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SkyTools, migrate from 3 to 4 ?

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#1 CounterWeight

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Posted 23 May 2019 - 08:15 PM

Hello all,

 

I am a longtime SkyTools 3 user, and LOVE this software, have used to plan for imaging and visual, and like to keep nearby on a laptop while observing.  I no longer image but if you do please read on as I'd love to hear your thoughts too.  Years back had great email exchanges about the difficulty of base lining for NB filters from survey data, etc. for the exposure calc. When I was imaging I loved the exposure calculator, though I was doing long exposure narrowband, and fully understand and appreciate what he has tried to do in the new version. 

 

Wanted to ask if anyone here is using the SkyTools 4, having migrated from 3?  I currently have SkyTools 3 pro and am just curious are there or what compelling improvements in 4 as you perceive them in actual use.

 

I would like to ask folks to keep parroting, speculating, repeating press announcement, all that, to min or zero. in hopes anyone looking for real information can find it easily.

 

If you post in please list your computer type and OS and version for clarity, and how many years you've been a SkyTools user.

 

 



#2 obrazell

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 04:13 AM

The only version of ST4 available is the imaging one and Greg seems to think that visual observers should count themselves lucky to have ST3. There is no projected date for ST4V and I suspect that next year we will still be discussing it. As ST4I is complelely different form ST3 there is no conversion option. You would have to export lists and then reimport them. and then rebuild all your systems. So unless you are an imager then there is no point in updating to ST4I. Wherher or not it has gained much tarction amongst imagers I don't know as you see very little about it I have been an ST user since the first version


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#3 pjglad

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 09:46 PM

Skytools website - "We are currently testing and adding finishing touches to SkyTools 4 Visual. We expect it to be ready soon."



#4 CounterWeight

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 12:42 AM

Ya, that I am looking forward to. Anyone beta testing and can talk about it? If not I understand.



#5 obrazell

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 02:48 AM

Unfortunately that comment has been up for years and as far as I can see is a load of balls. Greg gets very upset if anyone pushes him on where ST4V is.

 

Owen



#6 Tempus

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 07:14 AM

Well, a few of us talked to him and his boss (wife) at the Texas Star Party a few weeks ago and he is certainly more personable in person than he would appear from his forums. From our discussions, I feel very confident that ST4 visual is closer than many think. 


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#7 Steve Cox

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 08:05 AM

Ya, that I am looking forward to. Anyone beta testing and can talk about it? If not I understand.

I don't believe he's started the Beta test yet.  Seems like I read a post on the Community Support forum pages where he should be starting that very soon (early summer or something like that) followed by release.  But there was a post by Greg a short while back that he's not making any estimates or timetables now; seems he's been busy with working through the growing pains of the Imaging edition and its bugs, and then will concentrate on the Visual edition rollout (which is apparently done or nearly done and just awaiting Beta and release).

 

Although I'm perfectly content and happy with ST3 Pro as I don't have touch screen capability on either of my Win10 systems, I can't wait to see what ST4 Pro Visual will have to offer.



#8 Tempus

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 09:43 AM

Although I'm perfectly content and happy with ST3 Pro as I don't have touch screen capability on either of my Win10 systems, I can't wait to see what ST4 Pro Visual will have to offer.

I can tell you one thing I really am looking forward to and that's grabbing an chart/map and moving it around like every other tool out there. The current 'static' charts with no moving and the draconian zoom in and out is tiring.



#9 RazvanUnderStars

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 02:30 PM

I upgraded yesterday, primarily because I found the design ST3's user interface of ST3 very ... quirky and at times annoying, as Tempus mentioned. I love the querying capabilities of ST (3 or 4). I cannot comment yet too much about ST4 (apart from a much improved UI) since I've only used it for about an hour but am looking forward to using it.


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#10 theskyhound

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 09:52 PM

Hello everyone,

 

If anyone reads an angry tone into this, please know that it was not written in that way at all.

 

I don't know if anyone will even read this, but I wasn't aware of this thread until today, and I must say some of the things said here are rather unpleasant. Let me first say that the "coming soon" message on my web site has been there for only a few months. The original text, which was placed about a year ago, actually said "later this year" ! After it became clear that didn't happen, I changed it to "coming soon." Believe me, I felt bad about having to do that, and it is embarrassing. I wanted it done in 2018. I worked very hard toward that goal. But just wanting something doesn't always make it so.

