Downloads Help Version History Reviews Useful Links Contact Us

     
   

         Please report performance under Windows 7 to us at nightcal@hotmail.co.uk -  thanks.

 

 See Known Bugs section for details of installations problems under Windows XP and Vista.

 

 

 

"I am an amateur astronomer from Worcester, in England.  I’ve got numerous little software gizmos and books to help me plan observing sessions but none of them gave me what I needed most; a simple, no-nonsense program that gives me a calendar that simply tells me when it gets dark, what the Moon will be doing and brief details of any notable predictable events.  Fortuitously, my brother Bob can use DELPHI programming language and I thought he could do with even more to do!  NightCal is the result." 

 

Michael Morris - the person who sits back while his brother Bob does all the hard work and clever stuff.

 

 

  Overview

 

 

NightCal is a simple, practical tool for basic observation session planning.  It is designed to produce a monthly calendar telling you when it gets dark, when the Moon rises and sets and what the Moon should look like when it does make an appearance.  It also provides data on the elongation of the inferior planets and a quick aide mémoire for planetary conjunctions.  The calendar can be printed so that you can stick it on your notice board at home or in your observatory or it can be saved as a graphics file for inclusion in newsletters or for publishing on the web.  NightCal is not designed to be an all-singing, all-dancing repository of all human knowledge about the Moon and planets or a tool for detailed planning of observing sessions; there are much bigger and better programs and websites available to do that (Click here for links to useful web sites).

 

Screenshot.

 

Low resolution saved calendar for October 2010 (version 0.7.2c).

Key

InputsAll you will need is your longitude and latitude and your time zone, the programming will do the rest.  The new version (0.7.2c) allows you customise the general layout of the calendar, what information will be displayed on it and how that information will be displayed.

System requirements.  It would appear that NightCal will run on almost any computer with a Pentium processor and any version of Microsoft Windows from Windows '98 onwards.  For details of running NightCal under Microsoft Vista, see Known Bugs.  There are no plans to release any other versions of this software for use with any other operating systems.  NightCal will take up 3.5 Mb of your hard disk space.

 

  Downloads

 

 

Download

Date and Size

Description

NightCal version 0.7.2c

beta release

Set up Program

4th November 2006

2.30 Mb

When you click on this link you will be redirected to the relevant page at Download.com. - Click on 'Download Now'.  You will be prompted to choose whether to either run the set up program directly (select 'Run') or to download the set up program first (select 'Save'). 

To run the installation program direct from the web, select 'Run' and follow the on screen instructions.

If you press 'Save' you will be prompted to choose a folder in which to place the set up program.  This is not a prompt for which folder you wish to install NightCal in.  Once you have saved the set up program you should be automatically prompted to run the set up program. 

 

If you are installing the software on a late version XP Pro or Vista, please read the known bugs section below before installing

A file (readme.txt) explaining how to set up NightCal is created by the installation program.  You can also access this information using the NightCal on-line help system here.

If you have problems running or using either the installation program or the main program itself, contact us.

If you like NightCal software, please feel free to rate it

and post comments about NightCal at AstroTips.com

   

  Help

 

 

NightCal does not contain a traditional help file.  Instead, you have a range of resources available to guide you through the software.

When you install NightCal, two different help files are written to the NightCal folder.

  • QuickStart.txt is a text file explaining the basics of how to use NightCal and what the symbols on the calendar mean.

  • Help.pdf is an illustrated interactive 21 page file in printer-friendly Adobe Acrobat® format.  You will need a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader to read or print this help file.  If you do not have a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader® installed on your computer, you can download a free copy from www.adobe.com.  

Both these files are accessible through the Help menu on each screen of the program.  However, you must have a copy of Windows Notepad and a program associated with reading 'pdf' format files (such as Adobe Acrobat Reader®) installed on your computer to access them.

You can view the latest Help file via our Online (HTML) Help System here

Known Bugs

 

1) When installing NightCal on the Microsoft's Vista and later versions of XP Pro operating systems NightCal will appear to install perfectly.  However, for some bizarre reason known only to Microsoft, Vista and later versions of XP Pro sometimes then move the executable file (Nightcal.exe) and other associate files from the Nightcal folder to the user's document folder..  Don't ask me why! 

 

Because Nightcal is a standalone executable it should still run, but the desktop shortcut will now be pointing to the wrong folder.  There are two ways to fix this.

 

     a)  Re-instate the desktop icon, deleting the original shortcut then replace it with a new shortcut to the new location of NightCal.

     b)  Manually move the relevant files back into the NightCal folder, where they should now stay. 

 

Windows...  don't you just love it!

 

2) A small number of users have experienced display problems with NightCal.  NightCal may not display properly if your Windows Display DPI size/Font size is set too large.  A workaround for this bug is to go into Control Panel > Display > Settings > Advanced and select Normal Size DPI/Small Fonts from the drop down list.  How this option is described depends upon your operating system and graphics card.  You may have to restart your computer to make this change take effect.  This should solve the problem.  If it doesn't, drop us an e-mail and we'll see what we can do to help.

 

 

  Contact Us

 

 

We want to hear from you about what you think of this software.  So if you want to:

  • Ask any questions about this software.

  • Report any bugs.

  • Comment on this website.

PLEASE NOTE THAT FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF NIGHTCAL IS NOW SUSPENDED INDEFINITELY.

 

Please e-mail us at nightcal@hotmail.co.uk

(NB: For security reasons, e-mails with no subject heading will not be opened).

 

If you wish to submit a review of NightCal, please e-mail it to us and we will publish it on this website.  We would be grateful if you could e-mail us with details of any links to this software or reviews of this software that you may come across. 

Last updated - 9th October 2010

Michael Morris has his own astronomical observatory - click on the banner below to visit the website..

Copyright© 2005-2010    Michael Morris