Date   

Re: INDI AP driver

Mike Mulcahy
 

I must say this has been an interesting thread which shows the considerable software expertise of folks in the forum.  As a programmer in another age I can appreciate and understand the issues being discussed.

 

I have imaged for about 8 years and operate an automated system using a windows laptop and the usual tools – Maxim, FocusMax, SkyX and CCDAutopilot.  This system delivers images 98 percent of the time and when it doesn’t it is usually a USB problem.  

 

So I ask why would I change this and move to a theoretically better architecture with new hardware and a steep learning curve?  How would Linux with INDI drivers make my imaging world better?  What would it do that I can’t do now.

 

I would rather capture data and process images than experiment with new software.  Until there are real benefits from a new architecture the “business case” for a change is just not there for me.

 

Mike Mulcahy


Re: INDI AP driver

Roland Christen
 


I might have second thoughts against the Mach1 if a different yet attractive and adequately capable mount was also well-supported under INDI, with bonus points if the mount's maker also took an active interest in supporting software development for it.
What mount would that be?

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: Dale Ghent daleg@... [ap-gto]
To: ap-gto Sent: Wed, Feb 21, 2018 3:31 am
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] INDI AP driver



> On Feb 18, 2018, at 2:53 PM, Michael Fulbright mike.fulbright@... [ap-gto] gto@...> wrote:
>
> My use case is probably unique - I love developing software and so working on the AP INDI driver lets me pursue two things I love doing - programming and imaging.

First, thank you for doing this. Being an occasional OSS contributor myself, I can understand your drive. I didn't get into NIC driver programming because some boss tasked me with it; I got into it because I had new hardware that needed a driver for the OS I use and it coincided with me wanting to know how it all worked inside the kernel, on the chip registers, in the DMA transactions - the whole shebang. Some blood, sweat, and tears later, and I had support for my NIC working well and passing code review and community testing. It also introduced me to chip errata, which can be real horror stories.

> In addition to the benefit of avoiding Windows, the multi-platform support of INDI is a good play to help those people with Macs out as well, not to speak of the ocean of ARM based boards and computers which are becoming more attractive as lightweight imaging platforms.

I would love nothing more than to be able to frisbee the HP laptop and only Windows computer I own, which exists solely to run astro software, into the trash bin and replace it with a low-power ARM or Atom-based industrial design (checkout the UPboard baseboards and housings, for example) in a true client-server setup. No more long USB cables. No more remote desktops. Something that won't crap out the moment it gets a micron of dew on it or hotter than 40C. A solution worthy of this decade.

> I don't think AP needs to go to the point of actually monetarily supporting INDI beyond perhaps providing hardware in cases people are trying to debug certain problems.

A-P doesn't even really need to provide hardware. A sufficient modern stance would be for A-P to assist the community in developing a fully-featured INDI driver for GTOCP by publishing its protocol(s). As long as there's someone/some people willing to implement their spec and the community to support it with testing, that's really all A-P needs to do. Doing so would be to both the astronomy community’s benefit as well as their own:

1) More software on more platforms can be made to *reliably* interop with A-P mounts with feature parity found elsewhere.

2) Users or potential users are no longer limited to a very narrow choice of platform and hardware to operate the mounts, reducing or even eliminating the need for costly bespoke solutions.

3) Longevity of GTOCP hardware is ensured - contemporary software can be made to talk to GTOCP hardware for as long as there is operable GTOCP hardware available - hardware which I hope will outlive us all.

Otherwise, I feel like we're living the 90's all over again. I remember hardware vendors routinely balking at releasing chip datasheets so that non-Windows drivers could be developed for their hardware. A vendor that was open about their hardware or proactively assisted the community in writing drivers or software for their hardware without requiring NDAs or cleanroom coding was a newsworthy occurrence. Eventually, the industry as a whole realized that the train was going to leave the station with or without them, so they started falling all over themselves to provide freely usable documentation, even contributing code themselves or directly sponsoring the work. Nowadays, it's normal to see Linux and even FreeBSD drivers for hardware appear before their Windows counterparts... a complete 180 from even 15 years ago when it was normal to have to laboriously reverse engineer hardware in order to make a driver for it, often under a legal grey area due to the DMCA (section 1201, specifically).

The point is, we've seen this movie before. We know the ways in which it can end. Hardware makers eventually realized that they're really just in the hardware business, and the more people who can use their hardware, the better for them. Their secret to success wasn't in their closely-held protocols, registers, pinouts or DMA setups - rather, their secret was in the overall quality of their product, its reliability, the support behind it, and the the ability for users to use their imagination and adapt it to their requirements rather than the other way around. The hardware makers who refused to realize this became more concerned with being acquired for any IP they owned because, suddenly, no one was interested in buying their black box hardware.

> The driver at the moment is working well and more than anything just needs more sets of eyes trying it out and verifying its operation. My hope would be the driver will not require much work beyond bug fixing as time goes on unless AP releases something new that requires new code.
>
> I must end with saying the support I've received from Howard has been exemplary.

This is good to hear. I sincerely hope A-P can help and support your efforts even more going into the future. I, as a A-P mount owner and customer, would love it, as I would be afforded a wider array of options to choose from and can potentially gain more capability through these expanded options. I'd love to see the day when a science mission can publish time-sensitive targets through a web API, and something as simple as a Python script can get that target information by polling that API, check the weather, open the observatory shutter, acquire and interrogate said target, and then shut everything down when the session is over. No Windows .NET programming knowledge prerequisite, no manual point-and-drool interface or wonky runtime needed - just knowledge of a scripting language that is now commonly taught in high schools, potentially running out of cron. One can dream.

I bought my Mach1GTO from A-P 8 or so years ago because it was the best hardware for my personal budget, and I still have no doubt that I made the right call. Back then, INDI was embryonic and the only real go-to solution (pun intended) for well-integrated control naturally involved ASCOM on Windows.. However, time and progress march ever onwards, and here we are today. If I were instead considering buying my mount today rather than 8 years ago, I might have second thoughts against the Mach1 if a different yet attractive and adequately capable mount was also well-supported under INDI, with bonus points if the mount's maker also took an active interest in supporting software development for it.

