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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Additional Software (PETs, n' stuff) » Engineering/Science/Simulation
Skychart 3.6 AKA Cartes du Ciel
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Monsie


Joined: 01 Dec 2011
Posts: 633
Location: Kamloops BC Canada

PostPosted: Sat 19 Jan 2013, 21:05    Post_subject:  Skychart 3.6 AKA Cartes du Ciel  

Hi all,

It's been nearly five years since this announcement of a Pup for those who are interested in Astronomy. Much of the software in that release is rather dated, and I don't know the status of the project --though I found a download page for a version 1.01 here.

In any event, I thought it would be convenient to have some astronomy software for regular Puppy releases also --for those of us who have a passing interest in this area but who don't need to run a release that is devoted entirely to this science. While I have always been interested in this subject, it's been almost forty years since I was fortunate enough to take a first year Astronomy course at the regional College (now a University) where I live... Shocked

So I had a look at what is available, and I found Skychart @ SourceForge. It is Planetarium software, though it is not as popular or well known as Stellarium. The nice thing about this free open-source project is that it is available pre-compiled in a sort of generic form, so that I was easily able to re-package it for Puppy Linux. I put it together in Wary Puppy, but that doesn't really matter, as it should run on most 32 bit Puppies. For those interested, there are also 64 bit compilations available for Linux based systems that can be re-packaged. Skychart is a full featured Astronomy package that continues under active development. For those lucky enough to have a telescope with motorized mount, Skychart provides support for many brands of instruments and hardware. Skychart is also capable of providing satellite tracking, though this feature must be run in Wine apparently. In short, Skychart offers a wealth of features for the serious amateur astronomer --features that I have only begun to look at...


The Pet is too large to upload at the Forum, so I have it at Data File Host here.

Monsie
Skychart-gui.jpg
Description  Skychart-3.6 (AKA Cartes du Ciel) in Wary Puppy
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Filename  Skychart-gui.jpg 
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Eyes-Only


Joined: 10 Aug 2006
Posts: 1046
Location: La Confederation Abenaquaise

PostPosted: Sun 20 Jan 2013, 10:39    Post_subject:    

Thank you so very much Monsie for offering this for download! This is almost exactly what I've been looking for. Cool I've managed to have lost a lot of my basic "star placement and constellation" knowledge over the past 15 or so years and it's become a bit frustrating when outside nights to see certain stars and think, "I once knew the name of that one..."

It's much like watching an old-time movie, seeing a famous actor, then asking yourself, "Now just who was he?" His name is on the tip of your tongue the entire day ( possibly the next as well! ) and it drives you crazy. ( Of course everyone here already knows I passed that "crazy point" ages ago! Laughing )

Thanks once again Monsie! Gee whiz... it's too bad that the Puppy "Cloudy-Skies" is no longer available. At least I ended up getting a 404 from the links.

Merci Mille Fois mon chum!

Cheers/Amicalement,

Eyes-Only
"L'Peau-Rouge d'Acadie"

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Monsie


Joined: 01 Dec 2011
Posts: 633
Location: Kamloops BC Canada

PostPosted: Mon 21 Jan 2013, 05:33    Post_subject: Skychart 3.6 AKA Cartes du Ciel  

Merci beaucoup, Eyes-Only

It is always nice to know that one's efforts are appreciated. Beyond that, I am interested in any feedback from you, or others, as to how well Skychart is working for you, what you managed to accomplish etc. Since Skychart is such a busy program with lots of features and capabilities, I think the Puppy Community can benefit from a shared learning perspective. Note also that if you find a bug, you can file a report from within the program --though you would want to check the status of the problem to see if it hasn't been reported already and/or has been fixed for the next version release.

If you are interested in the Cloudy Skies Live Pup I believe that CatDude has a copy stored with smokey01 at his website. Check out the last post by CatDude in that thread I linked to. While I think this Pup may be getting old, and that it is designed for hard core hobbyists rather than the more casual observer, likely it still has good value for some enthusiasts.

Cheers,
Monsie

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Monsie


Joined: 01 Dec 2011
Posts: 633
Location: Kamloops BC Canada

PostPosted: Sun 03 Feb 2013, 07:12    Post_subject: Skychart 3.6 AKA Cartes du Ciel  

Hi all,

Update: I just wanted to let you know that I found out from this thread here how to modify the main menu in Puppy to include a Science category for Skychart. As part of the process, I downloaded a couple of icon files from this site to represent the new Science category and placed them here: /usr/local/lib/X11/pixmaps and here: /usr/local/lib/X11/themes/LaGaBluenight --the latter directory is the actual name of the theme I am using in Wary Puppy, but of course, theme folders will vary per individual. The other change I made which was not mentioned in the thread that I referenced, was to edit the .desktop file for Skychart (-->/usr/local/share/applications) to reflect the new Menu category:
Code:
Categories=Science;Astronomy
This will move Skychart out of the Personal category that I used as the default entry.

Lastly run:
Code:
fixmenus
at the terminal, then Restart JWM from the Puppy Menu... done.

Other than that, there were a few little things I did to polish things up while making this change to Puppy Menu -- though these little "finishing details" were not absolutely necessary.

In any event, if you are interested in those details, and/or have some further questions about how to change Puppy Menu, let me know...

