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We are pleased to announce the release of FTOOLS v4.1.  In this message,
we report:

	1. How to obtain FTOOLS v4.1
	2. Impact on ASCA users
	3. Complete list of new/updated ASCA-related FTOOLS.

1. How to obtain FTOOLS v4.1
   FTOOLS v4.1 has been released, and can be obtained from the
FTOOLS web-page at:


This is where the most up to date FTOOLS information is available,
including notices of the FTOOLS Releases, online HTML versions of FTOOLS
documentation, and the continually updated FAQ.  Users should always check
here first for answers to questions.

Any problems installing FTOOLS should be reported to:


Any problems using FTOOLS for ASCA data analysis should be reported
to the ftoolshelp address above or to:


If the problem relates to the scientific contents of the FTOOLS,
the latter address is more appropriate.

2. Impact on ASCA users

(i) The FTOOLS v4.0 beta-release version of correctrdd had a number of
bugs, including one that resulted in correcting only the first 1/9th of data.
We have corrected all known bugs in the new version.

We recommend all users who have used the previous FTOOLS version of correctrdd,
or have noticed severe discrepancies between SIS and GIS data or between SIS
and ROSAT data in terms of Nh, to try this new version of correctrdd.
The "RDD map" files necessary to do so can be obtained from:


Preliminary test indicates that this new version can make dramatic
improvements (fitted Nh decreasing by ~1e21) at least in some cases.

We plan to release a detailed step-by-step recipe, as well as some test
results, in the near future.

(ii) The new version of `ascascreen' incorporates a new method of calculating
the Sn_PIXLm thresholds for the SIS data.  The new option allows the thresholds
to be calculated from the data; with the old method, an excessive amount of
data were screened out for recent 2- and 4-CCD mode data, as well as for
observations of bright sources.  Running the new version of ascascreen
on the `unscreened' data files may allow you to increase the SIS exposure

(iii) With the internal reorganization of XSELECT, the optional keyword
for the file name template in the 'make obscat' command has become 'lststr'
(previously 'ASCA_g2_lststr' etc.).  Users who save and recycle the xselect
command file (e.g., from ascascreen) may experience problems due to this

3. Complete list of new/updated ASCA-related FTOOLS.

ascaarf    : fixed bug in convolving with the GIS PSF - only mattered at
             extreme off-axis positions.

ascaeffmap : should now get the correct RMF from the CALDB in the case
             of SIS

correctrdd : fixed a number of bugs.
fmaskfilt  : fixed bug that caused the program to fail if the file
             contained WCS keywords

mkfilter2  : this is the FTOOLS version, allowing guest observers to run this
             tool, if necessary.

extractor  : fixed a number of obscure bugs and improved efficiency

xselect    : this has received a major overhaul to make it easier to add
             support for new missions and instruments. There should not
             be any effects on users analyzing data from currently
             supported instruments. Anyone interested in adding a new
             mission or instrument should contact Keith Arnaud.

ascascreen : this includes a more sophisticated screening criterion for
             the Sn_PIXLm monitor counts for the SIS.  This should generally
             increase the exposure time of the screened event files for
             recent 2- and 4-CCD mode data as well as for 1-CCD mode data
             with a bright source.