Set up an AWS LAMP server connected to a RDS database

Apologies for the lack of astronomy in this post. I just spent 6 hours trying to set up a server, and most of that time was spent fussing needlessly. No one should need to repeat my endeavors, so…. I’m taking what I learned and blogging it to save any poor souls who may be repeating what I do. These instructions should work for any OS X / linux system. Goal: Setup on EC2 an Ubuntu server configured to run PHP software on an Apache Server connected to a MySQL database on an RDS (This is a LAMP server) Uses: This type of configuration can be used for WordPress, phpBB, SMF, and any number of other php online toys Notes: There are two ways to set this up servers. You can either go through the online GUI or use a commandline toolkit. For advanced features...

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AAS Poster: Tweeting Astronomy

AAS Poster: Tweeting Astronomy

Back in October when AAS abstracts were due, I decided to submit something that would force me to think, program, and do something just for fun and not for grants. My original idea was to (utilizing Many Eyes and Processing) do a data visualization of how all the followers of many different astronomy tweeting groups are connected. Why? Two reasons: I wanted to know how much we are just talking to ourselves (if all of my followers follow Phil Plait, why RT?), and I wanted to know what side interests draw people together (Do people systematically follow all things Moon related?). My goal was to start with a group of selected users – NASA related folks, Zooniverse related folks, and people involved in Astrosphere’s projects (365 Days of Astronomy,...

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AAS, editorial in time ownership

AAS, editorial in time ownership

Yesterday I took several pages of notes on the Kepler results (Kepler 10b in particular) and once I have time to chew through those notes I’m going to put together a longer blog post. One thing that occurred to me earlier today is that I’m just not able to write at these meetings the way I used to, and I actually want to write about that. This is a Seattle meeting of the AAS. This conference rotates between four sites (Seattle, Austin, Long Beach, DC) and this is the first meeting of my third post-PhD AAS cycle. Seattle 2003 I presented my PhD work, having just defended. It was a wild meeting for me – my first as a journalist working at Astronomy magazine – and I was trying to learn my new journalism job while still being a scientist....

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AAS Day 1: Cassini & the Saturnian Rings

AAS Day 1: Cassini & the Saturnian Rings

Cassini entered orbit around Saturn in 2004 after a roughly 7 year journey through the solar system. For 5.5 years it has weaved through the Saturn system, in an orbit that has carried it near the moons and over the plane of the disk. Through all of its imaging it has done a whole myriad of science, but at the core of this body of work has been the pursuit of information regarding how are the rings maintained and how do the evolve over time. From observing Enceladus’s geysers feeding the G ring, to the discovery of Daphnis in the Keeler gap, this mission is opening the door to new objects, new physics, and new understanding. Understanding all this data requires modeling how ring material – generally too small to image with Cassini’s many meter...

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