Thanks again,
/dale




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Posted by: Dale Ghent <daleg@...>
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Re: INDI AP driver

Ray Gralak
 

Dale,

People already make apps that use both or either ASCOM and INDI. Again,
you're
making suppositions about complexity that are best left up to the people
who are
making their apps to decide.
OK, but I *am* one of the people that make the applications. And I've been
involved with ASCOM at the client and driver level almost since ASCOM
started.

Quantify maturity.
By maturity I mean testing against thousands of users with all levels of
mount firmware and the driver doesn't crash and works as expected.


For A-P, the GTOCP protocol isn't published in full and only a
chosen few have access to it in order to do things such as maintain the
ASCOM
driver for it. *Of Course* Michael's work on the A-P INDI driver is going
to be limited
by his lack of access and thus it won't even be as featureful as its ASCOM
analog
due to this basic fact.
I think this is another misconception... there are not many unpublished
commands used or needed by the driver. It must be able to function with the
lowest firmware as well as the latest. It definitely does not use very many
undocumented commands. Most of the functionality is not in the driver, but
in the applications that use the driver.

So, can you or anyone else state functionality they believe is missing in
the INDI driver that is in the AP V2 ASCOM driver?

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center):
http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/ap
cc
Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma


-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 7:35 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] INDI AP driver





On Feb 21, 2018, at 8:45 AM, 'Ray Gralak (Groups)' groups3@...
[ap-gto]
<ap-gto@...> wrote:

Hi Chris,

The real question is this... how many people are not going to purchase
an
A-P mount because A-P doesn't provide in-house INDI drivers?
(I may be wrong, but I think that number is really low.)
So I guess that Software Bisque, 10-Micron and a few others are
frantically
building turnkey Linux solutions for their mounts because they are just
silly, foolish people?
There's a subtle difference here that I think some are missing:

I said "INDI drivers", not LINUX!!!

I think LINUX should be targeted, but the question is INDI or a future
ASCOM
cross platform API.

The primary amateur Astronomy market has been developed with ASCOM for a
long time. And because the ASCOM platform developers chose .Net for the
client library interfaces, most Astronomy based Windows applications
have
been developed with .Net for the last decade. I think it would
significantly
increasing the chances that .Net/ASCOM developers would bring their
Windows
apps cross platform if they could use a framework like Xamarin with a
cross
platform ASCOM API. The advantage of this solution is that they wouldn't
have to rewrite their entire application.
People already make apps that use both or either ASCOM and INDI. Again,
you're
making suppositions about complexity that are best left up to the people
who are
making their apps to decide.

"Cross-Platform" in 2018 does not mean "my app works on <these> chosen
OSes",
as is the case with Ximarian.

It means "the software is effectively language AND OS-agnostic" and is
portable,
without too much fuss, between OSes which subscribe to a minimum standard.
In
INDI's case, it has two options of here: One can port or use its client or
server portions
without too much fuss across any reasonably modern, POSIX-compliant OS, or
one
can be so bold as to implement its published wire protocol in whatever
environment
the person sees fit. If one wanted to implement a INDI client library in
JOVIAL on
PowerPC, go knock yourself out. This is an extreme example, but it presses
home the
point.

Logically, if the same API calls (ASCOM) are used then I think those
applications would require less rewriting and debugging of logic than if
the
applications were rewritten to use the INDI API.
You're acting like the only apps that will ever exist are ones that are
already written
and thus absolutely require the crutch of language and API continuity.

Plus, almost every ASCOM driver is considerably more mature than its
equivalent INDI driver. I think that porting the ASCOM drivers cross
platform would bring a lot of maturity that the INDI driver's will not
be
able to match for years. To me, that is not an insignificant detail.
Quantify maturity. For A-P, the GTOCP protocol isn't published in full and
only a
chosen few have access to it in order to do things such as maintain the
ASCOM
driver for it. *Of Course* Michael's work on the A-P INDI driver is going
to be limited
by his lack of access and thus it won't even be as featureful as its ASCOM
analog
due to this basic fact.

Also, we're talking about what are serial protocol drivers. These aren't
complex beasts
at all, and you're being a bit over the top if you're trying to make them
out to be like
they're some complex monstrosity that is like wine and the code magically
gets better
as it ages. Either purposefully or accidentally, you're trying to spread
FUD here where
it's completely uncalled for. Stop it. You are not being a steward of A-P
products if you
want to go down that unobjective and selfish route.

/dale






Re: INDI AP driver

Dale Ghent
 

On Feb 21, 2018, at 8:45 AM, 'Ray Gralak (Groups)' groups3@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

Hi Chris,

The real question is this... how many people are not going to purchase
an
A-P mount because A-P doesn't provide in-house INDI drivers?
(I may be wrong, but I think that number is really low.)
So I guess that Software Bisque, 10-Micron and a few others are
frantically
building turnkey Linux solutions for their mounts because they are just
silly, foolish people?
There's a subtle difference here that I think some are missing:

I said "INDI drivers", not LINUX!!!

I think LINUX should be targeted, but the question is INDI or a future ASCOM
cross platform API.

The primary amateur Astronomy market has been developed with ASCOM for a
long time. And because the ASCOM platform developers chose .Net for the
client library interfaces, most Astronomy based Windows applications have
been developed with .Net for the last decade. I think it would significantly
increasing the chances that .Net/ASCOM developers would bring their Windows
apps cross platform if they could use a framework like Xamarin with a cross
platform ASCOM API. The advantage of this solution is that they wouldn't
have to rewrite their entire application.
People already make apps that use both or either ASCOM and INDI. Again, you're making suppositions about complexity that are best left up to the people who are making their apps to decide.

"Cross-Platform" in 2018 does not mean "my app works on <these> chosen OSes", as is the case with Ximarian.

It means "the software is effectively language AND OS-agnostic" and is portable, without too much fuss, between OSes which subscribe to a minimum standard. In INDI's case, it has two options of here: One can port or use its client or server portions without too much fuss across any reasonably modern, POSIX-compliant OS, or one can be so bold as to implement its published wire protocol in whatever environment the person sees fit. If one wanted to implement a INDI client library in JOVIAL on PowerPC, go knock yourself out. This is an extreme example, but it presses home the point.

