Message 07/24/2018

Hi all,

As I mentioned in a previous e-mail- I hope to only very rarely send out group e-mails such as this. However the site has been up for only a handful of weeks and these early times are best to figure things out.

First a note of thanks. On Wednesday, July 25th APOD will publish the image of NGC 5866 (M102) that is featured in a few lessons. The "wow" factor of this image comes almost exclusively from the processing tools in PI and choices I made to render the result. And *this* only happened because through the past few years many of you continually requested I produce videos on PI. So this image truly has its genesis with you and I want to thank you for the encouragement and subsequent support! (https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap180725.html )

Next, concerning the playback of videos here is what is coming to focus at this point:

  1. The main browsers that have good playback behavior are Chrome and Safari. Internet Explorer works... but has an issue that when a video first loads it might hang in the beginning, or play but keep the circular loading icon. Simply moving the time slider forward in time and then back will "fix" it. However, that is pretty lame. I am asking web support to consider a different player that will behave better under all browsers. I can confirm FireFox really does not like this video player, please choose one of the other other browsers.
  2. Just an FYI concerning how these videos get to you... The videos reside on an Amazon server in the western part of the US. If you are far from the original server- Amazon loads the content on to "edge" servers that are closer to you. However, the content doesn't exist on an edge server until it is requested by someone far away. This means that when I upload new videos that no one has seen, they might experience the largest initial "lag" with a few stutters (especially if you are far away like in Australia). Then as more people see the videos and fill the Edge servers close to you, the playback improves. Please do continue to send me complaints/reports concerning your playback experience. I haven't received anything major in the past 10 days or so. 3. I want to make certain everyone is seeing when I publish new videos. You will find the announcements on the main (member) Homepage when you log in. This page is different than the homepage you see when you are not logged in. Only members see the information on this logged-in version. I have been putting the announcements there. I am also announcing them on the AdamBlockStudios facebook page. And finally I also mention it in the Forum. I haven't had any feedback on the latest sections... so I wanted to check in and make certain they are being seen!
  3. And finally concerning feedback- it appears you are part of the initial "founding" group of customers! Signups have slowed. So I welcome feedback in a effort to make certain I am providing the expected content at the desired instructional "quality." In addition external feedback/review is direly needed. If you feel I have helped you in your astrophotography I would really appreciate mentioning the existence of this site and your experience on social media and most especially astronomy forums. I could really use the help.

Thanks again and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Adam (the Blockhead)