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Software News   Software News : DigitalUniverse 1.6 Demo Released
   posted by BillE on 4-Mar-2009 13:49:59 (3939 reads)
A Demonstration Version of SYZYGY's "The Digital Universe" v 1.6 for Amiga OS4 has been uploaded to OS4 Depot and is also on Aminet.

This is a demo of the latest work in progress, the full commercial version will be available in the not too distant future.




This archive will install a DEMO version of Digital Universe 1.6.
The demo version will NOT affect any current install of the full
version of Digital Universe 1.5.

It will replace any installed older demo version if installed in the
same location. You can keep the old demo by installing to a new location
but the DUDemo: assign will point to the 1.6 Demo directory.



DESCRIPTION

This is a demo version of the commercial software package
"The Digital Universe". It has the following restrictions
and limitations over the registered version:

1. Stars, galaxies, nebulae, and clusters are only shown
in a square from 4 to 7 hours right ascension and -15 to
15 degrees declination. This roughly covers the region
occupied by the constellation of Orion, and is visible
from both the northern and southern hemispheres.

2. The demo version will not allow you to simulate a view of
the night sky later than November 30, 2009 nor before
November 1, 2008.

3. Most of the hypertext encyclopedia of astronomy has been
removed. The exceptions, which remain with this demo
package include:
- the online help on how to use the software
- the description and pictures for the Sun
- the description and pictures for M42 (The Great Orion
Nebula), M43, M78, IC 434 (background illumination for
the Horsehead Nebula), and Betelgeuse - objects which
are located in the region defined by restriction # 1.

4. Only a limited subset of the planetary/moon features maps
are included in the demo version.

REQUIREMENTS

This demo will run on any Amiga with Amiga OS4 or greater, at
least 3 megabytes of memory, and approximately 6 megabytes of hard
drive space.

To play the intro theme tune an MP3 datatype is required. If no
datatype is available DU will still work and simply ignore the sound
file intro.mp3. An MP3 datatype can be obtained from OS4 Depot at
http://os4depot.net/share/datatype/sound/mpegadt.lha


INSTALLATION

The software is installed with the Amiga's standard "Installer"
utility.

"The Digital Universe" requires MUI (Magic User Interface) 3.8 or
later in order to operate. Version 3.9 is provided with Amiga OS4.

Then, just click on the DUDemo-Install icon and answer the
questions. You must do this even if you extracted the archive
where you would like to use it. In that case, just select an
"in-place" installation.


RUNNING THE PROGRAM

To run the program, just double-click on the "DUDemo"
icon. If you wish to bypass the introduction, enable
the NOINTRO tooltype in the application's icon.

The first time you run the software you will be prompted to
enter your timezone and location latitude and longitude. You
can accept the default values if in a hurry but remember to
change them later!

If you wish assistance in using the software, a context-sensitive
help system is built in. Just place the mouse pointer over the
gadget or window you need help with and press the HELP key. If
your mouse pointer is over the "backdrop" window (where the stars,
etc. are drawn), general information about using the program is
presented.


IMPORTANT NOTE

This Demo Version of The Digital Universe v1.60 will NOT conflict
with nor cause any operational problems if you already have any
older versions.

Trying out this demo will *not* lock you into an irreversible
upgrade path !


Download:
http://aminet.net/package/misc/sci/DUDemo
    

STORYID: 4805
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PosterThread
TMTisFree 
Re: DigitalUniverse 1.6 Demo Released
Posted on 4-Mar-2009 15:18:21
#1 ]
Super Member
Joined: 6-Nov-2003
Posts: 1487
From: Nice, so nice

All good but what are the new features (if any)?

I was a little deceived by DU. There was such a (PD) program called VWorlds dated 1996 that was very much more intuitive to use and with many features.

Keep them coming, please.

Bye,
TMTisFree


_________________
The engineering approach to our non-problems: "build a better washer".
The scientific approach to our non-problems: "find a new energy source".
The environmentalist approach to our non-problems: "stop washing your shirts".

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Phantom 
Re: DigitalUniverse 1.6 Demo Released
Posted on 4-Mar-2009 16:23:08
#2 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 2-Aug-2007
Posts: 2047
From: Unknown

All I remember from this kind of programs, was Distant Suns. But this one, looks very promising.


