24 October 2011

Announcing Deep-Sky Planner 5.1

An important free update is available now for owners of Deep-Sky Planner 5. This update introduces the plan document which brings together several of the planning features already found in Deep-Sky Planner, while adding some new ones. This release is the culmination of two major compiler upgrades and 18 months of development and testing effort.

Ease of use continues to be the guiding factor for the user interface. Plans can be built using the familiar drag and drop paradigm, i.e., from a catalog search report to a plan report. Plan report content and screen layout are entirely configurable, accommodating even a small netbook screen. In fact, this release was beta tested on netbook computers. Accuracy and speed guide the underlying processing of plans, even in real-time at the telescope.

Deep-Sky Planner 5.1 ships with several sample plans. Others are available by download from the deepskyplanner Yahoo group. Only licensed owners of Deep-Sky Planner 5 may join the deepskyplanner Yahoo group. Licensed owners are also encouraged to contribute plans for other users to download.

13 October 2011

DSP5.1 Update - Coming Soon!

Testing has gone very well, and we are now working with a release candidate. Test team members are using the release candidate to create observing lists both for personal use during the fall observing season and for sharing with other DSP users. Look for these observing lists to be distributed through the deepskyplanner Yahoo Group until a web application can be built to manage them.

A separate tool (Plan Converter) has been built that converts a DSP observing list file to an Argo Navis User Catalog file which can be uploaded to the Argo Navis using Argonaut. This tool will be available through the Deep-Sky Planner Community on the Knightware website. Knightware thanks Wildcard Innovations for their kind support while building this tool.

A preview video has been posted on the Knightware YouTube channel that demonstrates plan building and use while observing. It's short but highlights the new plan document features.

Finally, an official release date can be revealed - the final week of October. We are aiming for October 25. This will be a free update (download) for owners of Deep-Sky Planner 5. If you don't already have DSP5, you can get it by digital delivery (or on CD) from the Knightware website.