Developing software is fun, but it also takes a lot of my time. If you like AutoStakkert! 2, and would like to support me in developing it, I present you with the option to give a (small) donation via Paypal. Thank you!

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Development version

Autostakkert!2 is under constant development, and a new version is available often on a monthly basis. Sometimes the changes are small, sometimes they are profound, sometimes they fix bugs, and sometimes they add bugs. Generally speaking though, the beta versions are ‘better’ than the older versions.

The original plan was to once in a while promote a beta versions to a stable version, but that doesn’t seem to happen very often. That is why I decided to open up the alpha and beta versions, and let everyone decide on their own if they want to play around with these. You might already be familiar with the page, but for those who aren’t, here you go:

beta versions with lots of change notes

A quick warning though; these versions are often not tested extensively, so use them at your own risk! Also make sure to check the page often, because if a significant bug was found, I usually have a quick-update ready within a matter of days.

March 26, 2014: the last couple of days the hosting provider containing the downloads and beta page of AutoStakkert!2 is sometimes not responding. I’m hoping it is fixed soon, because otherwise I’ll have to switch providers..

‘Stable’ downloads

Hang in there, just one more week of waiting before you can download AutoStakkert!2

Psst.. it’s here, a new version with plenty of updates and bugfixes.

March 26, 2012
AutoStakkert (zip, 1.1 MB)
- Fixed when switching to Single AP mode, AS!2 would not stack automatically (you had to manually place an AP first).
- Maximum size of the frame is set to 3000×2000, internal frame size limitations have been removed. Use the INI-file to further increase the maximum image size (the INI-file contains a maxWidth and maxHeight value).
- Made edge quality estimator more robust still. It will now still provide a meaningful quality estimator whenever it encounters missing information.
- Fixed bug in detecting horizontal and vertical artefacts, causing random lockups after analysing.
- Fixed regression bug: failed to open any image files (fit, bmp, tif, jpg, etc.. it would all show there were no frames available).
- Fixed some typos.
- Fixed repeating “No buffering override” message… for real this time…

AutoStakkert (zip, 1.1 MB)
Yay, a whole bunch of changes. Please have a look at the list below to see if it contains anything you like:

- A new checkbox Force Global Quality is added under the Gradient Quality estimator. When this option is checked it Forces all APs to use the same subset of frames (those frames with the best overall quality), instead of the default function where each AP uses its own local quality estimator and own subset of frames. The global quality results in slightly less detail per AP, but should prevent seams showing up on recordings made under variable transparancy.
- MAP is now default stacking method (this basically saves you one click).
- Clicking in the quality graph will now show the frame at that position (similar to using the framebar in the frame window). Pressing ctrl+click in the quality graph, will also set the frame percentage to stack according to the position in the graph.
- Regarding YUV avi files. AS!2 now makes use of a more conservative YUV -> RGB conversion scheme whenever it notices the used YUV format is invalid. This should remove clipping effects for certain YUV files. I would recommend to not use YUV for astronomical images in the first place, recording in RGB (or better yet, raw bayered b/w frames) makes more sense.
- Fix. Resizing the frame will now remove APs that fall outside the allowed region.
- Fixed file opening permissions to read-only, this allows to open more files that are already open in another program. Should have done this a long time ago.
- Interface Fix: changed stack at framenumber/percentage labels to hopefuly make a bit more sense.
- Interface Fix: frame numbers now run from 1 to #frames (which is what normal people like), instead of 0 to #frames-1 (which is what programmers like).
- Fixed frame offset issue when stacking multiple files in a row.
- Preview first frame during batch processing.
- Fixed limited maximum memory usage on 32-bit OS to a maximum of 2 GB (on a 64-bit OS the application can use up to 4 GB). Didn’t work in version, a 32-bit OS could still use more than 2 gigabytes, which is NOT allowed.
- Added support for both Jpg (or Jpeg) and PNG files (just drag and drop, always make sure you load files of the same format only, and that have the same dimension!)
- Added create master stack option (for master flats or darks).
- Added image calibration options, both a master dark and/or flat frame can be laoded to calibrate your raw images. The resolution of these frames HAS to be the same as the resolution of the raw frames. The following filteypes are supported: PNG, TIF, BMP, JPG, and PSD(!) in either 16 or 8 bit formats (16-bit is recommended).
- Interface Fix: Opening new file will correctly reset processing times of previous file.
- Interface Fix: Clicking the open file button will not immediately close the previous file.
- Interface Fix: In surface mode the offset and image center are now longer shown (white and yellow cross near the center of the screen).
- Interface fixes (show filename without path of opened file in the bottom of the main window and as the caption of the frame view window. When hovering above the filename the full filepath will be shown. The total number of files opened is also listed.)
- Fixed placing too large APs in small images (an AP must now easily fit in the frame).
- Changed minimal image size to 96×96 pixels.
- Fixed output prefix text box is now actually always a prefix, wether the files are saved in folders or not.
- Changed from a static buffer to a dynamically allocated buffer to read in AVI frames. This allows for extremely large frames to be succesfuly read (e.g. 2592 x 1944 x 3 channels) without extra memory increases for those using normal resolutions ;)
- No longer showing a random frame when opening a new planetary imaging file, instead it shows the first frame.
- Fixed edge quality bug when using too small APs (it would hang at the end of Analysis)
- Limited maximum memory usage on 32-bit OS to a maximum of 2 GB (on a 64-bit OS the application can use up to 4 GB)
- Changed default priority of AS!2 to below normal. This has little effect to the processing speed, but it should make the system more responsive when you are also trying to perform other tasks during processing (like watching stupid movies on youtube… or making recordings)
- Fixed issue when reprocessing an entire batch of files when buffering was enabled (the program would wrongly think the first file was already buffered, which could result in either a program crash or wrong results)
- Fixed manually removing all APs now correctly disable the Process button.
- Interface Fix: enter percentage to stack during MAP mode automaticaly turns off the frame number option, and vice versa. So simply enter one of the boxes (left click) and type a % or frame number, and that is what is going to be stacked.
- Interface Fix: drizzling options better categorized (off, 1.5x, 3x)
- Edge quality checkbox changes now correctly forces new quality estimation.
- Changed drizzle filename convention (removed the . in the filename)
- Added error handling of opening/writing/closing the log-file (if it can’t get access to the log-file, it will silently accept that)
- Fixed quality graph not drawing when visualisation was turned off.
- Edge quality estimator more robust against missing information or abrupt edges (e.g., when the planet is moving outside the FOV).

