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paying for astronomy software


Ian Kahler
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I have  given a  lot of  thought to some  of  the  software  programs out there, like  The  Sky, Skytools etc. 

I suppose  it is  worth it if  one  is a  serious observer.... but what about the  casual observer.  I find  everything I need  to know  on free software like  stellarium.

What are your  thoughts guys??

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Most of the time I find Stellarium and Cartes du Ciel (particularly that last one) do what I need from astro software. I tried Starry Night Pro V7 for a while but I didn't find it any more useful than the freeware ones :dontknow:

I may try Skysafari on my tablet while it's on sale.

I do use a paper star atlas as well as the above though. The Sky & Telescope Pocket Sky Atlas and Interstellarium are my most used (particularly the former).

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I have TheSkyX - Serious-Astronomer version. It was my first star-charting software-program. But that was obtained prior to hearing about Stellarium. I had Skytools - it was stolen, but I never bothered to replace it. And many others, too. That says something. And many others down-the-road as well. If I learned one lesson fromall the different software I've tried, it's this: No one is best for everyone. No magical program that all can agree is the best or 'pick-of-the-litter.' So -

Try as many as you can. Make your own decision which you like. As you have Stellarium, you can take your time in 'playing-the-field.' Stellarium is definetly one of the very best one's out there. And you can't beat the price.

Happy Hunting!

Dave

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Edited by Dave In Vermont
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  • 3 weeks later...

Free software is great, and there's a huge amount you can achieve with it.  Much of the internet only exists because of software that is free.  But on the other hand I really don't begrudge those who ask for a small payment for the fruits of their labour.  People who write software have to pay the same bills as everyone else and it can be hugely time-consuming to create.

James

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  • 4 weeks later...

The way I see it if you're capable to support a project and software that you like than its a good thing, gives the authors the drive to improve the software. For example I use Nebulosity 3 and Astrophotography Tool, both are great and the small amount of money it costs is nothing in the grand scheme of things, but at least I can count of improvements and bug fixes periodically (in the case of APT).

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On 14/11/2017 at 11:00, MarsG76 said:

The way I see it if you're capable to support a project and software that you like than its a good thing, gives the authors the drive to improve the software. For example I use Nebulosity 3 and Astrophotography Tool, both are great and the small amount of money it costs is nothing in the grand scheme of things, but at least I can count of improvements and bug fixes periodically (in the case of APT).

I totally agree with MarsG76, I also use APT and love it, so have just recently payed the small amount to upgrade, these programs take a lot of hours of their time to produce for our benefit and enjoyment.

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I've spent a lot of money on planetarium software from various vendors over the years, particularly in the 90's. Now I use Stellarium on desktop and Skysafari on my mobile devices. I recently upgraded SkySafari 4 Pro to 5 Pro at full price. Not that I needed the extra features, such as they were, but because I think it's very good value for money and I wanted to support future development.

I wouldn't pay hundreds of pounds for some of the high end PC packages unless I needed a particular feature only available at that price.

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7 hours ago, Paul M said:

I wouldn't pay hundreds of pounds for some of the high end PC packages unless I needed a particular feature only available at that price.

I'm wouldn't either, but if its only a few euros in the case of APT, or $80 for Nebulosity than I do.. but few hundreds dollars for Starry Night or $600 for MaxinDL.... meh... too expensive.... that is why some people find "free" versions of them.

 

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