Logically, if the same API calls (ASCOM) are used then I think those
applications would require less rewriting and debugging of logic than if the
applications were rewritten to use the INDI API.
You're acting like the only apps that will ever exist are ones that are already written and thus absolutely require the crutch of language and API continuity.

Plus, almost every ASCOM driver is considerably more mature than its
equivalent INDI driver. I think that porting the ASCOM drivers cross
platform would bring a lot of maturity that the INDI driver's will not be
able to match for years. To me, that is not an insignificant detail.
Quantify maturity. For A-P, the GTOCP protocol isn't published in full and only a chosen few have access to it in order to do things such as maintain the ASCOM driver for it. *Of Course* Michael's work on the A-P INDI driver is going to be limited by his lack of access and thus it won't even be as featureful as its ASCOM analog due to this basic fact.

Also, we're talking about what are serial protocol drivers. These aren't complex beasts at all, and you're being a bit over the top if you're trying to make them out to be like they're some complex monstrosity that is like wine and the code magically gets better as it ages. Either purposefully or accidentally, you're trying to spread FUD here where it's completely uncalled for. Stop it. You are not being a steward of A-P products if you want to go down that unobjective and selfish route.

/dale


Re: INDI AP driver

Ray Gralak
 

And this is a perfect example of one of the big reasons why people do not
wish to get
involuntarily hitched to anything in the Microsoft world.
Dale, I think your anti-Microsoft sentiment is showing. :-)

1. Microsoft is giving out the best IDE in the world for free to most small
businesses and independent developers/tinkerers. And the Community edition
is free to universities.

2. Microsoft has also made .Net open source and a version of it cross
platform It's here whether you like it or not.

3. How about another *free* software application from Microsoft, "Code". It
is available for Windows, Mac, and LINUX and supports numerous languages:

https://code.visualstudio.com/

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center):
http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/ap
cc
Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma


-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 6:59 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] INDI AP driver





On Feb 21, 2018, at 8:33 AM, 'Ray Gralak (Groups)' groups3@...
[ap-gto]
<ap-gto@...> wrote:

Hi Gabe,

Not to get too off-topic, but I might be able to add some perspective
to academics
preferring linux. In addition to the security of linux, it's easier
when I was starting
out to write and compile programs with the gcc/gfortran compilers,
which was
completely free and available online. I could be wrong, but I don't
recall any well
supported and free compilers available under windows.
Microsoft has two choices: Visual Studio Express, and Visual Studio 2017
Community, the latter even has a Mac OS/X version.

The Community edition is more comprehensive, but you can't use it on
enterprise
(>250 PCs or $1M revenue).

The Express editions can be used in enterprise environments but they are
not as
functional as the Community edition.

And this is a perfect example of one of the big reasons why people do not
wish to get
involuntarily hitched to anything in the Microsoft world.

/dale






Re: INDI AP driver

Zac Kruger <z@...>
 

There are a lot more than Microsoft offerings at this point for Windows, and there have been for quite some time (15+ years).

LLVM + Clang started as a research project at my university (University of Illinois) and is arguably the best compiler infrastructure for all operating systems at this point.  And I say that as a Visual Studio / MonoDevelop guy



On Wed, Feb 21, 2018 at 7:58 AM, Dale Ghent daleg@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
 



> On Feb 21, 2018, at 8:33 AM, 'Ray Gralak (Groups)' groups3@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
>
> Hi Gabe,
>
>> Not to get too off-topic, but I might be able to add some perspective to academics
>> preferring linux. In addition to the security of linux, it's easier when I was starting
>> out to write and compile programs with the gcc/gfortran compilers, which was
>> completely free and available online. I could be wrong, but I don't recall any well
>> supported and free compilers available under windows.
>
> Microsoft has two choices: Visual Studio Express, and Visual Studio 2017 Community, the latter even has a Mac OS/X version.
>
> The Community edition is more comprehensive, but you can't use it on enterprise (>250 PCs or $1M revenue).
>
> The Express editions can be used in enterprise environments but they are not as functional as the Community edition.

And this is a perfect example of one of the big reasons why people do not wish to get involuntarily hitched to anything in the Microsoft world.

/dale

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



Re: INDI AP driver

Ray Gralak
 

And for those that think .Net has no place on LINUX:

https://opensource.com/article/17/11/net-linux

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center):
http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/ap
cc
Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 5:46 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] INDI AP driver



Hi Chris,

The real question is this... how many people are not going to purchase
an
A-P mount because A-P doesn't provide in-house INDI drivers?
(I may be wrong, but I think that number is really low.)
So I guess that Software Bisque, 10-Micron and a few others are
frantically
building turnkey Linux solutions for their mounts because they are just
silly, foolish people?
There's a subtle difference here that I think some are missing:

I said "INDI drivers", not LINUX!!!

I think LINUX should be targeted, but the question is INDI or a future
ASCOM
cross platform API.

The primary amateur Astronomy market has been developed with ASCOM for a
long time. And because the ASCOM platform developers chose .Net for the
client library interfaces, most Astronomy based Windows applications have
been developed with .Net for the last decade. I think it would
significantly
increasing the chances that .Net/ASCOM developers would bring their
Windows
apps cross platform if they could use a framework like Xamarin with a
cross
platform ASCOM API. The advantage of this solution is that they wouldn't
have to rewrite their entire application.

Logically, if the same API calls (ASCOM) are used then I think those
applications would require less rewriting and debugging of logic than if
the
applications were rewritten to use the INDI API.

Plus, almost every ASCOM driver is considerably more mature than its
equivalent INDI driver. I think that porting the ASCOM drivers cross
platform would bring a lot of maturity that the INDI driver's will not be
able to match for years. To me, that is not an insignificant detail.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center):
http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/ap
cc
Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 12:37 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] INDI AP driver





Hi Michael,
Sorry, I'm going to play devil's advocate here for a second... :-)
- cross platform support - Mac and Linux users are people too :)
The real question is this... how many people are not going to purchase
an
A-P mount because A-P doesn't provide in-house INDI drivers?
(I may be wrong, but I think that number is really low.)
We'll never know, will we?