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bernd_afa 
Re: DigitalUniverse 1.6 Demo Released
Posted on 4-Mar-2009 16:40:18
#3 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 14-Apr-2006
Posts: 829
From: Unknown

>All I remember from this kind of programs, was Distant Suns. But this one, looks >very promising.

there is digital almanac opensource and it is port to MOS and work on 68k amiga os and warpup.

http://aminet.net/package/misc/sci/DA3V56ISO

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BillE 
Re: DigitalUniverse 1.6 Demo Released
Posted on 4-Mar-2009 16:46:13
#4 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Nov-2003
Posts: 1184
From: Northern Scotland

Somewhere along the line the URL of the webpage went missing, I was sure I had inlcuded it, maybe not.

For further details see:
http://www.digitaluniverse.org.uk/


A history file with the new features is included in the archive - but by request I will add them here too.


=============================================================================

HISTORY - DIGITAL UNIVERSE 1.6 (Demo Version) for Amiga OS4.x
=============================================================


Introduction
============

The last public release of The Digital Universe was v1.5.

This archive will install a DEMO version of Digital Universe 1.6.
The demo version will NOT affect any current install of the full
version of Digital Universe 1.5.

It will replace any installed older demo version if installed in the
same location. You can keep the old demo by installing to a new
location but the DUDemo: assign will point to the 1.6 Demo directory.
===========================================================================



Bugs fixed from version 1.5
===========================

Previously Star Trails when enabled could be used inappropriately often
resulting in incomprehensible displays. Now, when enabled Star Trails are
only active when stepping forwards or backwards through time and not when
moving around the sky nor zooming through the display.

The Reports in 1.5 only calculated data for the Sun and Miscellaneous
Objects. The planets and their moons either had incorrect data or none
at all.

Planetary ring colours did not change if selecting between colour and
greyscale rendering or for featureless plotting.

The Display Window GUI did not recognise initial setting of coloured
planet rendering button. The planet would display in the appropriate
colour but the button was set to disabled and caused incorrect behaviour
when Use/Save was pressed.

There was a Precession bug, discovered by comparison to direct observation.
If Precession was disabled the Planets precessed to the current date and
Stars defaulted to J2000. If Precession was enabled DU worked fine as all
precessed to the defined epoch date. In v1.6 the planets will be precessed
by default to J2000 to be consistent with the other objects. Note the
effect would have been small before as it gets larger as we move further
away from the year 2000.

A bug in which trails would be cleared if pressing time advance keys too
quickly has been fixed.

There was no limit applied to zooming in so unrealistic fields of view were
possible in v1.5. Now a limit is applied with an alert window.

There was no limit to prevent further planet plotting beyond its maximum
range. V1.5 would first plot nothing and then start to plot the planet at
incorrect sizes. Now a limit is applied with an alert window.

There was no limit to prevent DU advancing beyond its acceptable minimum
and maximum dates. Now DU will not allow dates outside the +/- 100,000 year
range.

RA/Dec grid lines caused extreme slow down if zoomed in too far, a limit
has been applied below which the grid is not plotted.

Aborting Printout was slow, now DU does not wait for the printer to return.

Planet grid corruption occured when zoomed in very high.

An occasional error with horizon measurement ticks has been fixed.
===========================================================================



New Features and Enhancements for version 1.6
=============================================

The Environment Window has been re-written including
New Time Zone, New Home Location options.

A new Time Zone option (the default) has been added which takes the
time from the OS4 system time and will also allow for daylight time
settings. No longer do you need to change your time zone in DU twice a
year. There will obviously be still occasions when it is appropriate
to specify a specific time zone manually - see DU Help Guide.

A new Home Location (default) has been added as well as the "Other"
setting. By defining a Home which you can name, it is possible to
use "Other" to temporarily model other locations that are not pre-
defined.


The Misc. Object Window has been re-written to allow better sorting
of the Object columns. The Numbered Asteroids are in a slightly different
format - see below. Also the internal files used for selected objects is
better - see below.


Twilight rendering has been much improved for v1.6.

Planet plotting is now slightly faster. Planets are much better labelled
with font size depending upon the size of the object.

