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UMSF@10, We've come a long, long way together...
Astro0
post Feb 10 2014, 09:53 PM
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QUOTE (jamescanvin @ Feb 10 2014, 09:38 PM) *
Our first UMSF banner, post mer.rlproject was acutally:


Ooh! I'd never seen that one before. Very retro!

Thanks James. We'll have to stick it in the archive. smile.gif
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djellison
post Feb 10 2014, 10:03 PM
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For those wondering where the UMSF logo came from - the little stylized spacecraft is a 3D version of the spacecraft icon from the plaque onboard the Pioneer spacecraft....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pioneer_...olar_system.svg

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Bjorn Jonsson
post Feb 10 2014, 10:47 PM
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QUOTE (jamescanvin @ Feb 10 2014, 10:00 AM) *
The earliest snapshot in the internet archive is from the 20th Feb 2004 - 12 days in. Banner is lost, but here is a screen-grab. So many memories. smile.gif

And with me as the newest member smile.gif. And this was 10 years ago - wow. Time flies.

UMSF has had a big 'indirect' effect on my image processing skills over the years (especially when dealing with really complex seamless mosaicking and shape from shading generation/processing). If I see that something (for example an exceptionally high quality in an image processing product) is possible it encourages me to try something comparable - usually with success if I have enough time available. But the biggest fun (and challenge) has been to experiment with something new (e.g. stereo and shape from shading DEMs, really big Voyager Jupiter color mosaics etc. etc.).
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nprev
post Feb 10 2014, 10:52 PM
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If I'm not mistaken, UMSF has also been the conduit for your work & that of many others to be published rather widely, Bjorn. That's a terrific thing right there…pure outreach with pure beauty. smile.gif


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A few will take this knowledge and use this power of a dream realized as a force for change, an impetus for further discovery to make less ancient dreams real.
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Nix
post Feb 11 2014, 11:44 AM
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Whenever I look back at the beginning of the MER mission and the first years @ UMSF, I smile.

It was the first time in my life I really felt part of something.

That something was like a dream come true. I did not have the luck to be raised in a family where
education was stressed to be of vital importance, and by the time I realised this for myself, it had
become hard to catch up on anything, especially maths.

This frustrated me to hell. I was forced to start working at the age of 13 and in my spare time I read
Ciel et Espace, Astronomy and Sky & Telescope. I tried to catch up on math, at my own pace.

It was as if was two persons in one, a moaning & frustrated working class young man, and a kid that
kept 'dreaming' about graduating in astronomy.

In the years I worked I managed to educate myself a bit for the problems that
had arised at school I could not seem to make up for.
I bought myself a big telescope, learned photography, and combined the two for some basic astrophotography.

At the age of twenty, I bought myself a big fat computer my mother had kept promising me for over 5
years, and a high-class internet account. I learned everything I needed to learn about computers to work
with image data in general.

Then came Pathfinder and very soon I found myself downloading, archiving and processing colors and mosaics.
I remember the extreme joy of local contrast enhancement to isolate giant dust-devils in some of Pathfinder's
horizon-images...

I could not share the images though since I lacked knowledge on html so I started learning about that.
But then I started working more, as it was needed, and then came children...
I began to accept I had become a 'viewer' and I could still enjoy astronomy and Mars in general and just be
happy being a hobby photographer and 'armchair'-amateur-astronomer.

But then, finally, one night, I watched Spirit's descent being broadcasted. As I write this I still shiver just
as back then... as I enjoy watching the people behind any mission today when a milestone is reached.
I started making time to download and processing 'pretty pictures' again, and I stumbled upon the 'MER'
forum.

Doug introduced me to PTgui, and then the fun began! I started sharing mosaics and panoramas and
this time I was not alone, there were others and I wasn't any longer the 'lone' geek playing around with
Photoshop. I explored other software, started reading technical articles, and cooperated with other
'Spaced out maniacs'. I got to meet Steven Squyres himself and Emily Lakdawalla thanks to Doug,
and got splendid source material for my panoramas thanks to 'slinted', who wrote software to create true
color calibrated data, and who sparked my interest for coding and automating some tasks.

After some years, my kids started needing more and more attention, and to keep this part as short as
possible, since 'nature' or 'god' or whatever you call it was the only reason for this; my wife got cancer.
I found myself frustrated again not having time to pursue my involvement on the forum, and tried to
stay optimistic. I missed out on a lot of things in the last months of her life, including the big change in
Doug's life, and many more exciting events and stories here on UMSF and elsewhere.
In my darkest hour, a few years back, I even wrote Doug to 'take me off the list', as I felt awkward
not having time nor the right set of mind to be of any value here.... but he would not accept. I'm forever
very thankful for that!
Last year I started to feel better again, my 'purple pills' started working ( laugh.gif ) and, all joking aside now,
I'm slowly succeeding to get back at 'living' again... I started promoting my photography work and I hope
for this 10th anniversary, to dig up some stuff from Spirit and Opportunity too, in these coming months.

I'm not telling this because I feel pitty for myself though, instead, I've learned to be proud of myself for
the things I've managed to achieve despite my childhood and happenstance, and to encourage others,
that whatever happens, you can learn from it and often, even use it to your advantage, if one accepts
'time', and effort.

