Distant Suns for iOS+10 Years

Distant Suns for iOS+10 Years

Ten years ago, this week, I got this message from Apple: Dear Mike Smithwick, The status for the following application has changed to Ready for Sale. Application Name: Distant Suns Application Version Number: 1.0 Application SKU: 2001 That was a Monday. That Friday the Appstore would surpass 10,000 apps! I thought “my goodness! How could I compete against 10-freak’n-thousand apps! Back then it was easy. Quality apps got featured and promoted by...

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“Welcome to my planetarium!” – Distant Suns (VR) Released

“Welcome to my planetarium!” – Distant Suns (VR) Released

Ever wanted to travel through space? Me too. Growing up in the 60s, it was hard to ignore the moon program. If there was a launch in the morning, my teachers knew I’d be late to school. My penance? Bring my models and explain the latest mission. Every Friday evening you would find me at a local observatory or planetarium. They were magic. I’d sit in the back row trying to “catch” the stars as the planetarium’s projector rotated the sky against...

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Creating addictive… anything, from catchy songs to software

Creating addictive… anything, from catchy songs to software

I am always looking for tips on how to make DS a package people may want to use even if there is no astronomical event coming up or if the nights are cloudy for example. I was thinking if there was any possible link to anything that is catchy: music, potato chips, movies, books, and of course software. With just relatively dull tools such as MS Word, or Excel, this is not necessary as these are task driven and not emotionally driven. But the...

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Distant Suns and iOS 11

Distant Suns and iOS 11

I’ve received a couple of reports that Distant Suns-Max and iOS 11 don’t play well together, and while I can use the excuse “IWoMM” (It Works on My Machine), I’ve touched up a couple of things that may have caused the issues. I’ve been working on a new version for nearly 3 years now, and just haven’t paid much attention to the existing versions. Fear not! I haven’t abandoned it! The DSM fix will...

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Distant Suns T+30 years and counting

Distant Suns T+30 years and counting

Thirty years ago, last April, a new software application for the Commodore Amiga went on sale. Named Galileo, it eventually would be renamed Distant Suns and go on to be one of the longest lived consumer software titles in history. When growing up I loved planetariums. So much so, that I actually wrote and produced my own show for my 7th grade class, giving it at a local community college’s planetarium. Whenever I went to a show, I would always...

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