Star Plotting has been rewritten since v1.5. Older versions of DU were
written when we had small screen resolutions but the plots could become
lost on today's high resolution TFT screens. Only the very faint stars are
now one pixel and the range of 'over-size' star images has been greatly
increased. Also brighter stars stand out more from the fainter ones. Due
to this improvement using a limiting magnitude one less than you were
previously used to will now give similar results. A limiting magnitude
of 7 will show the stars approximately to what you will actually see in
the real sky when using a Medium Size View.

NGC plotting - deep sky objects are less intrusive against the starry
background.

Many lists in the GUI windows are now sortable by type header.

Better string handling using betterstring.mcc allows better support for
cut/copy/pasting between text gadgets.

PGC IDs are now shown for NGC objects in the Information Window.

Control panel RA, Dec and Field handling improved. Previously each had
to be set separately, so changing all involved three redraws of the DU
display. Now each gadget can be altered individually and then the next by
clicking or tabbing between. All three values are set when only one of
the gadgets is returned.

Less cluttered planet grid drawing, with more stages between drawing a
simple line and the full grid with complete labelling.

New Status Line. This is an optional small window at the bottom of the
display. It replaces the old method of displaying the time directly on
the celestial backdrop. As well as showing the time the Status Line shows
the real time equatorial co-ordinates under the mouse pointer. It also
displays whether DU is in Manual or Automatic Time Advance Mode. Before
the time is displayed the Status Line displays the progress of the drawing
of the display - blink and you will miss it.

New Statistics Window. A new window showing some parameters of the current
display. For example the limiting magnitudes set in the Display Window are
only applicable to a 40 degree field of view. The information shown in the
Statistics Window applies to the current field of view.

New Alert Window. Some transitory events will now display a short message
and a beep to alert when the event has occurred. See DU Help Amiga Guide
for further details. The window will auto close after a brief period. A
new menu option will show the last alert message.

Repeat function for cursor keys and numeric keypad keys if the keys are
held down.

The Milky Way is now drawn. This is disabled if star trails are enabled to
prevent the display becoming a complete mess.

The mouse cursor will return to last clicked object after closing Info
window or Multi Object Window. Previously the object whose data had been
shown could not be easily located again. Now its position is returned to.

Using the C key with shift is the same as shift left mouse click.

All labelling is now less cluttered as it uses +1.5 magnitude cutoff above
the limiting magnitude before an object is labelled.
===========================================================================




Databases and Help Files
========================

Updated images for many objects viewed from the Amiga Guide files. This
is an ongoing process.

Many more planetary feature maps. Stored in own folder.

Numbered Asteroid format changed. This is in order to allow sorting
by number as well as name. Using the old data will not adversly affect
DU but would lose fully functional sorting. It is best to copy the new
data for numbered Asteroids to the Selected window from the new files.

The internally created du.miscobj replaces old du.miscobjs file. The old
data is in a different format. At best this will display garbage in the
Selected Objects list, at worst it can crash DU hence the change in the
name of the file. Do NOT try to use your old du.miscobjs file by renaming
it to du.miscobj. A conversion utility provided with the full Digital
Universe 1.6 update can convert an old file to the new format. As stated
above however it is best to re-create any entries for numbered asteroids.


Replaced all occurrences of "showpic" in the Guide files by
"DUOS4:showpic" (or DUDemo:showpic in the Demo Version).
This ensures that any Search results will be able to display images.
===========================================================================


Current Known Bugs
==================

The alpha symbol does not work with NList class (same code used as a non
breaking space) so may appear blank in the Info Window. This has been fixed
in a new beta version of NList, and of course fixed in a future public
version of NList. Update to the latest NList when available to fix this.
===========================================================================




Under the Bonnet Stuff
======================

A lot of work has been done on the Digital Universe code that will not be
readily seen by the end user. The code has been tightened, optimised and
will hopefully be much easier to maintain for future development.

Compiled using newlib instead of clib2.
===========================================================================

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BillE 
Re: DigitalUniverse 1.6 Demo Released
Posted on 4-Mar-2009 16:49:08
#5 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Nov-2003
Posts: 1184
From: Northern Scotland

Quote:
All I remember from this kind of programs, was Distant Suns. But this one, looks very promising.



