"It’s now December 2009 and TheSkyX Professional Edition has not been released! How is this possible? Your developers must be a bunch of monkeys that sit around and Facebook all day... it is high time to lock those guys up and release TheSkyX Pro already!" -Anonymous Customer
Harsh assessments like the above can be a good thing. They make us take a hard look at what we’re doing and where we’re headed. Yes, despite our best efforts, and blue sky release date estimates, TheSkyX Professional Edition is not shipping. Stepping back, there are many reasons why.
Have you noticed the computer industry is rapidly changing?
On the Windows side of the world,
Windows 7 is showing promise as a viable replacement to XP Pro. Is it time to finally upgrade your ageing observatory computer?
Windows computers with 64-bit processors (so that the 64-bit OS Editions can be used) are now particularly affordable and really, really powerful.
SB purchased a brand new Dell “box” from Micro Center last weekend. It came with 8 GB RAM (remember, 32-bit applications cannot access this much RAM; 64-bit apps can), 1 TB HD, a relatively fast ATI video display adaptor (critical to OpenGL applications like TheSkyX), and Intel's new Core i5 quad core processor running at 2.66 GHz. (Four processors can do lots more work than just one!)
All for $800.00.
The new Windows operating systems (both 32- and 64-bit editions) mean there's new technologies we're trying to exploit (like concurrent processing that takes advantage of every core in your computer) and extensive testing to be done. This takes time.
On the Mac side of the world, or should I say "universe",
Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) is now 64-bit end-to-end and includes many exciting new technologies like OpenCL and Grand Central Dispatch.
Apple's coming out with (and selling) so much new killer hardware it makes my head spin.
Again, wrt TheSkyX Pro, here's yet another new OS with new features and technologies to use. More time finishing TheSkyX Pro.
Then there’s the software development tools side of the world:
TheSkyX Pro, when released, will be built on the latest version of this powerful new framework. We hope to offer true 64-bit versions for both OSes, too. Did I mention this takes time?
Then there’s the TPoint Add On side of the world:
Patrick Wallace recently released a new version of the venerable TPoint Telescope Pointing Analysis Software. Among the exciting new features is the ability to create the “ultimate super model” from your pointing data, with a single button click. No more guess work adding terms when building a model.
We're busily trying to incorporate this new version into the TheSkyX Pro's TPoint Add On.
Then there’s TheSkyX Serious Astronomer Edition side of the world:
All the suggestions, changes and improvements in TheSkyX SAE go directly to TheSkyX Pro.
So, in the end, incorporating and digesting all the exciting new technologies into TheSkyX Pro has conspired to delay its release. Should we be locked up for trying to make our products better in this rapidly evolving climate? Hopefully not.
But the answer to the $64,000 question, "When will TheSkyX Pro actually be released?" will have wait until after the new year.
At the end of the day, we cannot express how much we appreciate everyone's interest in TheSkyX Professional Edition. Thank you. We hope you have a merry Christmas season and a happy new year.
12-02-2009 9:39 AM
Daniel R. Bisque