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    Re: Learning/Teaching Celestial on the Net
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2010 Nov 7, 15:22 -0800

    Peter Hakel, you wrote:
    "There is a virtual sextant app available for iPhone via the Apple iTunes Store for $0.99."

    That's just a primitive inclinometer: a tilt meter. You tilt the iPhone/iPad, the app displays the angle in degrees, minutes, and seconds (seconds... bah!). No averaging is done as should be for a bubble sextant like this (which might make it quite a bit more accurate). The actual accuracy is on the order of 0.5 degrees. There are plenty of other apps that serve as tilt meters, many of which are free. The only thing that makes this a "virtual sextant" is a rotating (2d) image of a sextant on the display. In short, it's a cute toy, but it's not worth a penny, let alone ninety-nine of 'em.

    PS: Fill out enough software developer surveys, and eventually your odds of winning an iPad increase to interesting levels. Not many people take those sorts of technical surveys, and there are quite a few offering iPads. I figure my odds were realistically about 10% when I WON AN IPAD. Yes, these things do occasionally happen. Lucky me, for once. I can't say that I would really recommend one. It's a big iPod Touch. While wonderful to play with, it's a slave to the iTunes software running on a "real" computer. Too bad.

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