There was also a version of DU (v1.03) in the old 68k days too. Unlike Distant Suns where Amiga development stopped - typical story of most Amiga software - Digital Universe is still in development


Bill.

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BillE 
Re: DigitalUniverse 1.6 Demo Released
Posted on 4-Mar-2009 16:51:15
#6 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Nov-2003
Posts: 1184
From: Northern Scotland

Quote:
there is digital almanac



The WarpOS version of DA does work on OS4 too, though it is a bit flakey and does tend to crash a lot.

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spotUP 
Re: DigitalUniverse 1.6 Demo Released
Posted on 4-Mar-2009 18:42:35
#7 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 19-Aug-2003
Posts: 2896
From: Up Rough Demo Squad

SOLID!


_________________
AOS4 Betatester, Peg2, G4@1ghz, Radeon 9250 256mb, 1gb RAM.

http://www.asciiarena.com
http://www.uprough.net

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robo-ant 
Re: DigitalUniverse 1.6 Demo Released
Posted on 4-Mar-2009 19:10:56
#8 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 3-Feb-2008
Posts: 192
From: The anthill to the west of the silver maple

@BillE

I'm glad to see that there is an upgrade from the old 68K 1.03 version. Why no CD sent outside Europe?

Anyway, I'm looking forward to trying the 1.6 demo when my Sam arrives.

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BillE 
Re: DigitalUniverse 1.6 Demo Released
Posted on 4-Mar-2009 20:02:59
#9 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Nov-2003
Posts: 1184
From: Northern Scotland

@robo-ant

Quote:
Why no CD sent outside Europe?


Other than the cost of it, none. I only costed the price within the EU but just email me or fill in the Contact Us form at http://www.digitaluniverse.org.uk/

I also expected most folk these days to want the download option, the CD option was really only for those not wanting to wait for the download system to be set up for the early days of v1.5. Though surprisingly quite a few still wanted it on CD later on.

If anyone wants a CD version let me know.

In fact both v1.5 and the update would be on the same CD to avoid having to grab the 1.6 update online.

Anything is possible. Just ask :o)


Likewise if anyone wants specific features adding to DU please TELL ME. I cannot add things I do not know people want but am willing to do so, within my programming abilitties of course.



Bill.

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TMTisFree 
Re: DigitalUniverse 1.6 Demo Released
Posted on 5-Mar-2009 16:40:48
#10 ]
Super Member
Joined: 6-Nov-2003
Posts: 1487
From: Nice, so nice

Quote:
Likewise if anyone wants specific features adding to DU please TELL ME. I cannot add things I do not know people want but am willing to do so, within my programming abilitties of course.
Thanks for this offer. I will see what can be done after the v1.6 release as I suppose you have locked the feature list already.

Bye,
TMTisFree


_________________
The engineering approach to our non-problems: "build a better washer".
The scientific approach to our non-problems: "find a new energy source".
The environmentalist approach to our non-problems: "stop washing your shirts".

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BillE 
Re: DigitalUniverse 1.6 Demo Released
Posted on 5-Mar-2009 19:30:15
#11 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Nov-2003
Posts: 1184
From: Northern Scotland

Quote:
Thanks for this offer. I will see what can be done after the v1.6 release as I suppose you have locked the feature list already.


Way too late for 1.6 now of course!

But plenty of time for v1.7 and the 2.x series.

Things easy to impliment will go in 1.7, anything more complex will be left for v2.

The main problem I have is no one ever tells me what they want despite having a DU forum on Amigans also for much longer a DU mailing list which I set up in the 68k days long before I even got involved in the development side.

What I do NOT want to do however, is pictures drawings and other poor quality glitz like a lot of other 'professional' apps like Starry Night Pro do. So don't even suggest those


Bill.

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Framiga 
Re: DigitalUniverse 1.6 Demo Released
Posted on 6-Mar-2009 16:16:40
#12 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 5-Jul-2003
Posts: 2212
From: Unknown

Congratulations! very interesting app.

I have 2 little issues here installing on AOS 4.0 classic:

1- once installed, DU ask for an additional assign ... DUOS4:

2- (here i'm still trying to understand whats wrong) the install script defaults to Work:

If i try to pick another location, i get a crash from the installer

The weird thing if this happens ONLY on one of my partition with an underscore in its name. SFS_2:

PS- probably a local issue and or an installer bug.

