About this Site

This site focuses primarily on my endeavors in astrophotography– gear, process, software, and, of course, targets & images. I reserve the right :wink: to delve into other topics that are loosely related to astrophotography– If I have to pack it into the van for a night observing then it is fair game. Posts will be tagged appropriately so readers don’t have to suffer through topics they aren’t interested in.

This site is very much a work in progress. Really only the overall look is how I want it. There is not yet a commenting system (which makes sense, since there is not really anything to comment on). Odds are that, once I get my permanent observatory set up, I will also start recording some video content. We will see how that goes - I have been told that “I have a face for radio”. That’s good, right?

Getting Around

This site has a pretty simple layout - it’s all static thanks to jekyll, and should be fairly responsive. At the top you see a main navigation bar. The top left corner has the site title which will always get you back to the root level. Navigation is broken up into “posts” and “notes”.

Posts are like journal entries, happening at a point in time. They will contain tags, which tell you the main topic. I don’t have the list of tags yet, but you can be sure that astrophotography and image will be in the mix. You can find posts by either date or by tag.

Notes, on the other hand, are more “timeless”. These might be tutorials or little one-offs. Full disclosure here - I won’t know what goes where until I actually put up some content, but I promise that I will update this doc when I do. Unless I forget.


For hosting I leverage GitHub Pages and Jekyll, and use a somewhat tweaked version of the minimal-mistakes theme, with a dark color palette.

If you’d like to see what I’ve tweaked, you can always fork the repo.

Some handy documents for the theme:

About Jamie

I guess that no personal blog site would be complete without a completely self-serving section on the author. I know that you have been waiting, so here it is!

Hi, my name is Jamie Smith. I have a long history in software consulting. Somewhere along the line the powers-that-be realized that I was good in front of a whiteboard, and I was moved into a presales role, where I really started to shine. I honed my communication and other talents. One of my greatest skills is what I call the art of efficiency. This isn’t some self-help book with 47 steps to greatness– more along the lines of enhanced laziness. With this process I get things done as efficiently as humanly possible. Do something once? OK, fine. Twice? Take notes and make it repeatable. Three or more times? Write a script.

This ethos really seeps its way into all aspects of work - I plan to capture some of the notes into docs for this site, hoping that someone will get some use out of them. Worst case, I reclaim a few KB on my Dropbox account.

My new friend and I at a dog event, about a dozen years ago.  I researched tropical birds for a couple weeks after.  My wife said no
My new friend and I at a dog event, about a dozen years ago. I researched tropical birds for a couple weeks after. My wife said no

I have a pretty broad experience base, ranging from credit card processing on distributed transactional platforms to container management, Docker, and IoT. In my previous roles I lived working with customers, pre and post sales. Whether it was giving demos, standing at the whiteboard, or brainstorming around a conference table or computer screen. Case in point: I spent three months in Singapore, working on a proof-of-concept project for a large consumer bank. During that period we allocated at least two hours each day to spend with the customer - designing their architecture, deciding and defending ideas. Coming to consensus with their team. I was helping the customer learn the product, while mentoring our new team learn at the same time. This is what I do. My time in Singapore was both glorious and dreadful. Meet me for a beer and I will tell you the stories (but not Hoegaarden. That was about the only decent beer available in Singapore. Three months. Do the math. I will likely never drink another Hoegaarden).

Now enablement is my primary focus. My current gig was a big departure from what I had been doing at previous companies, while keeping the best parts. This role has allowed me to develop and hone the abilities that were always an undercurrent in my previous roles - conveying information and ideas. Part of a team, yet completely autonomous. Demos, videos, slides, voiceovers (I have been told that I really have a face for radio, which I think is a compliment?).

Next to my laziness, another selling point is that I am incredibly picky and notice every mistake I see (except my own) pay attention to the details of things. A good friend summed it up with “you see the world differently than everyone else”.

I am good with that.