Last updated: 25 June 2006

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.

Subject:	AstroFinder #505 installation problem.
Sent:	Friday, June 23, 2006 20:53:06
From:	Taddonio (
I have bought the #505 AstroFinder software on a CD and it reports an
error during installation while copying the file "MSTTS.exe" displaying
"An I/O error occurred while installing a file. This is normally caused
by bad installation media or a corrupt installation file."  Clicking
"Retry" doesn't make it work any better, "Abort" ends the installation
with the message "Corrupt Installation File!".

Somebody already reported that error in your website.  You answered
basically to return the CD but as it was in 2004 I wondered if you have
found if there is actually a bug since then, and possibly a different
solution.  If this "error" is repeated on my CD 2 years later, I must
guess it is not a faulty CD but rather a software problem.

Thanks for your help.

Paolo Taddonio
Mike here: The only report I find (using the ETX Search feature) referencing "MSTTS.exe" is from 2004. However, if the CD-ROM has not been updated then dealers are likely to still have some bad ones on the shelf. It could be there was a bad duplication run and you got lucky to get one of the bad ones. But don't forget to check for dirt or scratches on the CD-ROM as that can cause read errors. I suggest contacting the dealer for an exchange or Meade directly.
Subject:	re: Starry Night and the 125pe
Sent:	Wednesday, June 21, 2006 19:57:42
From:	richard seymour (
You asked:
> Does it replace autostar?

No.  The Autostar still has to be attached:
The serial cable plugs into the Autostar,
then the Autostar interprets the serial (Starry Night) commands,
and then the Autostar tells the motors what to do.

> Would alignment be different?

Not really.  Most of the StarryNight-like programs expect you
to align the Autostar telescope -before- taking control with
the program

have fun
From: (
Thanks for the information.  The info I got from Starry Night was not
very specific.  I think I may purchase Starry Night Astrophoto Suite, at
least that is what the company recommends based on my equipment.  I am
still researching since the program is almost $300...
Thanks again..
Mike here: Feel free to write up a review and I'll post it!


There are many less expensive alternatives.

Cartes du Ciel  is freeware.  And very powerful.

Astroplanner is cheap ($30), not as good a planetarium program
as StarryNight/Cartes du Ciel, but has dozens of -other- features
they lack (massive catalogs, generates Autostar Tours, etc.)

Meade's Autostar Suite.  For $99 (with the LPI) to $400 (with the DSI)
comes with a camera along with the software.

Starry Night (and the others, such as TheSky and RedShift)
is available in a variety of versions, prices all over the map.
Starry Night's "scope driver" is actually the freeware package
known as ASCOM.  Which also serves as the driver layer for a number
of other packages (but not all).

If you can find Meade's -old- 505 cable package -with- their included
software bundle, it was really StarryNight Bundle Edition 2.2
A rather small star catalog, but everything else (telescope control)
is/was fully functional (once you downloaded the updates from StarryNight
and ASCOM).  $50.

have fun
Thank you for the tips...I do have the LPI.  According to the Starry
Night people their software will support the telescope (ETX125PE), LPI,
and my Nikon D70..As far as what support, they were not specific...I am
looking for a more user friendly program and I have used Starry Night
Enthusiast for years and like the interface.

I am still in the early stages of researching, but your input is very
valuable and helpful.
Thank you for the information
Mike here: There are reviews of Astroplanner and ScopeDriver, as well as some others, on the Accessory Reviews: Software page.
Subject:	Starry Night and the 125pe
Sent:	Monday, June 19, 2006 12:39:33
From: (
Do you know if any "Starry Night" software interact with the Meade
Premiere telescopes? If so, how.  Is it like the autostar that comes
with the DSI?
Thanks for your time..
Mike here: Current and recent versions of Starry Night will control the Autostar. And like all "planetarium" software, it is similar to what's included with the Autostar Suite software, but it has a lot more features.


Would you happen to know if it is more user friendly? 
Does it replace autostar?
Would alignment be different?
Sorry to burden you with this, but Starry Night has little information
on the website about this and the program is $250....
Thanks for your time..
Mike here: There is a review of an older version on the Accessory Reviews: Software page. Personally I have never used it; I use Voyager III on Mac OS X.
Subject:	image registration and stacking alternative
Sent:	Thursday, June 15, 2006 16:16:36
From:	Niels Noordhoek (
I tried to make a very easy to use and fast image registration and
stacking application:

Hope you find the time to have a look. Any feedback is welcome. If you
think it is worth while to post a link on your webpage, please do so. 
Kind regards,
Niels Noordhoek

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