Richards Remarks

In the years since the publication of the Handbook and AIP4Win, we have seen three major groups of readers and users emerge:

• imagers who produce beautiful visions of the heavens,

• observers doing photometry, astrometry, and science, and

• educators teaching and students learning astronomy.

With the second edition of the Handbook and the release of AIP4Win 2.0, we are pledged to continue serving these constituencies. To that end, we have focused our energies in two major areas: noise reduction and color imaging.

We began our assault on noise by rewriting A\P4Wm to use floating-point mathematics throughout to eliminate mathematical round-off error. Our old AIP32 code did many computations using floating-point math, but it stored data in 32-bit integers. Although fine for most users, storing results in integer format produces round-off errors. Furthermore, floating-point math is more accurate (with a "granularity" of -30 parts per billion) and far more flexible and powerful.

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