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Review: Distant Suns 5.01 CD-ROM
By: Jason Compton
Hopefully, most of you recall the Distant Suns 5.0 review from a few issues
back. The verdict--Distant Suns is a capable, but aging, astronomical
observation package with several good characteristics for beginning
stargazers. However, in terms of flexibility, contemporary data, and sheer
volume of observable objects, the new Digital Universe had the clear
That gap has been closed somewhat, but not entirely, by the release of
Distant Suns 5.01 CD. Included on the CD is the Distant Suns program for
FPU and non-FPU machines, as well as images for both ECS and AGA users.
However, graphic card support is still non-existant and the AGA mode did
not properly promote under CyberGraphX. (It seems to look for the AGA
Most of that shipped on a few floppies before. Included on CD are a number
of interesting animations, as well as the large Hubble Guide Star Catalog
and Stars on Demand databases of sky objects. This puts a vast amount of
observational power at your fingertips.
The company now publishing the Distant Suns package, Chaocity, should be
applauded for finishing this product and seeing it through. Unfortunately,
Chaocity's size have left little time for the actual improvement of Distant
Suns, and it shows when a brief comparison is made between the main engines
of DS and Digital Universe.
Still, Distant Suns has beaten DU to the punch of supporting this thorough
of a catalog, and does so without requiring wholesale copying to the hard
drive--the program will read the Hubble GSC and the Stars on Demand from
the CD-ROM drive.
The DS 5.01 CD-ROM is still less expensive than the Digital Universe and of
course still is configured to be a bit more friendly to the first-time user
than DU is. Investigating the universe just got a bit easier.
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