Distant Suns - Grand Tour 3D Screensaver is a high-speed, full-motion, solar-system simulator using OpenGL technology and accelerated graphics. The positions and rotations of each of the planets and its moons are accurate to the current date and time (making the program a clock of sorts). As the day progresses, you can observe the great red spot of Jupiter as it wheels across the face of the giant planet. Watch the moons of Saturn in their daily dance around the majestic ringed world, and watch Earth rotate under your feet. The constantly changing scenes assure an infinite variety of interplanetary vistas. Grand Tour 3D now comes with Phobos and Deimos, the moons of Mars, and features the Mars Rover landing sites. Version 1.22 build 1 may include unspecified updates, enhancements, or bug fixes.
This tour of our galaxy begins at Earth, then recenters and zooms in on the Moon. After that, Distant Suns - Grand Tour 3D Screensaver heads out toward the far reaches of the solar system. Text in the upper left of the screen shares information such as the name of each object, its diameter, and its orbital period. However, you can disable this information if you so choose. The closer planets and many of the moons are gorgeous. For example, Saturn's Ganymede looks like a scarred garnet. On less-studied objects, such as the satellites of Uranus, only the part that's been photographed has detail. While most appropriate for astronomy or sci-fi buffs, we could easily see this program gaining a larger audience, especially since it comes free of charge.
"Great Screensaver based on the planets, constellations, etc."
The install was very easy, although there is an error in the installer that misplaces a .dll file. The screensaver setup is very straight forward and has an on-line update feature. It works very well on my Dell / Windows XP system.
The installer misplaces a file called "astrolib32.dll" which causes the screensaver to error at startup. The file belongs in C:\Windows\System32 but during installation, it gets placed in the C:\Program Files\Distant Suns folder. Simply copying the file and pasting it into C:\Windows\System32 will allow the screensaver to start normally.
"Too much info, not enough style and wouldn't run"
Tons of information and functionaliity... other than that, couldn't tell you. Wouldn't run due to a dll that wasn't present... strange as I just installed it.
No style, no class to match the information content. Installed, rebooted and screen saver wouldn't load and errored out. Missing dll. Program is just too clunky. Could have been done soooo much better.
"(After long installation routine) - Won't install..."
Probably looks very nice.
Takes forever to install - installs tons of little files on your hard drive. And then when you run it, complains of a missing DLL and won't run.
"Would have liked to see it..."
I'm sure this is a great screensaver...
...but when opening the download no install window appeared...is it my computer?
Nice information and view detail of the planets. I also somewhat liked the screensaver that they included with it, which is well designed. If you don't mind the minor flaws, then go ahead and begin it yourself.
There are some minor flaws: The DLL file is placed in the wrong place, but it is explained how to make it work by another user, so don't get too mad at that. The interface is a bit Windows 98-ish, and I don't prefer that look.
The most annoying thing to me might not be annoying to others, but I couldn't stand the planets on the screensaver and information basics to be in lower case, I can't stand to see it for it looks rather ugly and shows lazyness,this is one of my pet-peeves. This is the only reason why I won't use it as my screensaver, I just hate all lowercase on things that need to be title case.
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Note: The review & comment are referred from CNet