not so great for ground-based astronomy. The image to the right shows trails across a composite image of the Orion Nebula, and highlights just what a problem this is becoming.

→ Read more...plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigAstronomer's Nightmare

Satellites offer such huge benefits, including communications, taking the internet where it wouldn't otherwise be feasible, monitoring our weather and sea-level changes, GPS etc. etc. We shouldn't forget spying (um, military intelligence) either, because despite its sordid nature, it is important. At least, some people think so.

· 2021/06/01 11:27 · Phil Ide

Older entries >>

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start.txt · Last modified: 2019/06/07 05:19 by 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 Reports

    These reports are provided by NASA's InSight lander in the south-west corner of Elysium Planitia. Daily readings are usually a couple of days behind reality.

    This page is updated as new data is detected.

    Last update: 13:35 Thu. Dec 30th, 2021 GMT
  • 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.