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 Reviewing page.

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Lunar Clock Published

The lunar clock has a new name: rtaps which stands for [R]PC [T]imestamp [A]djustment [P]rogram [S]erver. Yeah, I know, a bit contrived, but aren't all acronyms?

The code has now been published on GitHub at and can be cloned using git or downloaded as a compressed zip archive.

I have decided not to turn the program into an NTP server, since that is non-trivial task. If someone thinks that would be a great idea (I no longer think so), they can take existing NTP code and amend it.

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· 2024/04/14 23:41 · Phil Ide

Lunar Clock

NASA have been set the task of creating standard time zones for other worlds, starting with our own moon. This raised the thorny issue that on the moon (as almost everywhere else in the universe), the passage of time is different from what we experience here on Earth. Atomic clocks are the most accurate timekeepers we have, yet they run faster on the moon because time itself is passing at a faster rate. That's relativity for you.

I decided (at the gleeful urging of my father) to write a software clock that counters the effects of general and special relativity, in order to keep clocks on the moon synchronised with clocks on Earth.

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· 2024/04/09 14:20 · Phil Ide

Bluemail is Malware

I've been using Thunderbird for one of my email accounts, and whilst I can say it is functional, the UIX was designed by an amateur with no experience in program design. It sucks big-time, consuming a vast amount of real-estate that it doesn't use, forcing you to make the program occupy even more of your screen's valuable real-estate. So I started looking for something else.

Bluemail has arrived for Linux, so I took a look and liked what I saw: a neat and tidy interface, and the free version has all the options I require.

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· 2024/02/21 14:38 · Phil Ide

OpenSim 01 Megalomania

Megalomania is a rough thing to have. Only one person in the world is going to rule it, and you've got some tough competition. So, why not cheat and make your own world, and keep everyone out until you're ready? Mwahaha!

Enter OpenSimulator (not to be confused with OpenSim which is a medical simulator). OpenSimulator is server software for creating single or multiple regions, entire grids, and being able to connect your region(s) either to become part of someone else's grid or link to the hypergrid. All that needs a bit of explaining, so here goes. If it gets too mumbo-jumboish for you, just jump to the next section.

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· 2024/01/14 22:31 · Phil Ide

Perseverance Rover

Last Updated: 2:45:02 Fri Apr 19, 2024

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.

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start.txt · Last modified: 2019/06/07 04:19 by Phil Ide

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