The weather has been kind over Christmas, particularly clear skys for my *new* Meade ETX 105 - that's a telescope by the way. Not exactly the largest - only 4" and yes, size does matter, but I couldn't really justify a larger one given that it usually rains on the rare occasions when I am actually at home.
Good views of Mars in November and early December, now good views of Saturn, and various nebula like M42 and M37. OK, so what's that got to do with programming and stuff?
Well, most modern telescopes have an electronic control called a "goto" system - you get the idea. This is normally controlled by a hand-held device, but can be controlled by a PC using an Open Source object model named ASCOM - Astronomy Common Object Module.
Currently it appears to be written using COM, which of course is proprietry and realistically only runs on one of the many Microsoft operating systems. OK, you can get it to run on others, but would you want to, really?
This is one I will be looking at further.