starchart: In case you get lost

Before I even tried to build starchart, I checked the time stamps on the files in the source package. It wasn’t encouraging.

I honestly thought something stamped as far back as 15 years ago would hopelessly crash and burn at compile time. But you already know that wasn’t the case. After all, you’re reading this, aren’t you?

2014-05-09-6m47421-starchart-01 2014-05-09-6m47421-starchart-02 2014-05-09-6m47421-starchart-03

Quite right. With a little help from the gd graphics library, I got a program that shows the positions of heavenly objects, and something that will give me a map so I can find my way home.

The best part is, not only does it dump data straight to the screen in a table format, and not only does it generate a PNG file with star positions and constellation markings, but surprise! it also tries to meld those two and give you an ASCIIfied text version drawn in simple line characters.

Attention to detail. I like that. Sadly, and most likely on account of its age, starchart is not in Arch or Debian. So again, as was the case earlier today, you may be required to do a little work to get starchart … working. 🙄

Fair enough. Now all I need is a battery that will allow me to drag my 12-year-old laptop out into the back yard, fire up my 15-year-old star chart software, and wander around in circles wondering which dot is which. 😉

P.S.: I wonder how accurate the data would be for 15-year-old star chart software. … Hmmm. Maybe I’m better off not asking. 😐

2 thoughts on “starchart: In case you get lost

  1. darkstarsword

    I don’t see why accuracy would be a problem – the universe hasn’t changed much in the last 15 years. Other than Pluto being reclassified and some more comets and asteroids being discovered I can’t see this as being out of date. Then again, I’m not an astronomer.

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