I have just spent the WHOLE of today resurrecting an old computer which will be the main computer for the mini-WASP array. Lots of silly little things have fought back hard and it’s only just started to give in now at 9:30 p.m. It’s only a 1.12GHz Athlon with 1GB of memory, but it has XP Pro, 2 serial ports, a parallel port, and a load of USB ports on the back. The Robofocus wants a serial port, the mount wants a serial (or USB) port, and the Starlight Xpress cameras which use a USB port don’t want to see anything on any of the other USB ports – so it will end up being one computer per imaging camera. Unfortunately as each camera (on each of the 4 imaging scopes) will also need a serial port (for the Robofocus) it will mean 4 PCs altogether as laptops don’t seem to come with serial ports nowadays. So it’s going to be quite a pain (computer-wise) to get the whole mini-WASP array working together as a single system. I also only want one keyboard, mouse and screen of course due to the space limitations in the observatory. So I might end up connecting the 4 PCs together via the LAN ports (and a hub) and using the main computer that I’ve resurrected today to “remote desktop” the three satellite computers – unless anyone out there has a better/more efficient way of doing this.
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