02 March 2010

Windows 7 64-bit Checks Out Ok

More in-depth testing of Deep-Sky Planner 5 has now been completed with a 64-bit version of Windows 7 (Home Premium edition). Testing was conducted with UAC enabled, and no problems were detected with Deep-Sky Planner 5. Since more and more customers are upgrading to Windows 7 or buying new computers with Windows 7, the test results for the features that seem most prone to compatibility problems are described below.

Windows 7 Upgrade advisor states that a computer should have 2 GB of RAM or more to run the 64 bit version of Windows 7. These tests were completed with 1.5 GB of RAM.

Telescope Control
ASCOM v5.0a was installed. The installation process reported errors registering the Simulator.RotatorSimulator object. Since Deep-Sky Planner 5 does not use this object, the error was ignored. All slewing and syncing operations worked correctly with the Simulator driver. That indicates that Deep-Sky Planner is compatibile with ASCOM. Any particular driver may have its own problems.

Star Chart Interoperation
  • TheSky6 Serious Astronomer edition - worked with no problems.
  • Redshift 7 Premium edition - worked with no problems.
  • Cartes du Ciel 3 - worked with no problems.
  • Starry Night 6 Enthusiast edition.

    The plug-in for Deep-Sky Planner 5 requires an update. This can be downloaded from the Deep-Sky Planner Community page (Licensed users only).

    Starry Night requires an update to support changing the Field of View when you do Show Chart in Deep-Sky Planner. If the Field of View is not changed, Show Chart works correctly. Simulation Curriculum advises that this update is forthcoming and will be v 6.3.8.

    Both Starry Night and Deep-Sky Planner must be 'Run as Administrator'.

    Version worked but the OpenGL service could not start. Video was low-resolution.

    Version 6.3.3 worked but the driver for the test computer's NVidia GEForce 6800 graphics card had to be updated. Starry Night loaded and displayed part of its main window and then stopped with an AppCrash message before the driver update. Note that Windows 7 was installed on this computer within the last week and the graphics card driver still needed to be updated. Java 6 update 18 (for 32-bit browser) and QuickTime v 7.6.5 were installed.

    Important: Simulation Curriculum frequently advises users to update graphics card drivers. Take heed - this advice can save time and trouble.

    Version 6.3.6 - have not tried.

XML processing
Many of Deep-Sky Planner's data files are stored in XML format. No problems were detected with the XML parser or XML transform processor under Windows 7.