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I’ve just discovered a workaround for the landscape mode bug in the latest release of DS. Seems like it breaks if you have Extras->Restore Last Position set in the prefrences. Next release will have that fixed.

Update: Nope, that wasn’t it. I just did that only on my 3GS. Meh. But I think I do have a real fix now which should go out over the weekend.


Apple just approved Distant Suns 2.1 for sale. I did get a note from one user who had an installation problem when first launched, but afterwards it worked fine on subsequent launches.

This just in: (imagine teletypes in the background). If you experience an exit on startup, what is happening is this: I only recently learned that the iPhone has a watchdog timer that limits the amount of time it takes for an app to load. If it goes too long (15 or 20 secs) the iPhone will kill it. The timer is disabled via the dev system, so I rarely came across it. On first use, Distant Suns will fetch the sun’s image that is displayed with the sun’s data. That can be just enough to push it over the line. Relaunching it, it knows not to get a new sun image for a while, and it’s happy.

A fix is in the works.

Grand Tour-3D has been temporarily removed from sale pending some design issues that have cropped up. I hope to have it back up shortly.

A few folks have mentioned that the latest release of Grand Tour (1.3) crashes sometimes when trying to use the preferences.

Well, (pause to scratch head), it works on my 3 ipods and iPhone 3GS, with 3 different OS releases, and two rounds of testing in the Apple labs.

Anyway, I did find one suspicious line of code last night and hope to have a fix posted in the next day or two. Hang tight.

After mistakenly putting the paid version of Distant Suns 2 up on the feed for the Lite version, the real Lite version refresh is now available. Sorry to have to “give and take away” like that. My bad.

If you liked the full app, it is on sale now through next weekend.

My own website, has had a major facelift. Over the next couple of weeks all traffic will be directed there for announcements, etc and this here blog will be put to sleep.

Well well, Apple may be getting the message when it comes to app approval. When Distant Suns 2 was uploaded to Apple, it took 15 days for approval. That was a month ago. DS 2.0.1 was just approved and posted, when I uploaded it just last Monday night! Only 4 days!

The new version fixes two vexing bugs:

  • The latitude and longitude buttons are no longer reversed.
  • The preference for accepting Location Services is now back in place. It had been accidentally dropped off in 2.0
  • There ┬áis now Twitter support! (big whoop). For anyone who really wants to broadcast the minutia of their activities, can log into Twitter and have Distant Suns announce the first 3 objects they are looking at.
  • It also supports APN. Apple Push Notification.

After about 15 years I finally pulled down the old “classic” Distant Suns website and replaced it with a new website of the 21st century. A colleague of mine created it and did a bangup job. Eventually this blog will migrate over there.

I want to thank all you dear hearts who entered the great Celestron First Scope Twitter giveaway.

The Grand Prize winner (drum roll please) is : beebott of Colorado, who gets the Celestron First Scope with accessory pack, and promo codes for Distant Suns 2 and Grand Tour-3D.

The 3 second place winners, for the two software packages:

  1. rooost, of Pacifica, CA
  2. jamesbrowning
  3. fetasue

And the 5 third place winners of the promo code for DS2:

  1. hfaqtor
  2. pestkaj
  3. romanrijkers
  4. rons_scrap_co
  5. bchapxtc

I couldn’t get in contact with #4 and #5 above, so you two, place send me a message and I’ll get the codes out to you right away.

There will be other contests in the future for more telescopes, books, meteorites and other fun things. So stay tuned!

I have received only two bug reports for DS2 of any concern:

  1. No, you’re not going nutz, the Use Location Services preference is actually missing. My bad.
  2. The lat/long setting dialog has the latitude and longitude buttons flipped.

Both have been fixed and I expect to be able to upload 2.0.1 by the weekend, after I get the new Distant Suns Lite out.