The single ZIP archive contains the executables for Windows 32-bit, Windows 64-bit, MacOSX, Linux 32-bit and Linux 64-bit. StarTools is a self-contained pure native application and does not rely on the installation of any further frameworks.
StarTools is a 64-bit optimized application designed for fast 64-bit multi-core environments, with at least 4Gb of memory available for large images.
If your machine does not meet these requirements, or you intend to process large images, then please run the 32-bit legacy executable and/or use the Bin module to reduce your image resolution.
Please note MacOSX users; currently only a more memory restricted 32-bit executable is available.
The latest version was released on 17-04-2013 (DD/MM//YY).
StarTools 126.96.36.199 (stable) for Windows 32-bit, Windows 64-bit, MacOSX, Linux 32-bit and Linux 64-bit (ZIP) (2.8MB)
StarTools 1.3 Video: Processing M101 (YouTube) 7:42
StarTools 1.3 Video: Removing Vignetting and Complex Gradients (YouTube) 4:16
StarTools 1.3 Video: Lifting structures from heavy noise with Life using (YouTube) 10:27
StarTools 1.3 Video: M42 H-alpha High Dynamic Range composite processing (YouTube) 11:14
For more tutorials, hints, tips and tricks visit the forums!
The following documentation is out of date and is here for historical purposes.
StarTools Tutorial #1 for StarTools 1.2: Interface and Preparing Your Data (PDF) (View On-line) (475KB) (obsolete)
StarTools Tutorial #2 for StarTools 1.1: Binning and Deconvolution (PDF) (View On-line) (668KB) (obsolete)
StarTools Tutorial #3 for StarTools 1.1: Assisted Stretching (PDF) (View On-line) (429KB) (obsolete)
StarTools Manual for StarTools 1.0 (PDF) (7.6MB) (obsolete)
Q: What are the minimum recommended specifications to run StarTools?
A: That totally depends on the resolution of your data. Low resolution data sets (for example from a 1MP CCD or Webcam) may be processed successfully on a Pentium IV with 512Mb RAM. High-resolution data sets, such as those from a DSLR typically require at least 4Gb of RAM.
Q: What's the difference between the 32-bit and the 64-bit version?
A: The 32-bit version is meant for older computers with less memory and/or a 32-bit Operating System. The signal path is 32-bit for the 32-bit version, while the signal path is 64-bit for the 64-bit version, the latter being more precise but requiring twice the memory. Additionally, the 64-bit version makes use of the latest instruction sets (such as SSE) on the more modern CPUs to speed up processing tasks. Currently, even though the MacOSX version is a 32-bit application and uses a 32-bit signal path, this version does use the latest instruction sets.
Q: My system has 12 CPU cores. Is StarTools able to use all of them?
A: Yes. As of 1.3.180 Beta, StarTools uses all cores that it can find to speed up your processing. Previous versions were capped to 4 cores max.
Q: Why is the ZIP file so incredibly small even though it contains 5 different versions for all platforms? Do I have to install Java or .NET?
A: StarTools is a completely native, self-contained application that does not require any further installation of helper libraries or run-time frameworks (NOTE: Linux users, you will need X11, GTK 2 and GLIB 2.15). Everything in StarTools was written from the ground-up and hand-optimised, from the image processing algorithms to the UI library, from the file importing to the font renderers, for the multi-platform framework to the decompression routines. Why? Because we feel it is important to be master of our own destiny (and make you master of your own destiny by extension) and fundamentally understand each and every ingredient that goes into the mix. Fundamentally understanding the different algorithms, optimisation techniques and data structures gives us the ability to push the boundaries and create truly novel techniques and algorithm implementations.
Q: I heard StarTools' operation is 'single-click', 'quick & dirty' or 'black-box'.
A: This couldn't be further from the truth! ST is definitely not black box - you have in-depth control at all times if you choose to. However, by design, it does not give you control over every single parameter that goes into an algorithm. It does this to protect your data (for example from clipping) and presents 'meta controls' instead that govern a human-understandable aspect of an image. This puts the onus on us, the developers, to make our algorithms speak the language of the user, instead of expecting the user to speak the language of our algorithms. A good example is an automatic gearbox. You just press the pedal if you want to speed up, let go if you want to slow. Having a clutch and gears adds nothing to the ease of use or the end-results and are in fact a liability (a novice may stall the engine or get the gear wrong). In fact, these days autos give better fuel consumption and faster acceleration times. So too with StarTools.