Last updated: 13 August 2007

This page is for user comments on Astronomy software for the PC, Macintosh, or Palm OS systems. Items that are more "review" oriented will be posted on the Astronomy Software Reviews page. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or answers to questions posed here, e-mail them to me and I'll post them. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message. Thanks.

Mike here: With the release of Apple's Intel based Macintosh systems, it is now possible to run Windows applications natively on Macs. I want to post some information on using Windows image processing applications (such as Registax, MaxDSLR, etc) on these systems. (No, I don't have one, yet. iPhone purchase comes first since I have a PowerBook G4 17".) If you have a Mac Pro, MacBook, MacBook Pro, or the Intel based Mac mini or iMac models and have tried one of the following with Windows image processing applications, please send your experiences to me at I will compile the information and post it. Thanks. Please specify your Mac model, the version of Windows, and which of the following you have used:

Boot Camp
CrossOver Mac
Parallels Desktop

Subject:	ETX-Laptop Connection
Sent:	Saturday, August 11, 2007 08:39:49
From:	John Beaderstadt (
I've been trying unsuccessfully to connect my ETX-125ATC to my Toshiba
Satellite 40 (45?) laptop.  I have the cable and the USB adapter, I've
downloaded and installed the latest updates from ASCOM and Starry Night
(Starry Night Pro 6.0.?), I've installed the Astronomer's Control Panel
from the Meade disk that came with the cable.  On all but Com 3 I get an
"invalid port" message; on Come 3 I'm told that the computer sees an
unknown Meade telescope.  I've tried both the generic Mead and LX200
configurations, and I get these messages on both Starry Night and APC.

~2  years ago, I had Clay Sherrod do a tune-up.  Could Autostar have
been hosed during the process (at least as far as my laptop is

I had planned on getting a MySky, but I don't want to spend $400 if my
scope won't work with it, and the fact that it presently won't work with
my computer makes me suspicious.
Mike here: Couple of points: 1. The ACP that used to be on Meade's disk was REALLY REALLY old. You might need to download a more current version from ACP's web site. 2. What USB adapter are you using? Not all work reliably with the AutoStar. See the article "AutoStar and USB" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page for more on this problem. I use a Keyspan USB-serial adapter on my Macs with Mac OS X and it works fine. Lastly, nothing Dr. Clay did would have hosed the computer connection. If you are concerned that something in the ROM could have been corrupted you can install the current ROM using software on Meade's web site.


Just did some more research.  Is there a material difference between the
505 and 506 cables?  I have the 505; should I have purchased the 506?
Mike here: The #505 cable is for the ETX models using a #497 AutoStar (has number keys on the keypad and comes with the 90/105/125 models). The #506 cable only works with the #494 AutoStar (ETX-60/70/80). So you have the proper cable.


Been trying to download the current version of ACP since yesterday, but
their download/registration process keeps telling me it doesn't
recognize my email addy.  I sent them an email, but no answer as yet.

Is ACP required to run with Starry Night Pro, or should Starry Night be
able to handle things with no more than an updated ASCOM?
Mike here: I don't use Starry Night but I'm sure it isn't required for the Mac OS X version. Don't know whether Windows needs it or not.

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