Last updated: 22 October 2003
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:	Making a laptop night vision ready
Sent:	Sunday, October 19, 2003 05:05:47
From: (R&JS)
I saw a question from someone who uses Starry Night about how to make it
night vision ready.  The problem, of course, is that the normal setting
for laptops produces a bright screen -- so bright it will ruin your
night vision.

I use Starry Night on my laptop with the laptop connected to the
Autostar thereby letting Starry Night guide the scope.  Starry Night has
a night vision mode.  On the menu bar, click on VIEW, scroll down the
drop-down list to NIGHT VISION and click on that.

If that does not dim the screen sufficiently, check your laptop -- it
should have a way to adjust the screen brightness. On my HP laptop, hold
down the Fn key and press F1 or F2 to brighten/darken the screen.  I
find that with Starry Night Pro in the Night Vision mode, I still need
to reduce the brightness of the laptop screen a few steps.

Joe Schlatter
Mike here: Maybe someday all laptops will follow Apple's lead and add an ambient light sensor to dim/brighten the display and backlight keyboard. My PowerBook 17" has it and it is great. You can see a nighttime photo of it in my AstroPlanner review (the software has a night vision mode to turn the screen red).


From: (Jay)
I had the same problem with AstroPlanner. The author told me to change
the desktop theme to Windows Classic, and all would be well. Works like
a charm.

Jay Freeman - WT9S    
Mike here: There is a review on the Accessory Reviews - Software page.


From: (Dave Wallace)
This is in reply to Spencer Petzold's inquiry about making a laptop
night-vision ready:

You could always go really low-tech and use a piece of red plastic film
over the display.  Best bet would be film designed to be a monochromatic
filter such as is used in studio lighting set-ups, but scour your local
arts & crafts store or try a local department store's crafts section.

Subject:	Making a laptop "night vision" ready
Sent:	Friday, October 17, 2003 20:48:09
We are eager to use our laptop and Starry Night Pro software as a tool
to identify objects in the sky for inquiring passerby and for our own
use. However the option with Starry Night to make the screen "night
vision" ready is not close to sufficient. Please inform us on any tool
you know of to acheive our goal. We are using Windows XP with an nVidia
GeForce 4 graphics card....

Mike here: I don't use Windows so I'll leave this to others to answer.

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