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GraXpert gradient remover


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I noticed this reviewed in Astronomy Now downloadable from https://www.graxpert.com/ and decided to have a look. It claims to be better than DBE in PixInsight and is a standalone program so you can use the output files in your favourite editor. I tried a few images that DBE struggled with (or I got fed up trying to fix) and lo and behold it works ok. There are several options you can take and currently 3 algorithms to play with.

 

It is freeware so may be worth adding to the tool chest. Windows, Linux and Mac versions.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Terry, did you have any issues installing the software as I tried to install it last year and my anti virus software wouldn’t run the installer as it thought it was malware or something. Hopefully the developers have sorted the pattern in their distribution that caused AVG to reject the installation.

Good feedback that it’s sorted some difficult gradients that DBE couldn’t.

Bryan 

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I use Malwarebytes Premium which is actually very good and from memory I think it didn't complain at all. You simply run the executable GraXpert-win64.exe every time you want to run it rather than an install.

It currently shows as Release 'Dione RC-3 (v1.02)' which I guess is a release candidate.

 

image.thumb.png.b32dcc6128f81d88f66cb8d26d065385.png

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On 1/13/2023 at 6:10 PM, Astrobdlbug said:

Terry, did you have any issues installing the software as I tried to install it last year and my anti virus software wouldn’t run the installer as it thought it was malware or something. Hopefully the developers have sorted the pattern in their distribution that caused AVG to reject the installation.

Good feedback that it’s sorted some difficult gradients that DBE couldn’t.

Bryan 

 

Dear Bryan,

 

I am pretty sure the AVG finding is a false positive and has something to do with the way we bundle the GraXpert executable. Let me explain: Technically, we develop GraXpert in the programming language Python and bundle it via a tool called PyInstaller as an executable file. At application startup, Windows unpacks the executable in a temporary directory and the bundled Python runtime starts the actual application from there. This unpacking+execution pattern is similar to how some malwares behave and I suspect some scanners like AVG identify this as suspicious.

 

Unfortunately, addressing this issue for all scanners out there in a stable way would result in a huge effort on our site.

 

From a development standpoint, we perform two measures to make the application as safe for the users as we can with reasonable effort:

  • The binary distribution of GraXpert is "compiled" on github.com infrastructure, i.e., in virtual machines hosted by github, exclusively. Github is operated by Microsoft. That is, in particular we do not publish binaries that have been created on our local developer machines (which might be infected - in the end, we cannot be sure of the opposite).
  • Before we announce a release to the public we submit it for malware analysis to Microsoft. That means at least the Microsoft Defender SmartScreen Application won't kick in and flag the file as unknown / suspicious during application startup. We assume a majority of users use MS Defender.

As a security researcher in software engineering I generally recommend that you do not trust any software provided on the internet without further checks. I can recommend virustotal.com for this. It is an online malware scanner which accepts files up to 500mb and executes a whole bunch of malware scanning engines on your submitted file for free. If you see only few positive (red) results, for me this is generally a good approximation if a suspicious file is a false positive or not. After this check went well I suggest you whitelist Graxpert in AVG.

 

CS

David

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