So I guess that Software Bisque, 10-Micron and a few others are
frantically
building turnkey Linux solutions for their mounts because they are just
silly, foolish people?

-Chris

---
This email has been checked for viruses by AVG.
http://www.avg.com






Re: INDI AP driver

Dale Ghent
 

On Feb 21, 2018, at 8:33 AM, 'Ray Gralak (Groups)' groups3@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

Hi Gabe,

Not to get too off-topic, but I might be able to add some perspective to academics
preferring linux. In addition to the security of linux, it's easier when I was starting
out to write and compile programs with the gcc/gfortran compilers, which was
completely free and available online. I could be wrong, but I don't recall any well
supported and free compilers available under windows.
Microsoft has two choices: Visual Studio Express, and Visual Studio 2017 Community, the latter even has a Mac OS/X version.

The Community edition is more comprehensive, but you can't use it on enterprise (>250 PCs or $1M revenue).

The Express editions can be used in enterprise environments but they are not as functional as the Community edition.
And this is a perfect example of one of the big reasons why people do not wish to get involuntarily hitched to anything in the Microsoft world.

/dale


Re: INDI AP driver

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Chris,

The real question is this... how many people are not going to purchase
an
A-P mount because A-P doesn't provide in-house INDI drivers?
(I may be wrong, but I think that number is really low.)
So I guess that Software Bisque, 10-Micron and a few others are
frantically
building turnkey Linux solutions for their mounts because they are just
silly, foolish people?
There's a subtle difference here that I think some are missing:

I said "INDI drivers", not LINUX!!!

I think LINUX should be targeted, but the question is INDI or a future ASCOM
cross platform API.

The primary amateur Astronomy market has been developed with ASCOM for a
long time. And because the ASCOM platform developers chose .Net for the
client library interfaces, most Astronomy based Windows applications have
been developed with .Net for the last decade. I think it would significantly
increase the chances that .Net/ASCOM developers would bring their Windows
apps cross platform if they could use a framework like Xamarin with a cross
platform ASCOM API. The advantage of this solution is that they wouldn't
have to rewrite their entire application.

Logically, if the same API calls (ASCOM) are used then I think those
applications would require less rewriting and debugging of logic than if the
applications were rewritten to use the INDI API.

Plus, almost every ASCOM driver is considerably more mature than its
equivalent INDI driver. I think that porting the ASCOM drivers cross
platform would bring a lot of maturity that the INDI driver's will not be
able to match for years. To me, that is not an insignificant detail.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center):
http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/ap
cc
Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma


-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 12:37 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] INDI AP driver





Hi Michael,
Sorry, I'm going to play devil's advocate here for a second... :-)
- cross platform support - Mac and Linux users are people too :)
The real question is this... how many people are not going to purchase
an
A-P mount because A-P doesn't provide in-house INDI drivers?
(I may be wrong, but I think that number is really low.)
We'll never know, will we?

So I guess that Software Bisque, 10-Micron and a few others are
frantically
building turnkey Linux solutions for their mounts because they are just
silly, foolish people?

-Chris

---
This email has been checked for viruses by AVG.
http://www.avg.com




Re: INDI AP driver

Andrew Barton
 

I’m a "want to use INDI". I do most of my desktop work on a Mac and Linux. Windows is only in my life to support my astrophotography gear and I would love to get to the point where I can ditch it. I am not set on INDI. A cross platform ASCOM would likely work for me as well.

About once a year I survey the astrophotography landscape to determine if I can make the move. One interesting new development for me is PixInsight’s inclusion of some INDI tools. 

Regards,

Andy
--
Andrew Barton
520.289.3064

On Feb 18, 2018, at 8:34 AM, 'Ray Gralak (Groups)' groups3@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

 
OK, so the count so far is:

1 is using INDI regularly.
1 has used it, but is waiting for better support.
2 will be using it soon.
5 want to use it .

Anyone else?

So, besides people hating Windows for various reasons, what problem(s) do people believe are solved by using INDI (and LINUX in general)?

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
> Sent: Saturday, February 17, 2018 9:21 PM
> To: ap-gto@...
> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] INDI AP driver
>
>
>
> Then you should ask Bob to support INDI.
>
>
>
>
> ________________________________
>
> From: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...> on behalf of
> 'Steven Reilly' sreilly24590@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...>
> Sent: Saturday, February 17, 2018 8:33 PM
> To: ap-gto@...
> Subject: RE: [ap-gto] INDI AP driver
>
>
>
> Can’t speak for SGP but many of us use ACP/Expert.
>
>
>
> Steve
>
>
>
>
>
> From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
> Sent: Saturday, February 17, 2018 11:30 PM
> To: ap-gto@...
> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] INDI AP driver
>
>
>
>
>
> What is the hot imaging software to use these days? SGP. What will be the first
> Windows imaging platform to support both INDI and ASCOM at the same time?
> SGP. APCC was updated to work with what, other than MaximDL and CCDSoft?
> SGP.
>
>
>
> Who has an in house supported driver for INDI, from Premium Mount Makers?
> Software Bisque (via SkyX For RPi)
>
>
>
> Who needs one? Astro-Physics and 10 Micron.
>
>
>
> Who should most certainly not be last to the table here? Astro-Physics.. 😊
>
>
>
> ________________________________
>
> From: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@...> on behalf of
> Hemant Hariyani hemanthariyani@... [ap-gto] > gto@...>
> Sent: Saturday, February 17, 2018 8:12 PM
> To: ap-gto@...
> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] INDI AP driver
>
>
>
>
>
> Will be using it very soon!
>
>
>
> Regards
>
> Hemant
>
>
>
>
>
> On Sat, Feb 17, 2018 at 9:30 PM, 'Ray Gralak (Groups)' groups3@... [ap-
> gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:
>
>
>
> A show of hands...
>
> How many people here are actively using the astro-physics INDI driver?
>
> -Ray Gralak
> Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center):
> http://www.astro-
> physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/ap
> cc
> Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
> Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
> <http://www.gralak.com/apdriver>
> Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
> Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma
>
>
>
>



Re: INDI AP driver

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Chris,

The real question is this... how many people are not going to purchase
an
A-P mount because A-P doesn't provide in-house INDI drivers?
(I may be wrong, but I think that number is really low.)
So I guess that Software Bisque, 10-Micron and a few others are
frantically
building turnkey Linux solutions for their mounts because they are just
silly, foolish people?
There's a subtle difference here that I think some are missing:

I said "INDI drivers", not LINUX!!!