 

I don't generally tell people when software will be finished because there is absolutely no way for me to know. That is the simple truth. It is hard to predict how much time it will take, and it is equally hard to predict how much time I will have available. I am only one person, and I wear many, many hats. I have a business to run, support questions to answer, etc. I think of SkyTools as being like a giant mansion with many rooms. I am renovating one room a time, and I steadfastly believe in being open to last moment improvements while I am in there. Maybe that's my curse. Or maybe that's what makes my software deeper (one might go as far as saying better) than others. In the end, it is difficult to know how long the current room will take, much less the whole thing. All I can do is apologize to everyone for these things and keep working.

 

One last thing: I sincerely don't get mad at people for asking when SkyTools 4 will be finished. The truth is that some people get mad at me when I don't give them the answer they want, or if they push me so hard that I give them an answer that turns out to be wishful thinking. But there is one thing that does make me upset and angry, and that is the "Greg no longer thinks visual observing is important and has gone over to imaging and we visual observers are second class citizens" sort of comment. As a visual observer myself, I feel that visual observers should hold their heads high, and this sort of insecure whining about imaging is beneath them. If I have ever gotten angry, that is the real reason.

 

Astronomy as a hobby is not a zero sum game. Imaging is not ruining the hobby. Visual observing is not dead. In my experience amateur astronomy is not made up of angry mobs of visual observers fighting in the streets with imagers. I do both, just as I am both an amateur and professional astronomer. When amateurs say ugly things about the pros, that upsets me. When pros say ugly things about amateurs, ditto. Same goes for visual observation and imaging. I must admit, this sort of thing really does bug me. I can see how my annoyance at such comments could have been misconstrued.

 

ST4 Visual is coming along nicely. I am currently able to devote almost all of my attention to it, and there is not that much left to be done. But I am not going to hurry it just so some people can complain that I released an unfinished or buggy product. I will work hard, and it will tell me when it is ready. I will let it loose for a short beta test period (just a couple of weeks are planned), and then it will be out. Exactly when that will happen, I can't say. I do hereby promise not to throw things at you if you ask me. :-)  But don't expect an answer either.


Edited by theskyhound, 09 September 2019 - 09:54 PM.

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#11 josiemariahlee

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 10:27 AM

Hi Greg,

 

I'm using Skytool 3 and so grateful for the existence of such a great planning software, together with many many other users. A big thank you! Great experiences certainly make people excited about the next generation and set high expectation. Hence I do understand the frustration from waiting.

 

However, as I work in software development industry myself, I totally understand one can never be 100% certain how long it will take to develop a software. Even at work where is externally financial pressure, we sometimes fail to deliver on time.

 

People probably have asked you this many times but I wonder if you ever considered opening the source code to contribution. I'm sure there are amateur astronomers who could program and would also like to contribute. The source code doesn't have to be completely open to the public as it is a commercial product but open to one or two developers can already help?



#12 semiosteve

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 10:41 AM

I've posted here and elsewhere about my love of SkyTools. As a visual observer the eyepiece views are a big factor as you can make adjust the stars and orientation to match the real view through your scope and me sure that faint fuzzy is not your imagination LOL.

 

I admit I was getting cynical and frustrated and was one of those who expressed concern about being abandoned to the imagers. 

 

My apologies to Greg.

 

For what it is worth, it was precisely because SkyTools has been such a great part of my visual experience observing for many years that I feared abandonment.

 

Mea Culpa.


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#13 CounterWeight

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 10:27 AM

Thank you Greg!  Much appreciate the update. 

 

ST3 has been my observing buddy for years, and a great one.  I'm a huge fan of your software and know many others... 

 

I was/am a win7 user, recently got a win 10 laptop and will load the newer version on that, and keep ST3 on my desktop. 

 

Going into fall / winter not much observing here traditionally.  On top of that work on the landscape and house here required breaking down the setups (Dob + refractor) until completion which will be soon I hope.fingerscrossed.gif

 

Looking forward, and again thank you for the update here.




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