Installation and use of E&T 3.1

System requirements

To use E&T, your computer should meet the following requirements:

  • Operating system:
    Windows 98SE, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP (recommended), Windows Vista or Windows 7
    Windows 95 is not supported.
    We do not recommend running E&T on Windows 98 or ME!
  • CPU with 1 GHz or faster
  • 128 MB of memory (256 MB or more recommended)
  • 200 MB free hard disk space (about 2.5 GB for full install)
  • Graphics card with at least 256 colors and 1024 × 600 pixels
  • HTML browser (we recommend the current versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox)
  • Installed printer, or alternatively, a PDF printer driver such as PDF995.

Installation

  • When using Windows Vista or later, please run the installation program SETUP.EXE from the DVD or from an important update with administrator privileges! If you don't, this can cause a malfunction.

  • You can save time during installation by disconnecting the computer from the Internet and disabling virus protection for the time of installation. Don't forget to reactivate virus protection of your computer before connecting to the internet again, after the installation is complete!

  • Follow the instructions on the screen. For a complete installation, it is sufficient to simply accept all defaults suggested by the setup program.

  • Start E&T after the installation and enter your license data (notes on this can be found in the help file).

  • E&T is working with the database components of Microsoft MDAC and JET. MDAC is a prerequisite for the operation of E&T. If MDAC is not available, you will receive a notice at the start of E&T. Newer versions of Windows and various application programs (not only from Microsoft) install MDAC during their setup, so it is very likely that the software already exists on your system. If necessary, you will receive an installation package for MDAC in the download section of Microsoft.

  • If you want to control a telescope for which an ASCOM-compatible driver exists, then you need to install the ASCOM platform. A current version can be downloaded from the ASCOM website. The ASCOM features are available in E&T only if an ASCOM-installation is available.

 

Instructions for operation of E&T with Windows Vista and Windows 7

E&T 3.1 will run on Vista. However, some details have to be taken care of for the program to work properly:

  • If you start E&T as a user without administrator privileges, Vista prompts you to enter an administrator password.

  • Vista asks if the program comes from a trusted source. You can agree here safely.

 

E&T as a portable application on a USB stick

You need a USB flash drive with 4 GB of free space. Choose a model with the highest possible transmission speed.

  • Create directories on the USB stick with the following names: "ET30" for the installation, "Backup" for backup, "Links" for files that you wish to link to from the object information or from the logbook and "Documents" for planning documents.
     

  • Afterwards, start the installation program from the DVD. Enter "ET30" on the USB stick as target directory. Select the "Standard" installation, so that also GSC-data and images will be installed. The installation process takes a relatively long time.

  • If you've already been working with E&T, you can now copy the Userdata.mdb from your installation on another computer into the directory "ET30" on your USB stick.

  • Now you have to license E&T on the USB flash drive. Start the program by double-clicking the file ET.exe in the directory ET30 and proceed as for installation on a hard drive (serial number, name and license code).

  • In the program options (start with Tools.Options), set to the the backup path to the directory "backup" of the USB stick. In the group "default path" of program options, please set the "planning documents" to the previously created directory "Documents". The "File links" should point to the previously created directory "links".

  • Now close E&T.

  • Please locate the file "ET.EXE" in "ET30". Click on it with the right mouse button and choose the command to create a "shortcut". Now right-click on the resulting file "Shortcut to ET.exe" to access the file properties. In the field "Target" you should see "X:\ET30\ET.exe" (X is a placeholder for the current drive letter of the USB stick). Append the following text: " -portable". Do not omit the blank before the hyphen. Click OK.

  • If you prefer, you can now rename the shortcut as you wish and move it, e.g. to the top directory of your USB stick.

To start E&T as a portable application from the USB stick, use the previously created shortcut. The program asks if it shall run from removable media. If you agree, then all directories specified in the file ET.ini will be changed to match the current drive letter of your USB stick. If you have startet E&T accidentally with the parameter "-portable", you can abort here and the paths in the ET.ini (as well as in the database) will remain unchanged.

Please note that E&T will be busy with the backup after the end of the program for a few seconds. During this process, the program logo will be visible, which also appears when you start the program.

Under no circumstances should you remove the USB stick while the program is still writing data to it! Wait until the USB flash drive activity light stops flashing and deactivate the media in the usual manner. If you remove the USB too early, you can damage important files and E&T might fail to start.

If the files "ET_Sys30.mdb" or "Catalog30.mdb" are reported as damaged, you can copy them from the DVD to the directory "ET30" on the stick and thus restore the proper function. A broken Userdata.mdb can be restored from your backup (see below), although you'll lose the last unsaved changes.

Important: Do not forget to backup your Userdata.mdb on an additional medium as soon as possible! If you add new observations or create new plannung documents, we recommend that you copy them and the file Userdata.mdb to your main computer.

Do not trust solely in the functioning and security of your USB stick!

Please consider "E&T portable" as a convenient way to plan your observations or documents on any Windows computer, anywhere. This is a comfortable way to show someone something in mind, but please note that "everything can be lost" if the USB drive does not work properly...

 

Possible problems with the star map display

If there are any problems with the star maps on screen, a faulty video driver may be the cause of this. Try changing the video resolution and / or the number of colors. If the problem disappears with different graphic settings, an update of the video driver is recommended. If so, just check with the manufacturer of your graphics card, who usually provides updated drivers on its website.

If the stars do not appear as round circles on the map, then please open the file ET.ini with a text editor. Locate the section [Miscellaneous]. Edit (or add) the key with the name AspectRatio and a value a of 1.05:

[Miscellaneous]

AspectRatio=1.05

The value describes a vertical extension of the stars on the map. You may need to experiment a little with this value.