Monsie
Menu-Science.jpg
Description  New "Science" category for Puppy Menu
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Monsie


Joined: 01 Dec 2011
Posts: 633
Location: Kamloops BC Canada

PostPosted: Sun 10 Feb 2013, 00:59    Post_subject: Skychart 3.6 AKA Cartes du Ciel  

Heads-up everyone,

For those who are running a custom menu to include the "Science" category for Skychart or want to do so, and... also want to try an updated build of Joe's Window Manager found here you need to know that the update will overwrite your _root_.jwmrc file to default settings and therefore you'll lose the custom menu entry for Skychart.

Fortunately the fix is quick and easy... --> /etc/xdg/templates and right click on your _root_.jwmrc file to: Open As Text. Add the missing entry for Skychart with your text editor:
Code:
PUPPYMENU jwm-xdgmenu /etc/xdg/menus/puppy-science.menu
Save your changes, then --> Terminal:
Code:
fixmenus
Finally, --> Menu--> Shutdown--> Restart JWM ... you are done.

Monsie

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Wognath

Joined: 19 Apr 2009
Posts: 183

PostPosted: Sun 10 Feb 2013, 15:05    Post_subject: Skychart  

Monsie, thanks for the information about starchart software. Stellarium runs painfully slowly in Saluki, but Skychart runs well.
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Monsie


Joined: 01 Dec 2011
Posts: 633
Location: Kamloops BC Canada

PostPosted: Mon 01 Apr 2013, 04:03    Post_subject: Re: Skychart  

Wognath wrote:
Monsie, thanks for the information about starchart software. Stellarium runs painfully slowly in Saluki, but Skychart runs well.


I have Stellarium 10.5-1 and Skychart 3.6 installed on my main desktop which is Debian Squeeze. System Monitor reports that in terms of ram usage, Stellarium takes 42 mb to run, while Skychart takes 59.5 mb to run. However, System Monitor reports that CPU activity varies between 88% and 92% all of the time when running Stellarium in the background. Shocked On the other hand, System Monitor reports mostly 0% CPU activity when running Skychart in the background, while occasionally it rises to 6%

I haven't investigated this further, so I really don't know what is going on here, but obviously something is terribly wrong with this particular version of Stellarium. Hopefully the program has improved significantly, and the code has been optimized since that release. Aside: I'm surprised this particular version made it to the Debian Repositories. In any event, for those running Stellarium and/or Skychart in Puppy, you might want to run Top or similar application to get such information for comparison... especially if your version of Stellarium is newer than the one found in Debian Squeeze.

Monsie

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Monsie


Joined: 01 Dec 2011
Posts: 633
Location: Kamloops BC Canada

PostPosted: Mon 01 Apr 2013, 04:12    Post_subject: Skychart 3.6 AKA Cartes du Ciel  

Hi all,

Update: I see that Skychart 3.8 is out now, and this latest release has some improvements: bug fixes obviously (although many are for other operating systems) and improvements including: (I noticed) better placement of object labels on the sky, so that there will be little or no overlapping of names on the map.

I will tackle putting together a package for Skychart 3.8 soon.

Monsie

Further Update: I am sorry for a bit of delay, but I really have been "under the weather" for the past couple of weeks... Thankfully, I am now on the mend... Very Happy

So, here is Skychart 3.8 at Data File Host. I will leave version 3.6 available for now... --in case there are any problems with this new version. (Eventually, the old version of Skychart will become unavailable anyway once downloads cease after an interval of sixty days). You will need to un-install Skychart 3.6 before installing the new version, however, the good news is that your personal settings (for example: observatory location) will be saved as these details are kept in the hidden .skychart directory. which is retained after uninstalling the program. Smile Once again, Skychart will appear in the Personal category of the Menu, and it appears that this is now the default location for Science applications in the latest Puppies. However, you may want to create a Science category as I did previously, and while I haven't done this yet in Wary 5.5 I hope it will not be a problem...

Monsie

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Monsie


Joined: 01 Dec 2011
Posts: 633
Location: Kamloops BC Canada

PostPosted: Mon 08 Apr 2013, 02:39    Post_subject: Skychart Update  

Hmmm...

I see that my last post was not recorded as having been edited, so I am writing this now to bump this thread to the front of the line --so-to-speak, since it includes an important update. Smile

Monsie

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Eyes-Only


Joined: 10 Aug 2006
Posts: 1046
Location: La Confederation Abenaquaise

PostPosted: Mon 08 Apr 2013, 08:59    Post_subject:    

Thanks for keeping this very helpful and fun programme updated for those of us who'd like to know, "What's that bright star up there I wonder?..." Smile

I know that having forgotten a lot of my "armchair astronomy" over the years Monsie this programme has brought me a lot of enjoyment. So I thought I'd at least write to let you know that I appreciate your work on making this available to us.

Merci mille fois mon bon chum!

Amicalement et @+

Eyes-Only
"L'Peau-Rouge d'Acadie"

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Geoffrey


Joined: 30 May 2010
Posts: 1428
Location: Queensland Australia ɹǝpu∩uʍop

PostPosted: Mon 08 Apr 2013, 09:52    Post_subject:    

Monsie,

Nice, works in Carolina, I'll test it a little, if all is well I'll add it to the Carolina repo.

Thanks Very Happy

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