Forums Historical Software Bisque Blogs Daniel R. Bisque’s Blog Lock Up the Developers!

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 35 total)
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  • #148571

    rmdesantis
    Participant

    Today is April 17. Is the Sky X Professional being released?

    Mike

    #148572

    Daniel R. Bisque
    Keymaster

    You can buy it at NEAF this weekend (exclusively).  That's where most of the SB staff is right now…

    I'm here today working on getting the store ready to sell TheSkyX Pro.

    #148573

    WirelessDude
    Participant

    When will TheSkyX Professional be avaiable at the on-line store for purchase and download?

    Arnie

    #148574

    Daniel R. Bisque
    Keymaster

    As soon as possible…

    #148576

    WirelessDude
    Participant

    Excellent!!! I have funds in-hand, ready to buy!  ;o)

    #148579

    davoud
    Participant

    It worked — locking up the developers, I mean. I bought TheSkyX Professional Edition upgrade (for Mac) this morning. It is, as expected, smooth, very responsive, and it has an attractive interface. I have used it on my MacBook Pro this afternoon and also on a friend's Windows laptop this evening. The Windows laptop, by the way, is an older one, not so speedy, but you wouldn't know that from running TheSkyX. Congratulations to all on the excellent work!

    And, of course, it's always great to see Tom and Steven and Richard Wright. For those who haven't gotten the word, Richard is working on a couple of things for the iPad. I'm sure we will learn more in due course.

    David, reporting from NEAF

    #148580

    WirelessDude
    Participant

    Oh, goody!  I got my 64GB iPad a week and a half ago and look forward to the iPad version release!  After seeing the Starwalk app for iPad, I expect to have my mind blown by the upcoming TheSkyX for iPad…

    #148808

    trimil
    Participant

    @wirelessdude

    SkyX might be a stretch on the iPad as there are no ports and the CPU is a bit underpowered. Using the iPad as a remote, wireless client makes more sense. A VPN program (there are several in the app store) lets you see and control anything shown on the display of the main PC that is running SkyX (Win or Mac). You could do this with the iPod Touch or iPhone two years ago, but the larger display of the iPad is much easier to navigate.

    #148823

    WirelessDude
    Participant

    Yep…  I use Desktop Connect for my RDP and VNC remote PC needs.  My plan was to do my telescope remote connectivity in this fashion.  However, there is a way to allow TheSkyX for iPad to remote-control telescopes via the Equinox 6 software that acts as a server for the iPad app to utilize.  The protocols used is standard from what I believe.  Starwalk already uses this architechture to allow its iPad app to control telescopes…

    #148845

    trimil
    Participant

    @wirelessdude

    That would work if all you need to “control” is the telescope mount. But once you start adding other third-party devices like focusers, cameras, filter wheels, dome controls, etc., non-Windows operating systems run in to the age-old bugaboos of hardware drivers that were written for a bygone era. ASCOM stuff is never going to find a happy home on the iPad because it depends on ActiveX and other Microsoft APIs. The sad thing about ASCOM is that it kinda-sorta works, for a little while, and it gives us end users false hope that one day all our gadgets will live up the promises in the marketing hype. ;)

    Maybe SB should just include  one of those mini-box PCs running stripped-down XP  with every copy of SkyX they sell — problem solved? — LOL.

    #148859

    Daniel R. Bisque
    Keymaster

    This video might be of some interest (thanks Al):

    http://www.astrophotoinsight.com/…/neaf-2010-software-bisque

    #148871

    trimil
    Participant

    The NEAF video is interesting. Now when CCDSoft pops up an error message and tells me my ASCOM-enabled focuser doesn't work, I'll be able to see it on a portable device!

    Sorry to be sarcastic, but isn't the real issue interoperability? We invest a lot of time and money in equipment that, from my experience, doesn't work very well as a system. Yes, the individual pieces are all fine and dandy — getting them to play together as a reliable system is another story.

    #148872

    destrehandave
    Participant

    As a software developer, I feel the urge to chime in here.  Bill Gates and that dude over at Apple could make all of our problems like this go away in a few months, if they wanted to.  Unfortunately, developers pay the sin offering for the bickering of these immensely egotistical people who are intent on destroying each other.   Personally, I applaud SB and Stark Labs for even bothering with the MAC, Linux, and even handhelds.   Yeah… impressive technology.  But it's like the VHS – Beta wars:  just because one is better doesn't mean everybody is going to adopt it.  Criminy, there's an LX-200 protocol, ASCOM, and TheSky just in this little corner!  Development is expensive, and you have to go for the lion's share of the platforms.  The desires of the masses are great; development resources are scarce and precious.

    My hope is that they get out a great, PC based product, work out any little kinks, and then move on to other platforms and minutia.

    “Software is never finished… only published”

    Just my fiddycents…

    DD

    #148875

    Daniel R. Bisque
    Keymaster

    >>”Software is never finished… only published”

    Oh, how true this is.  If software is ever done, it's finished.

    Hopefully, our investment in rewriting TheSkyX will pay off.  Only time will tell.

    #148881

    trimil
    Participant

    @destrehandave

    The Gates/Jobs rivalry ended ten years ago, and Jobs said as much when he returned to Apple. We now have these incredibly powerful operating systems, but they are not well suited for controlling dumb hardware devices like the ones used in this hobby. Good old DOS will run rings around W7, OS X, or Linux in terms of latency and handling interrupts, and almost anybody can use a simple Basic or C program in DOS to twiddle bits and make the lights blink. The problem is we have peripherals with interfaces from the 1980s attached to computers running modern operating systems and imaging software.

    ASCOM is an attempt to bridge this gap between the high-level OS and the bits that need toggling to run a focuser motor back and forth. But ASCOM is wedded to Windows APIs, most of the market for sure, but the downside is a perpetuation of the idea that it's OK to make and sell dumb peripherals. Sometimes ASCOM devices work just fine, and other times they make me want to throw the whole ball of stuff in a trash can and buy a Dob. I've literally come to dread software updates because afterward it's likely that some device in my imaging system won't work anymore. It shouldn't be this way. Why can't a $4K CCD camera display it's set-up menu as a web page in a browser? My “digital” focuser has an RJ-45 jack on it to receive RS-232 serial commands — how dumb is that? Why can't I send it a message to move to a new position using email protocols over an e-net connection?

    Like SkyX, anything that gets us away from a Windows-centric programming model is in my mind a positive move. A platform-agnostic replacement for ASCOM is needed as well, even if that means we must pay higher prices for smarter devices (for the extra hardware and embedded software). I joked above about including a mini-PC with each copy of SkyX, but in reality similar capabilities can be embedded in cameras, focusers, guiders, etc., using technology available today.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 35 total)

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