I think LINUX should be targeted, but the question is INDI or a future ASCOM
cross platform API.

The primary amateur Astronomy market has been developed with ASCOM for a
long time. And because the ASCOM platform developers chose .Net for the
client library interfaces, most Astronomy based Windows applications have
been developed with .Net for the last decade. I think it would significantly
increasing the chances that .Net/ASCOM developers would bring their Windows
apps cross platform if they could use a framework like Xamarin with a cross
platform ASCOM API. The advantage of this solution is that they wouldn't
have to rewrite their entire application.

Logically, if the same API calls (ASCOM) are used then I think those
applications would require less rewriting and debugging of logic than if the
applications were rewritten to use the INDI API.

Plus, almost every ASCOM driver is considerably more mature than its
equivalent INDI driver. I think that porting the ASCOM drivers cross
platform would bring a lot of maturity that the INDI driver's will not be
able to match for years. To me, that is not an insignificant detail.

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center):
http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/ap
cc
Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma


-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 12:37 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] INDI AP driver





Hi Michael,
Sorry, I'm going to play devil's advocate here for a second... :-)
- cross platform support - Mac and Linux users are people too :)
The real question is this... how many people are not going to purchase
an
A-P mount because A-P doesn't provide in-house INDI drivers?
(I may be wrong, but I think that number is really low.)
We'll never know, will we?

So I guess that Software Bisque, 10-Micron and a few others are
frantically
building turnkey Linux solutions for their mounts because they are just
silly, foolish people?

-Chris

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Re: INDI AP driver

Ray Gralak
 

Hi Gabe,

Not to get too off-topic, but I might be able to add some perspective to academics
preferring linux. In addition to the security of linux, it's easier when I was starting
out to write and compile programs with the gcc/gfortran compilers, which was
completely free and available online. I could be wrong, but I don't recall any well
supported and free compilers available under windows.
Microsoft has two choices: Visual Studio Express, and Visual Studio 2017 Community, the latter even has a Mac OS/X version.

The Community edition is more comprehensive, but you can't use it on enterprise (>250 PCs or $1M revenue).

The Express editions can be used in enterprise environments but they are not as functional as the Community edition.

https://www.visualstudio.com/vs/community/

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma


-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 9:09 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] INDI AP driver



Add me to the list of having used Indi, and waiting for better support. I'm one of
those academics that are set in their ways who uses linux and have been a linux
user for 15 years. However, when it came to getting my imaging rig running with
reliable automation, I switched for the purposes of imaging and bought a PC stick.
I currently use SGP and APCC on my PC stick things run quite well. I don't regret
doing it since I see the PC stick as another device that is used as a tool. I did try
Indi and Ekos a few years ago when confronted with getting an automated setup
and found it to be not yet rock solid.

That said though, when it does become rock solid, I'll move over in a heartbeat.
Perhaps that time is now. I've heard it's made great strides recently. I have a lot
more experience in linux and have coded my own sensors and devices that I'd like
to poll for sky and environmental conditions. I know how to do that in linux / python
and have the whole project already mapped out. Doing that in Windows would
take too much time and doesn't fit well w/ my expertise.


Not to get too off-topic, but I might be able to add some perspective to academics
preferring linux. In addition to the security of linux, it's easier when I was starting
out to write and compile programs with the gcc/gfortran compilers, which was
completely free and available online. I could be wrong, but I don't recall any well
supported and free compilers available under windows.


Gabe



Re: INDI AP driver

Christopher Erickson
 

Now you're just being deliberately obtuse and ornery. (grin)


-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com

-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Sunday, February 18, 2018 5:25 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] INDI AP driver

needed windows. I told them that a non-Windows solution would be about
$50,000 more. That's what they chose and that is what we are building.


What more can I say.
But... you just write in another post:

I can build a Linux observatory solution for a fraction of the cost of
a Windows solution
$50K more for a non-Windows solution... you must have used Mac's, right? :-))

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma


-----Original Message-----
From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Sunday, February 18, 2018 4:43 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] INDI AP driver



The UH88 observatory was looking for a new Observatory Control System. I
proposed an ASCOM solution with a Sidereal Technologies Servo Controller II
combined with a servo amplifier. I planned to create several microcontroller
interfaces to the focuser, dome and other systems so the custom systems would
emulate common commercial systems. They refused to accept any solution that
needed windows. I told them that a non-Windows solution would be about $50,000
more. That's what they chose and that is what we are building.


What more can I say.

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Waikoloa, HI 96738
www.summitkinetics.com


On Feb 18, 2018 1:45 PM, "'Ray Gralak (Groups)' groups3@... [ap-gto]"
<ap-gto@...> wrote:


> Part of that is certainly arrogant human bias but another part of that is
better
> reliability, better security, lower hardware costs and significantly-lower
software
> licensing costs. I can build a Linux observatory solution for a fraction of
the cost of
> a Windows solution. And with a web-based GUI that can be operated from
any
> remote computer with a web browser.

I think this is a special case. These users don't personally own their
equipment and don't have to natively use the operating system (and maybe they
don't even know how).

However, it does make for a good business case for AP to potentially sell
some more mounts to academia.

Would you think this same customer type would care if the platform was
some form of cross-platform ASCOM on LINUX?

