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Saving GSC Data Fetched From Net. Is It Possible?

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Posted by Patrick Salsbury on November 7, 2000 06:40:40 UTC

Hi, all. I'm on an XEphem binge tonight. :-)

I was re-reading the Sky & Telescope review at and saw this bit in the "As Many Objects As You Want" section:
Most interesting, however, is that if your computer is hooked up to the Internet, you don't need the CD at all. The software will connect to a distant computer and download only that part of the GSC needed to display the current patch of sky. It can save the data to your computer so that if you zoom in on that region again, it doesn't have to retrieve stars a second time.
Over the course of a month of using XEphem, I found I had accumulated almost 150 megabytes worth of GSC stars -- effortlessly and transparently -- over my dial-up connection. When I needed that drive space, I merely deleted the data -- XEphem never batted an eye. Afterward, I simply told XEphem to switch to a copy of the GSC on CD.

However, when I try setting the following:

XEphem*FieldStars*GSCCache.set: True
XEphem*FieldStars*XEphemdbdNet.set: True
XEphem*FieldStars*XEphemdbdURL.value: / never seems to store any data locally, even though it looks it up correctly from the net.

In reading the help file a bit more, I noticed this bit, under the "Internet to ESO" section:
The CDROM or the cache options may not be used at the same time as the network options.

So my question is: Who's mistaken? Was the review writer unknowingly reading 150Mb from his CD-ROM and caching the data to local disk, or was XEphem really pulling it over the wire, and dropping it into a local directory? And if so, *how*?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

(Every more in awe of this program, the more I learn about it. :-) )

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