This happens because i have 2 partitions named SFS: and SFS_2:

Just tryed to rename the SFS: partition to SFS_3: and the installer doesn't crash.

Last edited by Framiga on 06-Mar-2009 at 04:28 PM.


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BillE 
Re: DigitalUniverse 1.6 Demo Released
Posted on 6-Mar-2009 17:57:17
#13 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Nov-2003
Posts: 1184
From: Northern Scotland

Quote:
1- once installed, DU ask for an additional assign ... DUOS4:


It should be asking for DUDemo not DUOS4 which is the assign the full version uses. What is the name and size of the executable you are using. It should be DUDemo and 1315420 bytes. It sounds as if you are trying to run an executable called DigitalUniverse instead ?

Quote:
2- (here i'm still trying to understand whats wrong) the install script defaults to Work:


In which case the assign "DUDemo:" should bet set in your user-startup as "Work:DUDemo".

Email me at bill at digitaluniverse dot org dot uk with more details or use the Contact Us button at http://www.digitaluniverse.org.uk

We should be able to solve this quite easily.


Bill.

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Framiga 
Re: DigitalUniverse 1.6 Demo Released
Posted on 6-Mar-2009 18:44:47
#14 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 5-Jul-2003
Posts: 2212
From: Unknown

no, no its the DUDemo and its correctly assigned/installed

;BEGIN DUDemo
assign DUDemo: "SFS:DUDemo"
;END DUDemo

If i run DUDemo, the intro starts ... skipping it the DUOS4: assign requester appeares.

DuDemo grab

Last edited by Framiga on 06-Mar-2009 at 07:30 PM.


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BillE 
Re: DigitalUniverse 1.6 Demo Released
Posted on 6-Mar-2009 22:15:11
#15 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Nov-2003
Posts: 1184
From: Northern Scotland

@Framiga

Thanks for the feedback, I have managed to reproduce the bug.

I will find where it is and fix the executable and upload the demo again.

The problem is that anyone who has DU 1.5 full version or in my case a 1.6 near final version will already have DUOS4 assigned. So whatever file is being looked for in DUOS4: is loaded without any problem.



If you are trying the demo for the first time then the problem rears its ugly head.

Not too good for impressing new customers is it

For now the simple solution is when you get that assign requester is to click the "Assign" button there and the path to DUDEMO: is already shown in the file requester, click the "Assign" button in the file requester and the application will continue.

It is a temparary fix until I have found the problem and uploaded a new dudemo.



Bill.

PS. Aha I have found it now, it is the milky way data I have it hard coded for DUOS4:. It should have been DUASSIGN which is DUOS4: for the normal compile and DUDEMO: for the demo compile.

The new compile works when there is no DUOS4: assign already set up. Getting tired now but will upload the new file tomorrow.

Many thanks for finding this bug, it is one that I and my beta testers would certainly miss, as would anyone who had v1.5 of DU already.

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Framiga 
Re: DigitalUniverse 1.6 Demo Released
Posted on 7-Mar-2009 14:04:00
#16 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 5-Jul-2003
Posts: 2212
From: Unknown

you're wellcome, you deserve it! its a very interesting app


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BillE 
Re: DigitalUniverse 1.6 Demo Released
Posted on 7-Mar-2009 15:47:03
#17 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Nov-2003
Posts: 1184
From: Northern Scotland

I have posted a new version of the dudemo.lha to OS4Depot (currently in Uploads) and Aminet (only just sent so may take a while).

This fixes the bug as outlined by Framiga.

However, anyone who has already downloaded the dudemo.lha prior to 07/03/2009 need not download the whole archive again but can download a file containing just the DUDemo executable (which is all that has changed) from
http://www.digitaluniverse.org.uk/tempfiles/dudemo_patch.lha

Just copy the new DUDemo file into the DUDemo: assigned directory.



Bill

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Framiga 
Re: DigitalUniverse 1.6 Demo Released
Posted on 7-Mar-2009 19:21:22
#18 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 5-Jul-2003
Posts: 2212
From: Unknown

ok, fixed now ... thank you!


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