Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Gentoo on Raspberry Pi

I have some problems with both Raspbian and RaspBMC. RaspBMC is perfect for XBMC which I'm used to having working whenever I need it. Everything else is difficult. I'd like to install some additional software such as Gphoto, irssi, screen... but I have to be extra careful not to break everything. More than 5 times have I borked the installation and had to do it all over again.

Raspbian is Debian. And a proper one. It works out of the box with everything but XBMC. I found a selfprogramming blog with compiled packages and instructions how to install them. Nice, but "difficult". There's no repository, you have to manually softlink files. Maintaining this XBMC will not be easy. Also you have to set yourself it to automatically start, but I don't consider that a bad thing. I still haven't figured how to do that so XBMC won't be running all the time but will be when I want it to.

Anyways... I don't believe Gentoo would magically do everything I want just the way I want. I'm trying it because I'm more familiar with it than Debian. I know how to use dpkg and apt, but that's about as deep as I know Debian.

My plan is to eventually cross compile everything on my desktop. Now I have Distcc set up and desktop handles some of the compilation. It really speeds up the emerge processes. My plan also includes not having portage tree or kernel sources clogging up the SD card. I'll try installing the XBMC first before attending to these problems.

For now the Gentoo is running. Installation finished with some minor problems which I'll address in different posts on this blog.

Friday, April 5, 2013

PanSTARRS and Andromeda

Yesterday, April 4th, must have been quite a day for astrophotographers. The comet C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS) was as close as it gets to the Andromeda galaxy. I also went outside in hope of catching the view on camera.

The weather could have been better. There were thin clouds obstructing the view and spoiling my photos. Comet itself was quite easy to find although there was no chance of seeing it with naked eye or even through camera. I pointed my camera to where I knew Andromeda was and after couple of shots I had them both on image.

I took several images hoping that DeepSkyStacker could find a bit more of Andromeda than the center. Here's what I have:

If you know what Andromeda looks like, you can see it. I've taken a lot better photos of Andromeda before. Now it was too early for that. Also the gradient is quite disturbing. I've heard IRIS might be able to remove the gradient. DSS certainly did not.