-Ray Gralak
Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center): http://www.astro-
physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
<http://www.astro-
physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc>
Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver: http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma


> -----Original Message-----
> From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
> Sent: Sunday, February 18, 2018 3:14 PM
> To: ap-gto@...
> Subject: Re: [ap-gto] INDI AP driver
>
>
>
> I have a large number of academic clients that absolutely refuse to let me
build
> obsevatories or other scientific facilities for them that use any Windows
computers
> or Windows software.
>
> Part of that is certainly arrogant human bias but another part of that is
better
> reliability, better security, lower hardware costs and significantly-lower
software
> licensing costs. I can build a Linux observatory solution for a fraction of
the cost of
> a Windows solution. And with a web-based GUI that can be operated from
any
> remote computer with a web browser.
>
> And the best part of a turnkey Linux solution is that my clients won't ever
have to
> deal with a Linux prompt themselves.
>
> I hope this helps.
>
>
> -Christopher Erickson
> Observatory engineer
> Waikoloa, HI 96738
> www.summitkinetics.com
>
>
> On Feb 18, 2018 12:21 PM, "Michael Fulbright mike.fulbright@...
[ap-gto]"
> <ap-gto@...> wrote:
>
>
>
>
> You are asking two separate questions.
>
> 1) "Why use INDI at all?"
>
> 2) "Why would a technically challenged person what to use INDI over
> ASCOM/Windows?"
>
> I would suggest for #2 that there is no compelling reason if they get
> ASCOM/Windows working with their hardware and are able to afford the
> associated software required.
>
> There are several reasons for #1 - just a few:
>
> - cross platform support - Mac and Linux users are people too :)
> - client/server architecture
> - vendor independence for hardware support that is subscription free
> - free software, as in free beer, as well as freedom for the user to work
on or
> have someone else work on software and distribute changes
>
> None of these really apply to ASCOM.
>
> I think it would also be short-sighted to underestimate the large
groundswell
> of animosity towards Windows and Microsoft and the desire for many
users to get
> away from it. I think the lack of Windows 10 uptake is a good indicator.. It
has
> been over two years since it was released and it is only now reaching the
same
> number of active machines as Windows 7.
>
> But really the question should not be so much WHY people are
wanting to
> use INDI as much as ARE people wanting to use it and if so what can AP
do to
> assist their customers.
>
> Michael Fulbright
>
>
>
>
>
> On 2/18/2018 4:35 PM, 'Ray Gralak (Groups)' groups3@...
[ap-gto]
> wrote:
>
>
>
>
> Hi Bill,
>
> Resending again....
>
> > I don't hate Windows. I want to run my rig on a raspberry pi 3,
and
> prefer the client
> > server model of INDI.
>
> The AP V2 ASCOM driver is an out of process local server, thus it
> provides a true client/server model.
>
> That said, what problem does running on a raspberry Pi 3, or INDI
> client/server model solve for you that can't be done on a
Windows/ASCOM
> platform?
>
> BTW, I have nothing against LINUX. I have years of experience
> developing software on LINUX, but I haven't seen a good argument for
INDI
> except that ASCOM doesn't work on LINUX.
>
> ASCOM is far more mature, far better support, far better device
> selection, and client software available. I can see that technical types
want to roll
> their own code but what does INDI+LINUX provide that is more compelling
than
> ASCOM to the average non-technical user?
>
> -Ray Gralak
> Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center):
http://www.astro-
> physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
<http://physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc>
> <http://www.astro-
> physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
<http://physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc> >
> Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
> Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver:
> http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
> Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
> Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-
> gto@...]
> > Sent: Sunday, February 18, 2018 10:07 AM
> > To: ap-gto@...
> > Subject: Re: [ap-gto] INDI AP driver
> >
> >
> >
> > I don't hate Windows. I want to run my rig on a raspberry pi 3,
and
> prefer the client
> > server model of INDI.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ________________________________
> >
> > From: ap-gto@... <ap-gto@yahoogroups..com>
> <mailto:ap-gto@...> on behalf of 'Ray
> > Gralak (Groups)' groups3@... [ap-gto] <ap-
> gto@yahoogroups..com> <mailto:ap-gto@...>
> > Sent: Sunday, February 18, 2018 9:28:46 AM
> > To: ap-gto@...
> > Subject: RE: [ap-gto] INDI AP driver
> >
> >
> >
> > Resending this... I guess Yahoo is stalling posts again??
> > ---------------
> >
> > OK, so the count so far is:
> >
> > 1 is using INDI regularly.
> > 1 has used it, but is waiting for better support.
> > 2 will be using it soon.
> > 5 want to use it .
> >
> > Anyone else?
> >
> > So, besides people hating Windows for various reasons, what
> problem(s) do
> > people believe are solved by using INDI (and LINUX in
general)?
> >
> > -Ray Gralak
> > Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center):
> http://www.astro-
> >
physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
<http://physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc>
> <http://physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc
<http://physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/apcc> >
> > Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
> > Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver:
> http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
> > Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
> > Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma
> >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-
> gto@...]
> > > Sent: Saturday, February 17, 2018 9:21 PM
> > > To: ap-gto@...
> > > Subject: Re: [ap-gto] INDI AP driver
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Then you should ask Bob to support INDI.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > ________________________________
> > >
> > > From: ap-gto@... <ap-
gto@yahoogroups..com>
> <mailto:ap-gto@...> on behalf of
> > > 'Steven Reilly' sreilly24590@... [ap-gto] <ap-
> > gto@...>
> > > Sent: Saturday, February 17, 2018 8:33 PM
> > > To: ap-gto@...
> > > Subject: RE: [ap-gto] INDI AP driver
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Can’t speak for SGP but many of us use ACP/Expert.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Steve
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-
> gto@...]
> > > Sent: Saturday, February 17, 2018 11:30 PM
> > > To: ap-gto@...
> > > Subject: Re: [ap-gto] INDI AP driver
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > What is the hot imaging software to use these days? SGP.
What
> will be the first
> > > Windows imaging platform to support both INDI and ASCOM
at
> the same time?
> > > SGP. APCC was updated to work with what, other than
MaximDL
> and CCDSoft?
> > > SGP.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Who has an in house supported driver for INDI, from Premium
> Mount Makers?
> > > Software Bisque (via SkyX For RPi)
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Who needs one? Astro-Physics and 10 Micron.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Who should most certainly not be last to the table here? Astro-
> Physics.. 😊
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > ________________________________
> > >
> > > From: ap-gto@... <ap-
gto@yahoogroups..com>
> <mailto:ap-gto@...> on behalf of
> > > Hemant Hariyani hemanthariyani@... [ap-gto] <ap-
> > > gto@...>
> > > Sent: Saturday, February 17, 2018 8:12 PM
> > > To: ap-gto@...
> > > Subject: Re: [ap-gto] INDI AP driver
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Will be using it very soon!
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Regards
> > >
> > > Hemant
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > On Sat, Feb 17, 2018 at 9:30 PM, 'Ray Gralak (Groups)'
> groups3@...
> > [ap-
> > > gto] <ap-gto@...> <mailto:ap-
> gto@...> wrote:
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > A show of hands...
> > >
> > > How many people here are actively using the astro-physics
INDI
> driver?
> > >
> > > -Ray Gralak
> > > Author of APCC (Astro-Physics Command Center):
> > > http://www.astro-
> > >
physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/ap
<http://physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/ap>
> <http://physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/ap
<http://physics.com/index.htm?products/accessories/software/apcc/ap> >
> > > cc
> > > Author of PEMPro: http://www.ccdware.com
> > > Author of Astro-Physics V2 ASCOM Driver:
> http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
> > > <http://www.gralak.com/apdriver
<http://www.gralak.com/apdriver> >
> <http://www.gralak.com/apdriver <http://www.gralak.com/apdriver> >
> > > Author of PulseGuide: http://www.pulseguide.com
> > > Author of Sigma: http://www.gralak.com/sigma
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> >
>
>
>
>
>
>
>



