Introduction

My clock radio woke me this morning with the newscaster's reassurance that "After 12:38 it will be again safe to gaze skyword."  He was referring to the transit of venus, and seemed to imply that it is safe to stare at the sun when venus isn't blocking a tiny percentage its light.  I guess you can't believe everything you hear. My wife and I set up a telescope in the garden to project the image of the sun on a pizza box.  We watched the tiny dark spot of venus move across the face of the sun, we also watched with our eclipse shades and captured a few frames with a mylar filtered digital video camera: 
Venus moves across sun I wonder if there is any useful symbolism there for future headline writers? Someday I need to collect all of the cliche headlines about Sun, "Sun sets, Sun eclipsed, Sun dims, clouded outlook for Sun, Sun may rise again." I should have been a sports writer.

Clouds moved across the face of the heavenly sun a few minutes after our pizza box experiment. Ireland isn't an ideal location for astronomy, but astronomy and the sciences helped spark my interest in Sun Microsystems which is how I ended up in Ireland. I majored in instrumentation physics and always enjoyed the application of computer systems and software to the sciences.  I work for Sun's desktop group, providing solutions to customers and providing communication from customers back to desktop engineers. I'm currently working on the Java Desktop System. My everyday desktop is GNOME 2.0 on Solaris[tm] SunRay[tm] But I also use JDS on a laptop and am testing an early build of JDS on Solaris 10 beta. It took a few days to get over the glitches, Ghee mentioned some issues that only became obvious when GNOME components were ported to Solaris. I'm using a new tool called dtrace to try to find areas of inefficient code. I'll let you know what I find.
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