The Sky Observer's Almanac project is an attempt to create a computer program/web site combination for amateur astronomers. I first began this project back in 1988. I started it because I was looking for the one astronomy program (preferrably free) that would give me all of the information I wanted for a nights observing. At that time there was (and still is, to my knowledge) no one single program that could do everything I wanted. Remember, this was back in the days of MS-DOS 2.01 and dealing with even two programs meant having to shut each one down when you wanted to use the other. That was more work than I wanted to do.
A lot has changed since then. I have created a few programs that have done some of the things I wanted over the years, but for various reasons none of them ever became quite what I was looking for. In that time we've also seen computers get far more versatile and poweferul than I ever dreamed; computer bulletin boards came and then gave way to the internet and the web; multitudes of other devices such as smart phones appeared that easily do in seconds what once took a mainframe hours; and in general there is a lot more astronomical information available for free than there ever has been. But in spite of all of this, I still haven't found the one program I'm looking for.
The Sky Observer's Almanac Project is my (perhaps final) attempt to create what I'm looking for. While I probably could create the entire program myself, at the rate I'm going I most likely won't live long enough for that to happen. So I am inviting others to join with me in this project. Hopefully together we can create something that is far better and usable than anything I can do on my own. Read on for more information about this project.