In 1991 I was looking for a nice PC astronomy software program, but I couldn't find one and decided to program one for myself. It became the first version: Programmed with Borland Turbo Pascal for MS-DOS.
It was sold as shareware with some restrictions and a fullversion for $29.95! Distribution: Bulletin Board System (BBS) and 2400 baud modem. 3.5" Floppy disks via postal service mail.
Two software Programs for MS-DOS: 'Planetarium' and 'Eclipse-simulator'.
The shareware version found its way to computer magazines editors. Then distributed via computer magazines on the cover CD ROM and later DVD's together with other miscellaneous software.
1995, the famous astronomy book author Philip S. Harrington asks me for permission to add the software to the floppy disk that will be included in his upcoming book Eclipse! That was big encouragement for me to continue with the project. Philips 'Eclipse!' book was releases in 1997 without a floppy disk but finally the Internet arrived for us all ! Philip mentions me in the Acknowledgement (scroll down to page vii).
Thank you Phil !
The Internet for the average person arrives! Distribution of the shareware software version over the internet started on May 19th 1996. The Waybackmachine took a snapshot on June 3rd 1997. The domain name I registred and used was astronomy.ch.
Yes, that was pretty cool back in 1996 ! It had animated gif's and a lot of blinking stuff. You can browse the website on the WaybackMachine snapshot !
In case you still own a working PC from before 2001, you may be able to run the MS-DOS version, download it here! Download time 14400 baud : 4 minutes / 28800 baud : 2 minutes
At beginning of the new millennium more and more PC's became too fast to run the MS-DOS version (Turbo Pascal runtime issue). Working with the programming language C++ at my job, I decided to spent some of my free time to write a new Windows version with Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0 MFC. And I made it completely free, so that everyone can afford and use it.
First as www.free-planetarium.com and then later www.asynx-planetarium.com.
I work on the project when my time permits.
Christian Nuesch 2017