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Re: INDI AP driver

Christopher Erickson
 

Hi Michael,
Sorry, I'm going to play devil's advocate here for a second... :-)
- cross platform support - Mac and Linux users are people too :)
The real question is this... how many people are not going to purchase an
A-P mount because A-P doesn't provide in-house INDI drivers?
(I may be wrong, but I think that number is really low.)
We'll never know, will we?

So I guess that Software Bisque, 10-Micron and a few others are frantically
building turnkey Linux solutions for their mounts because they are just
silly, foolish people?

-Chris



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Re: INDI AP driver

Dale Ghent
 

On Feb 18, 2018, at 2:53 PM, Michael Fulbright mike.fulbright@... [ap-gto] <ap-gto@...> wrote:

My use case is probably unique - I love developing software and so working on the AP INDI driver lets me pursue two things I love doing - programming and imaging.
First, thank you for doing this. Being an occasional OSS contributor myself, I can understand your drive. I didn't get into NIC driver programming because some boss tasked me with it; I got into it because I had new hardware that needed a driver for the OS I use and it coincided with me wanting to know how it all worked inside the kernel, on the chip registers, in the DMA transactions - the whole shebang. Some blood, sweat, and tears later, and I had support for my NIC working well and passing code review and community testing. It also introduced me to chip errata, which can be real horror stories.

In addition to the benefit of avoiding Windows, the multi-platform support of INDI is a good play to help those people with Macs out as well, not to speak of the ocean of ARM based boards and computers which are becoming more attractive as lightweight imaging platforms.
I would love nothing more than to be able to frisbee the HP laptop and only Windows computer I own, which exists solely to run astro software, into the trash bin and replace it with a low-power ARM or Atom-based industrial design (checkout the UPboard baseboards and housings, for example) in a true client-server setup. No more long USB cables. No more remote desktops. Something that won't crap out the moment it gets a micron of dew on it or hotter than 40C. A solution worthy of this decade.

I don't think AP needs to go to the point of actually monetarily supporting INDI beyond perhaps providing hardware in cases people are trying to debug certain problems.
A-P doesn't even really need to provide hardware. A sufficient modern stance would be for A-P to assist the community in developing a fully-featured INDI driver for GTOCP by publishing its protocol(s). As long as there's someone/some people willing to implement their spec and the community to support it with testing, that's really all A-P needs to do. Doing so would be to both the astronomy community’s benefit as well as their own:

1) More software on more platforms can be made to *reliably* interop with A-P mounts with feature parity found elsewhere.

2) Users or potential users are no longer limited to a very narrow choice of platform and hardware to operate the mounts, reducing or even eliminating the need for costly bespoke solutions.

3) Longevity of GTOCP hardware is ensured - contemporary software can be made to talk to GTOCP hardware for as long as there is operable GTOCP hardware available - hardware which I hope will outlive us all.

Otherwise, I feel like we're living the 90's all over again. I remember hardware vendors routinely balking at releasing chip datasheets so that non-Windows drivers could be developed for their hardware. A vendor that was open about their hardware or proactively assisted the community in writing drivers or software for their hardware without requiring NDAs or cleanroom coding was a newsworthy occurrence. Eventually, the industry as a whole realized that the train was going to leave the station with or without them, so they started falling all over themselves to provide freely usable documentation, even contributing code themselves or directly sponsoring the work. Nowadays, it's normal to see Linux and even FreeBSD drivers for hardware appear before their Windows counterparts... a complete 180 from even 15 years ago when it was normal to have to laboriously reverse engineer hardware in order to make a driver for it, often under a legal grey area due to the DMCA (section 1201, specifically).

The point is, we've seen this movie before. We know the ways in which it can end. Hardware makers eventually realized that they're really just in the hardware business, and the more people who can use their hardware, the better for them. Their secret to success wasn't in their closely-held protocols, registers, pinouts or DMA setups - rather, their secret was in the overall quality of their product, its reliability, the support behind it, and the the ability for users to use their imagination and adapt it to their requirements rather than the other way around. The hardware makers who refused to realize this became more concerned with being acquired for any IP they owned because, suddenly, no one was interested in buying their black box hardware.

The driver at the moment is working well and more than anything just needs more sets of eyes trying it out and verifying its operation. My hope would be the driver will not require much work beyond bug fixing as time goes on unless AP releases something new that requires new code.

