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Cheap laptop/netbook to successfully run BYN



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The following was copied from the BYE User Guide. The requirements will be the same for BYN. The following description is for running BYE or BYN by itself. Please read the final paragraph for my additional suggestions.


BackyardEOS is built using the Microsoft .Net Framework and runs only on Windows operating systems.

The Mandatories:
· Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10 or higher
· Microsoft .Net 4.0 (the installer will detect if it is not installed on your computer)

The Minimum:

· All items in 'The mandatories'
· Screen resolution of 1024 x 600
· Single CPU
· 1GB memory

The Recommended:

· All items in 'The mandatories'
· Screen resolution of 1024 x 768 or higher
· Dual CPU or more
· 2GB memory or more


BackyardEOS will run on both Windows 32 bits and 64 bits alike... but there are a few exceptions...

If you have an older camera such as the Canon 5D, 20D, 20Da, 30D, or 350D, it will
only work on Windows 32-bit. This is because Canon does not have any 64-bit
drivers for their older models.

If you are also planning on running other software for telescope control, autoguiding, etc. then the minimum should be higher. The problem is that inexpensive, low-powered netbooks or all-in-one computers scrimp on the USB throughput. This can cause the USB to choke during image downloads, especially when BYN and PHD2 are downloading images at the same time. This can cause BYN to disconnect from the camera. Also, when you plan on running additional software, 4GB of memory and a quad core CPU will help things run better and higher video resolution will give you more screen real estate.


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The "Minimum PC" needs to take into consideration both what you Need to run on it and what you Don't...

It's easiest to list the Don'ts:

  1. Don't expect to perform any Image Stacking with any sort of "Inexpensive Laptop" - this needs 8-16GB RAM Memory and 300GB+ SSD Storage and a Quad Core CPU
  2. Don't expect to use Internet Connection for any important functionality such as Cloud Storage - BYE/BYN is designed for Local Storage only
  3. Don't expect to be able to run all the other Astronomy Apps unless you have added additional CPU and RAM and Storage - Stellarium or Plate Solving or...
  4. Don't confuse Graphics Processor with Screen Resolution - BYE/BYN does nothing that requires a GPU but you will definitely benefit from Higher Resolution as BYE/BYN doesn't allow one to Dismiss/Hide/Undock any of the UI Elements

Things you do Need:

  1. AutoGuiding - PHD2 or MetaGuide - requires additional CPU Resources (CPU - probably Quad Core; RAM - definitely 4GB; Storage - not significant)
  2. Minimum of 2x USB2 (or USB3) Ports - AP Image Capture involves multiple USB Devices - best to add a high-quality Powered USB2 Hub (or USB3 if your Laptop has one) as Laptop won't supply enough Power
  3. Battery Capacity - the Laptop needs sufficient Battery Power to run Full-Speed and Screen-On for the majority of your Image Capture Session (although you can Dim the Screen) - consider a Laptop/Netbook that has a 12-Volt Charging Port that can be Charged while In-Use from a Car/Cigarette Power Port or one of the many 12V LI-PO Battery Packs
  4. Storage - Image Capture with a DSLR can easily generate 16-32GB of RAW Images (and MUCH More if Planetary AVI Capture - BYE/BYN doesn't utilize Compression); this Storage need not be "Fast SSD" but can be written to SDHC Card (just don't confuse with RAM)
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