Home Planet for Windows

Release 2 -- November 17th, 1994

Release 2 of Home Planet, a comprehensive astronomy / space / satellite-tracking package for Microsoft Windows 3.1 and above, is now available by anonymous FTP; see details at the end on how to FTP and install the software. Home Planet is in the public domain; you can do anything you like with it. Significant additions since the original release of Home Planet are flagged in the following feature list in bold. In addition, dozens of bugs were fixed and user suggestions implemented.

Home Planet Release 3 for Windows 95 and NT 4.0 is now available. This is a native 32-bit version of Home Planet which conforms to the Windows 95 and NT 4.0 user interface conventions. For details and downloading information, please see the Release 3 Announcement.

December 1995 upgrade: If you've already installed Home Planet, or once you complete the installation process described later in this document, you can upgrade your copy of Home Planet to include a much higher resolution topographical map (1440x720 pixels as opposed to 720x360) made available by the Marine Geology and Geophysics Division of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The upgrade includes a revised help file containing information about the new map images, and corrections for information which has changed since the help file was last updated almost a year ago. To upgrade your installed version of Home Planet, download the update archive and extract it into the directory in which you installed Home Planet with the "pkunzip -o hp2-9512.zip" command.

I like to think of Home Planet as putting a somewhat different spin on the Earth and sky. It allows you to view:

Home Planet was built entirely from source code using Microsoft Visual C++ version 1.5 bought directly from Microsoft. Hence the risk of virus contamination is minimal.

Obtaining and Installing Home Planet

Home Planet Release 2 is supplied as five PKZIP-compressed archives which vary in size from 930K to 2.4 megabytes. You need all five files to install Home Planet--the distribution is broken up into pieces purely to avoid FTP timeouts encountered when transferring a single monolithic archive across slower network links.

To obtain a copy of the Home Planet distribution:

    ftp site
    Name: anonymous
    Password: your e-mail address
    ftp> cd /pub/kelvin/homeplanet
    ftp> binary
    ftp> prompt
    ftp> mget hp2-?.zip
    ftp> bye
If your FTP client doesn't support "mget", use "get" to obtain each of the five archive files individually.

The Home Planet distribution is available from the following sites and directories. Please use the archive closest to your location! If many people request simultaneous downloads, everything slows down to a crawl. So, be kind to the Internet and considerate of other users and get Home Planet from a site near you, ideally at an off-peak hour. Clicking on the site name in the table below will take you directly to the Home Planet archive at that site. If one of the U.S. sites is down or refuses a connection, try one of the others.

      Site               Directory                 Location
 ================    ========================      ===========
 ftp.seds.org        /pub/software/pc/win          US: Arizona
 ftp.fourmilab.to    /pub/web/homeplanet           US: Pacific Coast
 libra.libs.uga.edu  /sys/pub/windows/hplanet      US: Georgia
 ftp.tas.gov.au      /pc/homeplanet                Australia: Tasmania
European downloads only:
 ftp.sadeya.cesca.es /pub/windows/astro/homeplanet Spain
 ftp.fourmilab.ch    /pub/web/homeplanet           Switzerland
If you'd like to mirror the Home Planet distribution at your site, please feel free to, and let me know so I can add your site to the list.

Once you've obtained all the distribution archive files:

create a directory called HPSETUP and, from MS-DOS or an MS-DOS window, CD to that directory and unpack each archive into that directory using PKUNZIP (you'll need PKUNZIP version 2.04 or later). Once the extraction is complete, you can delete the hp2-?.zip archives. Then, from the Windows Program Manager, run SETUP from this directory, and specify a separate installation directory. After SETUP is complete, you can delete the temporary HPSETUP directory into which you extracted the SETUP files. Home Planet is about 12 megabytes installed. The installation process requires about 22 megabytes free. If you have multiple disc drives, you can share the various files and directories among them.
by John Walker