I must end with saying the support I've received from Howard has been exemplary.
This is good to hear. I sincerely hope A-P can help and support your efforts even more going into the future. I, as a A-P mount owner and customer, would love it, as I would be afforded a wider array of options to choose from and can potentially gain more capability through these expanded options. I'd love to see the day when a science mission can publish time-sensitive targets through a web API, and something as simple as a Python script can get that target information by polling that API, check the weather, open the observatory shutter, acquire and interrogate said target, and then shut everything down when the session is over. No Windows .NET programming knowledge prerequisite, no manual point-and-drool interface or wonky runtime needed - just knowledge of a scripting language that is now commonly taught in high schools, potentially running out of cron. One can dream.

I bought my Mach1GTO from A-P 8 or so years ago because it was the best hardware for my personal budget, and I still have no doubt that I made the right call. Back then, INDI was embryonic and the only real go-to solution (pun intended) for well-integrated control naturally involved ASCOM on Windows. However, time and progress march ever onwards, and here we are today. If I were instead considering buying my mount today rather than 8 years ago, I might have second thoughts against the Mach1 if a different yet attractive and adequately capable mount was also well-supported under INDI, with bonus points if the mount's maker also took an active interest in supporting software development for it.

Thanks again,
/dale


Intersection of the RA and Dec axis on AP 1100 GTO

dvuolhhr6nx4a532a3phnju3zs6lzvlgxdl2wzaf@...
 

I'm trying to set up my Slave settings for dome rotation and it asks to do all the measurements from the "centre of the RA and Dec Axis".


Where would that be on the AP 1100 GTO? Anywhere near the middle of the mount would be fine?



Re: Mach1 polar axis stall

crib409acme425
 

Thanks for the quick reply.  I'll try this ploy tomorrow.  If it fails I'll be back or speaking to Howard.  Cjacobson


Re: INDI AP driver

Gabe Shaughnessy
 

Add me to the list of having used Indi, and waiting for better support.  I'm one of those academics that are set in their ways who uses linux and have been a linux user for 15 years.  However, when it came to getting my imaging rig running with reliable automation, I switched for the purposes of imaging and bought a PC stick.  I currently use SGP and APCC on my PC stick things run quite well.  I don't regret doing it since I see the PC stick as another device that is used as a tool.  I did try Indi and Ekos a few years ago when confronted with getting an automated setup and found it to be not yet rock solid.  

That said though, when it does become rock solid, I'll move over in a heartbeat.  Perhaps that time is now.  I've heard it's made great strides recently.  I have a lot more experience in linux and have coded my own sensors and devices that I'd like to poll for sky and environmental conditions.  I know how to do that in linux / python and have the whole project already mapped out.  Doing that in Windows would take too much time and doesn't fit well w/ my expertise.  

Not to get too off-topic, but I might be able to add some perspective to academics preferring linux.  In addition to the security of linux, it's easier when I was starting out to write and compile programs with the gcc/gfortran compilers, which was completely free and available online.  I could be wrong, but I don't recall any well supported and free compilers available under windows.  

Gabe
 


Re: INDI AP driver

John Shutz
 

Ajay,

I think if you would have included the words that preceded what Chris said,
"part of that is certainly arrogant human bias" instead of just "certainly
arrogant human bias" would add clarification, at least in my mind he is
saying arrogance plays a part, but that doesn't mean everybody is guilty of
it. Using your word "possible" might be a way of not pointing the finger
directly at anyone in particular because you are not naming names and
perhaps a safer approach politically, so I agree with you there. But, with
the words "part of that", again, just me is inching closer to giving an
honest assessment based on Chris's work history, yet at the same time
doesn't indict anyone in particular.



John



From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Monday, February 19, 2018 12:02 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: RE: [ap-gto] INDI AP driver





I apologize for the "arrogant" comment. Most of the academics I work with
are certainly not arrogant in general but when it comes to Macs, Linux and
Windows, I believe the biases are based a bit more in academic cultural
pressure than on objective reasoning. I could have used a better word than
"arrogant."



Software licensing costs, especially ones based on annual subscriptions, are
dreadfully unpopular with academics, where grants and other capital funds
can buy big stuff but tiny operational budgets often can't stretch to cover
expensive subscription renewals along with salaries.





-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Summit Kinetics

Waikoloa, HI 96738
<http://www.summitkinetics.com/> www.summitkinetics.com





_____

From: ap-gto@... [mailto:ap-gto@...]
Sent: Monday, February 19, 2018 6:46 AM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] INDI AP driver

Chris,



Your technical points are all excellent. For AP a business case to be made
is that competitors are offering Linux drivers. Many planet hunting farms
use Paramounts. Large robotic telescope networks use Linux. For them the
savings in windows OS licensing fees are huge. I see a business opportunity
for AP. The increase in usage and mind-share, as was the case when PHD
became Open PHD, is something to look forward to.



As an academic, albeit at a non-research institution, I think the comment on
"certainly arrogant human bias" was unnecessary. "Possible ignorant human
bias" may have been enough. I am not defending any arrogant academics out
there. I've met a few in my days. In this case the bias is not uninformed.
The cost and stability of Linux that you point out are the bases for that
discriminating view.



Respecfully,
Ajay





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Re: Clear Night - PEM Pro

Bill Long
 

Way delayed message. Anyhow, I am back out with PEMPro again working on a curve. Unfortunately, where PEMPro wanted to slew to has a tree, so I had to move the mount a bit. RA box was green where it was clear, but the dec box was yellow. Will that invalidate this entirely?




From: ap-gto@... on behalf of Bill Long bill@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Monday, February 19, 2018 7:45 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Re: Clear Night - PEM Pro
 
 

Camera was set to 100,0000 ADU so had a saturated star in it, trying again with the value set to 30,000 and now my star isn't saturated. 




From: ap-gto@... on behalf of Bill Long bill@... [ap-gto]
Sent: Monday, February 19, 2018 7:39 PM
To: ap-gto@...
Subject: [ap-gto] Clear Night - PEM Pro
 
 

11.63 arc seconds of error in an AP1100...?