I was hoping to watch Jupiter rise this morning, but I think the clouds hovering over the mountains may be too thick and too low to permit even the bright planet to appear. The moon only recently emerged from them, and still drags a feathery boa of them. I enjoy the moonlit clouds, but Jupiter as bright as it is now is a rarer sight.
I'm currently downloading a 10.7MB file from the Library of Congress American Memory Collection. It's one of those hybrid map/bird's-eye-view drawings so popular in the days before aerial photographs. This one is actually a rather late example of the type, though, being a 1909 depiction (in a dismal shade of brown) of a large section of Los Angeles. It shows the prominent downtown buildings of the era, many of them labeled with the names of the businesses which occupied them. It's a bit reminiscent of early Sim City graphics, but even more crude. I'll undoubtedly spend more time than is wise examining it. It will give me something to do while I'm scratching at my inevitable mosquito bites.
The compression technology used for this file is called MrSID (which name conjures for me an image of Sydney Greenstreet in "The Maltese Falcon") and is a new addition to the LoC web site. I also had to download the special viewer for the files, though when I began downloading the file, IrfanView recognized the type, so I might not have needed the MrSID viewer after all. The viewer has been discontinued by its maker and is no longer supported, so I don't know how it will behave. Well, the viewer was only about 2MB, and I might need it, since I haven't actually tried to open the thing in IrfanView yet. I just hope it doesn't piss off the computer.
Hey, I'm maintaining a decent (for here) download speed of 5.0KB/s! I might be done before dawn! Then I can go out and see if the clouds have parted sufficiently to allow Jupiter to peek through, as they did yesterday.