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It is often said that so much of the software used in amateur astronomy is written for Windows that the use of Windows becomes mandatory. Even Mac-users have to run Windows, it is said.


This is slowly beginning to change with more astronomy software written for  Mac OS X.


The purpose of ClearAndDark is to continue this trend by releasing software applications to control third-party hardware which, until now, were beyond the reach of Mac OS X. These applications will be distributed via Apple's Mac App Store.


We additionally have designs for some hardware projects which also provide functionality previously unavailable with a Mac. In this case the designs will be made available on this site, but these will be very much do-it-yourself projects. We may be able to provide printed circuit boards and some of the more specialist parts in individual cases.


ClearAndDark is a one-man activity, where the one man is myself, Richard Francis. I have been based in The Netherlands, working in the space business for over 30 years. During this time I have been building satellites, including some of the largest and most complex. By night I try to take astro-photos, weather permitting! As this is not often the case, I have found time to devote to the software and hardware projects on this site.


They were developed for my own use but, hopefully, they will be useful to others too.


My own efforts in building and equipping an observatory and, when the weather cooperates, taking astrophotos, are documented here.

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