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ST4 availability
#21
Owen,

As much as I too am saddened by the delay for visual, I have to admit the primary 'buyer' these days of astronomical hardware and software is skewed to imagers. If they are the buyers, then intentional or not, Greg's focus on the product that will likely drive more initial sales makes sense. I get that and hold no grudge. I'd probably do the same thing. I have to be honest, SkyTools 3 still works great for visual. Are there little things here or there that v4 will bring to the table? Sure, but I'm still planning and logging sessions. Do I want to wait a few weeks to months, not really but I can.  It's just like SkySafari 6 being released on iOS about 6 months ago and still no date for Android. I'm and Android user to I have to wait. Will I buy SS6, who knows. SS5 works.

The problem is, I'd like to say I'll vote with my wallet and not buy SS6 or ST4 when they are released but the fact is all that does is tell the developer that their product maybe isn't that important and that could result in an even longer for the next version.

I appreciate the work Greg has put in over the years and his product has served me well so there is no question I'll happily pony up to move to ST4 visual when the time comes.  In the mean time I'll use what I have because for my use cases, its still the best tool.
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#22
Hello Gregg, I'm excited and waiting for the imaging version of ST4. I understand that the final product will be in advance of any other program of its kind. I don't want a version that's not ready for prime time. Thank you for your attention to detail, no matter how long it takes. When its ready I'll be there.
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#23
I like to weigh since I been using ST since v.2. 

I'm somewhat amused by some of the comments regarding the "waiting", allocation to a 'secondary citizen status', and so on when it comes to the long anticipated debut of v.4. My goodness! These lamentations are perplexing in light of what v.3 already brings to the table. I've been using v.3 (was a beta tester as well) since it's inception via laptop>real time>GoTo>Bluetooth to a Sidereal Technology controller for years and life has been good.  Smile 


I don't know how much better my observing or personal life will be when v.4 comes out. Honestly as long as my health holds up and I am under clear dark skies I'd be happy no matter. Even, gasp! if it involved pulling out my old copy of the Skalnate Pleso maps. Actually some of my happier times occurred 40 years ago when 'all' I had was an 8 inch SCT and star hopped my way around using charts.

And for any conspiracy theorists out there who wonder whether there IS a real software developer named Greg Crinklaw, attached are two images I took back in 2015. Granted they are just of the back of his head and mainly feature his hat. My wife paved the way for an introduction. She approached him and said: "Mr. Crinklaw, my husband Richard Carner would like to meet you". That's when I got to see his face instead of the back of his head.  Image #1 Greg and son at the Magdalena Ridge Observatory. [Greg, we ran into the astronomer that was the guide at a multiplex movie theater in Albuquerque a couple of days later. Weird!] #2 The Very Large Array National Radio Astronomy Observatory -- Greg and his hat again.  And my 20" rigged out with a platform & laptop. ST is running with an observing program set up.


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#24
LOL! Nice scope BTW.

Oh, and here's a scoop. I don't have the time just yet to do a full announcement, but barring some sort of major problem, SkyTools 4 Imaging will be available on this coming Saturday, September 1.
Clear skies,
Greg

SkyTools Developer
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#25
Short delay. Look for SkyTools 4 Imaging on Monday September 3.
Clear skies,
Greg

SkyTools Developer
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#26
Wink 
Greg,

Any chance I'll be putting ST4 Visual under my Christmas tree?
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#27
(2018-12-07, 06:37 PM)Tempus Wrote: Greg,

Any chance I'll be putting ST4 Visual under my Christmas tree?

Sadly, no. As always, it will be done when its done, regardless of how much you or I may wish otherwise. My primary goal is to make it worth the wait.
Clear skies,
Greg

SkyTools Developer
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#28
No biggie, I was just being wishful! Figured it never hurts to ask. I really am fine waiting. ST3 still does everything I need and more.
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#29
So, no hope for a visual product before 2019 rolls in?

Am trying to phrase this in a way that I don't come across as an impatient, insensitive you-know-what (begins with an "a" ends in an "e").  But my patience is wearing thin...

We traded replies back in August when the imaging version was being released and you had thought we'd at least be hearing more from you in the way of progress reports.  Now, almost 4 months later, not a peep.  Except for your recent comment where you want to make the product worth the wait.

Greg...  I understand that you want to release a product that is as close to problem free as possible.  I won't say perfect because we all know software is never perfect.  There are always problems.  But don't hang on to it to the point that we all lose interest.  

True story...  

When you said you'd try and give us more frequent progress reports, I was logging in to this forum on a daily basis.  That ended a month ago when the silence on this thread became deafening.  Now we've had the most recent spate of comments and now I'm sucked in again.  At least I was until I saw your comment.  All that did was make me mad...  As I noted in that previous comment back in August, that was the 2nd anniversary of you telling us about the coming upgrade (and me passing that news along to my club).  Now we're 28 months down the road and I feel like we're no closer (I know we're closer, just doesn't feel that way).  I don't mind being asked to be patient.  But you've been asking for my patience for over two years.  Sorry...

Here's a suggestion...  

Open up your beta pool.  I know you have a restricted group who have been doing your testing.  But by opening it up you'll get a couple of benefits.  A much wider sampling of test beds.  And you'll take some of the release pressure off of yourself.  You won't have me poking at you for updates because I'll be seeing, first-hand, what the problems are.  And maybe, just maybe, the problems you perceive aren't as significant as you think they are.  Just a thought...

Happy Holidays to you and your family.  ST3 is a great product.  I wouldn't be looking forward to ST4 as much if it weren't.  And thanks for all of your work...

Merry Christmas,

Lou Behrman
A Hardcore VISUAL Astronomer...
Lou Behrman
Ambler, PA
17.5" f/4.1 TeleKit w/ Zambuto Primary (Ursa)
Explore Scientific AR127 riding on iOptron AZ Mount Pro
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#30
Hi Lou,

There are two realities here:

1) I have been spending much more time than I had hoped fixing the bugs in ST4 Imaging, customer support (I am responding to a post as I speak :-) ), and running a business. Keep in mind that Visual and Imaging share an enormous amount of code, and many of the bugs that I am fixing for Imaging also affect Visual. So its not as simple as every moment I spend om Imaging takes away time on Visual.

2) ST4 Visual isn't finished yet. There are a few new big features that are not quite done, and several changes that need to be propagated throughout the software, which is time consuming. ST4 has hundreds of functions and each of those has dialogs.

As for updates, I didn't think people would be that interested in hearing that I had finished updating the layout of a minor dialog, or been forced to painfully go through the way minor planets work (for the seventh time) due to a mistake that was destined to take months to rear its head. It seemed to me that most people would prefer that I worked on these things rather than write about them.

For the record, we are not beta testing at this time. I don't expect testing to take more than a few weeks with Visual once it is ready to go. Also, I did say that it could take months.

Here's your update: at the rate that I am able to work on it, and with the holidays coming, it is not going to be finished soon. Please understand that I am only one person, I am not lazing on a beach, and that there is absolutely nothing I can do to make things go faster. What I really need to do is stop making predictions about when it will be done. That never ends well. It will be done when it is done.

Time spent writing this response: 20 minutes
Clear skies,
Greg

SkyTools Developer
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