Last updated: 29 March 2009

This page is for user comments on Astronomy software for the Windows (including the Meade AutoStar Suite), 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 for posting. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message per the Site Email Etiquette. Thanks. Remember, tips described on this site may invalidate the warranty on your telescope or accessories. Neither the submitter nor myself are responsible for any damage caused by using any contributed tips.

Subject:	Vista and Meade Software issues, problem solved at a price
Sent:	Saturday, March 28, 2009 16:21:23
From:	Dick Hoey (
I bought a new (but not state of the art) ASUS U405D laptop. Had the
Geek Squad erase Vista 64, partition the drive to be dual bootable,
loaded XP, then Vista 64.  Lessons learned.  The top of the line laptops
are just not designed for XP and no drivers are available.  I tried 2
expensive machines and it just couldn't be done.  I have tried "VM"
software and the cost was more then software modification.  It was an
expensive way to solve the problem but it works and it is fast!!  DH

Subject:	Meade ETX with SErial to usb adapter
Sent:	Friday, March 20, 2009 12:54:59
From:	Stephen Colangelo (
So i have connected my meade etx 90 ec's autostar to the computer
connector kit and attached the end of that to a serial to usb adapter
and ran windows on my mac. so how do i connect to it from the computer.
what do i have to do
Mike here: What you need to do depends on WHAT you want to do with the connection. It also depends on whether you have Windows or Mac OS X drivers for the USB-serial adapter. But basically if you want the AutoStar from your computer, then you would use the appropriate application from Meade (Windows) or AutoStarX (Mac OS X). If you want to control the telescope, then again, there are apps (free, shareware, commercial) that can do that for both OSes.


great to know that i can just use my mac. i was running emulators for
windows to run the telescope. i just wanted to control it from the
computer and do DSI imaging at the same time
Mike here: Well, yes and no. The Meade AutoStar Suite for the DSI imaging is Windows only. But you can control and update the AutoStar from Mac OS X. By the way, the link to AutoStarX is on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page.


autostarx only updates it. i want to control it.
Mike here: Check out Scopedriver, Astroplanner, or one of the higher end planetarium apps. I use Voyager on my MacBook Pro. There are reviews on the Accessory Reviews: Software page.
Subject:	Meade Autostar suite camera substitution driver?
Sent:	Wednesday, March 18, 2009 11:50:48
From:	stange (
I wonder if Richard knows whether a driver or converting program exists
that can emulate the LPI so that a composite video (live) picture can be
used to guide in the Autostar suite's software. I could not find a way
to make it work. -Larry

Subject:	re: Evolutions in Autostar Suite?
Sent:	Sunday, March 15, 2009 18:05:35
From:	richard seymour (
Meade did document many of the major changes, but it was done
more or less as advertising on their web site.

The main differences between the original v1 and the current v5 AutostarSuite
are the addition of "Envisage" as the primary astrophotography package,
with its "Drizzle" capabilities.  This arrived with the advent of the
DSI camera.

The newest "StarMap" has an improved "hand control panel" for
operating the Autostar remotely (the more fully-functioned
Remote Handbox is still there).

I've run all three versions (the numbers and versions were
confusing... if you downloaded the "4th" version, the StarMap's
Help/About said it was 3.something).  I consider the newest
version "the best", but i still use the "LPI Imager" program
(which cae with v1, but required driver updates to operate)

Although it would be nice to have detailed update logs, they can
also be confusing and intimidating to people who don't understand
programming.  The Autostar Updater (ASU) used to come with -very-
detailed logs (the ReadMe's from the 2000 and 2001-era versions),
but the only useful information to be gleaned from them was
"be happy you're running a newer version".

The ReadMe's associated with the Autostar firmware updates fall
in the middle.. they usually do mention a few of the things
tweaked between version, but frequently vaguely, and "fixed the XXX"
was not always correct.  "Attempted to fix the XXX" would have been
more accurate.
And they -never- had the (would have been useful) "broke the YYY".

have fun


From:	stange (
Good information Richard.
Especially liked your summarized comments. e.g., "X, Y, & Be happy..."
Reminded me of  "Bridge on the River Kwai"
Mike here: One of my all-time favorite movies!
Subject:	Evolutions in Autostar Suite?
Sent:	Friday, March 13, 2009 00:31:59
From:	stange (
Have tried to find ANY source which will show the evolution or changes
made in the autostar suite in a logical manner of developement over time
without any success at all. Is there any source which can explain
Autostar Suite 2003 ver 1.0 upward from that point, with what the
different version changes actually did without downloading the latest
upgrade and taking a chance on unknown changes, deletions, or additions?
Meade is HIGHLY REMISS in making changes without notification of what
those changes are and remiss in not making available all the earlier
versions with explanations of each version change. Also, if you have
time, can I make a copy of my 2003 Version 1.0 ? or is it copy
protected? I do not want to take a chance on ruining the CD with
extended copy operations unless it is a sure thing. -Larry
Mike here: I'm not aware of any compilation of READMEs for AutoStar like Joe Tannenbaum has done for the AutoStar ROMs ( As to the CD, you should be able to make a disk image of it.


That was another issue I have been dealing with. Good info Mike. Now we
can see how far to go on upgrades and why. I do have an original Ver.
32Ea and was afraid to change it not knowing if I could reverse it back
to original again.  -Larry
Mike here: All the older (and even the current "released" version) are in the AutoStar Software Archive on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page. Remember the warning about updating that was posted in February.
Subject:	Question
Sent:	Monday, March 9, 2009 13:31:55
From:	Ed Stahl (
I'm not an astronomy enthusiast but a photographer.  I'm looking for a
simple program that can show me where the moon and sun will rise and set
on specific dates. I have Planetarium(Palm) and it's great but the
screen is very small and the display is static. What simple program
would run on Windows Vista and show the motion of the sky?  Thanks for
your help.
All the best,
Ed Stahl
Prescott, AZ
Mike here: I just noticed that your message was returned to you as undeliverable and deleted UNREAD as SPAM due to the ambiguous subject line. PLEASE read the Email Etiquette item on the ETX Site Home Page; thanks for understanding. There are many applications that will do this. See the "Software" section of the Astronomy Links page for many examples, from free to commercial. For some online charts, see the "Online Star Charts, Information" section of the Astronomy Links page. Also, check out the Accessory Reviews: Software page.
Subject:	Astro Software
Sent:	Monday, March 2, 2009 13:41:34
From:	Dave Arnold (
There are quite a few auto guide programs out there. PHD(Push Here
Dummy) seems to get the best reviews. And it's free!
He has other useful astro software as well.
Dave Arnold

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