AutoStakkert (zip, 1.1 MB)
- Changed name of Coarse Alignment to Image Stabilization, which makes a bit more sense.
- Added option to manually set coarse alignment window location in surface mode. You should set it around a feature that stays in the FOV at all times. The default location works 95% of the time, but sometimes AS!2 surface alignment loses track because there is nothing interesting to see in the center of the screen.
- AS!2 is now aware of OS limitations on amount of memory available per process. There should be no more lockups caused by out of memory on 32-bit OS.
- Fixed caption of frame number at bottom left, it didn’t update properly in batch processing.
- Fixed caption of frame view in batch processing.
- Fixed unable to press Cancel button in batch processing.
- Added some extra lines at the back of the quality graph at 0, 25, 75 and 100% to increase readability of this graph.
- Tiffs are now saved uncompressed (instead of LZW). Should increase compatibility with processing software.
- Added support for 8-bit single channel bmp files.
- Fixed surface alignment bug causing a more or less random lock up during buffering or image alignment.
- Should be more stable now, especially for surface recordings containing poor frames.
- Automatically turn off bad frames with horizontal or vertical shifting artifacts.
- Speed increase for surface alignment (approximately 30-50% faster).
- Introduced two Surface options: ‘Expand’ will try to make the very biggest image stack possible, the edges will contain less frames (this was the default option). ’100%’ will crop the image such that each pixel will contain the same amount of data (the edges should be fine).
- Batch processing for surface recordings. When more than one surface recording was opened, when processing, for each frame all APs are replaced by a set of automatically placed APs (in a grid, just like when you press the grid button).

AutoStakkert (zip, 1.1 MB)
- Fixed surface alignment bug causing a more or less random lock up during buffering or image alignment.

AutoStakkert (zip, 1.1 MB)
- First release

If you are experiencing problems with AutoStakkert!2, please let me know!

EULA - AutoStakkert! Software License Agreement.

This is a legal agreement between you and AutoStakkert! Software (Emil Kraaikamp) covering your use of AutoStakkert! (the “Software”).

1) AutoStakkert! is provided as freeware, but only for private, non-commercial use (that means at home).

1a) AutoStakkert! is free for educational use (schools, universities and libraries) and for use in charity or humanitarian organisations.

1b) If you intend to use AutoStakkert! at your place of business or for commercial purposes, please register and purchase it. Commercial users: please contact me by E-Mail for prices, discounts and payment methods.

2) AutoStakkert! Software is owned by Emil Kraaikamp and is protected by copyright laws and international treaty provisions. Therefore, you must treat the Software like any other copyrighted material.

3) You may not distribute, rent, sub-license or otherwise make available to others the Software or documentation or copies thereof, except as expressly permitted in this License without prior written consent from the author of AutoStakkert! (Emil Kraaikamp). In the case of an authorized transfer, the transferee must agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of this License Agreement.

4) You may not remove any proprietary notices, labels, trademarks on the Software or documentation. You may not modify, de-compile, disassemble or reverse engineer the software.

5) Limited warranty: AutoStakkert!, and documentation are “as is” without any warranty as to their performance, merchantability or fitness for any particular purpose. The licensee assumes the entire risk as to the quality and performance of the software. In no event shall AutoStakkert! or anyone else who has been involved in the creation, development, production, or delivery of this software be liable for any direct, incidental or consequential damages, such as, but not limited to, loss of anticipated profits, benefits, use, or data resulting from the use of this software, or arising out of any breach of warranty.

Copyright (C) 2012 by Emil Kraaikamp, Ruinerwold, The Netherlands.