My biggest achievement I cherish, is to witness the wisdom and knowledge I seem to pass on to my kids.
They have dreams just like I had; one of my daughters says she wants to visit the ISS one day. I will help
her with that, or for any dream they will have in the future, just by keep repeating that life is all about
learning, and practising what we've learned in a wise manner, with the future in mind, yet making sure to
enjoy each split-second of life today. Cause split-seconds are all we can call present, all the rest is past, or
unknown. I hope they have more luck than me, but it's still up to them of course...
This guy sums it up, really, in a letter to his daughters; http://blogs.esa.int/luca-parmitano/

Thanks to all of you, for your understanding, your involvement and dedication, to one of the coolest
hangouts on the net!

And thank you, the MER team and Spirit & Opportunity, to be there, and share.

Nico


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RoverDriver
post Feb 11 2014, 04:26 PM
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Thank you for sharing. I wonder how many other similar stories are tied to MER. I will make sure to mention how our work affects people on Earth next time I get asked why we explore Mars.

Paolo


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Disclaimer: all opinions, ideas and information included here are my own,and should not be intended to represent opinion or policy of my employer.
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Ant103
post Feb 12 2014, 11:17 AM
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Looks like I missed all the fun while I was doing a trip in Britain, in France smile.gif.

I just want to wish a very happy 10 Years birthday to UMSF, on of the best places I know over the Internets smile.gif.

For me, it's the place where I have truly share my work. And thanks to Emily, Stu, and some other, outside the web, on paper, even on TV screens ! This place is inspiring to me and is giving me the envy to continue smile.gif

This is also the place where I met my guru : Olivier de Goursac. Thanks to his books, I literarily dreamt of Mars, touch the sands of the dunes near Viking 1, feel the cold air around Viking 2 during Winter. Thanks to him, I was able to conduct my work in the right way. And all of this will probably never happened without UMSF smile.gif.

So, happy FIRST 10 years UMSF wink.gif

Oh, and I would like to thank UMSFers about their tolerance concerning my transition smile.gif


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machi
post Feb 12 2014, 02:12 PM
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As I see, in comparison with other members, I'm still newbie here. smile.gif
I also didn't found UMSF due to MERs but because of other missions, especially Voyagers, Galileo and Cassini.
UMSF was (and still is) place where I can found new products based on data from my favourite missions
and lots of answers on every questions.
I found here many friends and inspired by many members (Ted Stryk, Björn, Ugordan, Emily and others)
I begun with my own works and this was life changing experience for me
and for this I sincerely thank to this forum and its founder - Doug Ellison.


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brellis
post Feb 12 2014, 04:15 PM
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Very hearty thank you to Doug, Emily, Stu et al for growing a beautiful Tree of Knowledge. And very special thanks to posters and mods who have patiently answered my rather n00b-ish questions over the years! It has taken me a while to learn better discipline about simply asking something here when many of the answers to my questions are available on the webs if I dig a little deeper, which usually means those answers are already here in threads at UMSF! I often have a similar problem in markets. Just yesterday, I was looking for cat litter; I could see cat food, no litter. A uniformed worker walks by and I ask her where I can find the cat litter; she smiles and points right behind me. Voila! huh.gif

I am also grateful for many real-life friendships I have formed with participants here. smile.gif
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Nix
post Feb 12 2014, 06:55 PM
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@Paolo; I guess there's quite some stories tied to MER and other missions. I just felt like it was time to elaborate on my absence here for years, and sadly, the reason I have lost my domainname awalkonmars.com.

But I'm working on something, especially this year!

Best regards and please, keep on 'rocking' us smile.gif

@Ant103; Thank you, for keeping up my link to awalkonmars.com on your website, as did Jim Bell, and Tedstryk. I'm working long days these last weeks to make those links 'working' again. I'll let you know the new name/extension for that when I'm done, as now awalkonmars.com is some chick's blog huh.gif

Nico


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http://500px.com/sacred-photons & http://www.awalkonmars.net

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dilo
post Jul 30 2014, 04:46 AM
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After nearly (10 years / 2.5 kposts) of activity, I decided to leave the forum.
It was a great stay, I met fantastic people and most of them appreciated my contribution ... Thank you for this!
Bye.


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PaulH51
post Jul 30 2014, 08:19 AM
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I for one will miss your contributions to this Forum and hope you will return one day soon...


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algorithm
post Jul 30 2014, 07:48 PM
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Dilo, your contributions will be greatly missed. The statistics you presented were like a good pie(chart)...a bit dry on the outside but full of juicy meat when chewed over. Thanks.
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RoverDriver
post Jul 30 2014, 10:19 PM
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This is sad, when the actions of a few force old timers that helped make this forum so great feel they are no longer welcome. We all lose when this happens.

Paolo


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Disclaimer: all opinions, ideas and information included here are my own,and should not be intended to represent opinion or policy of my employer.
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jasedm
post Jul 30 2014, 10:40 PM
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Agreed!
Stalwart, linchpin, statistician extraordinaire...what's happened??!
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