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Dear ASCA PIs and Archival Investigators:

As mentioned in the recent FTOOLS/XSELECT release note, the most
convenient and user-friendly way to reduce ASCA data is to use the
scripts ASCASCREEN or TKASCASCREEN (the GUI version of ASCASCREEN). Both
scripts are distributed with the FTOOLS and are invoked by typing the
name of the script at the system prompt. However, neither script will
work unless Perl (in the case of ASCASCREEN) or Perl _and_ Tcl/Tk (in
the case of TKASCASCREEN) are installed on your machine. The following
contains instructions on how to obtain Perl and Tcl/Tk, neither of which
is part of FTOOLS.

                            Obtaining Perl

ASCASCREEN needs Perl to run. If you do have Perl, then get someone who
can write to the ftools area and who has Perl on their path to do:

  mv ascascreen_withperl ascascreen
  find_perl.sh ascascreen

Otherwise you should ask your system manager to get Perl. For more
information on Perl, try the Perl WWW home page, the URL of which is:


Most archive sites have Perl, and it is not hard to build. The HEASARC
will also make available the binaries for Perl for some platforms. But
it is probably better to build it yourself, if you can. We recommend
Perl 5.000, the latest version. In our experience, Perl 5.000 is faster
and easier to build than its predecessor (Perl 4.036).

                            Obtaining Tcl/Tk

TKASCASCREEN needs Perl _and_ Tcl/Tk to run. In fact, TKASCASCREEN is a
link to ASCASCREEN: the file ascascreen contains the code for both the
ASCASCREEN and TKASCASCREEN command line programs.  The invocation name
("ascascreen" or "tkascascreen") is used to determine which path through
the code to take.

The distribution site for Tcl/Tk is:


A good archive, with a lot of other related Tcl/Tk stuff is


look in /tcl/ftp.cs.berkeley.edu in the latter site.

Note that the most recent version of TKASCASCREEN finds Tcl/Tk by
looking for for wish - the Tcl/Tk GUI shell (or wishx, a common variant)
along the user's path.  If wish or wishx are not found, then
TKASCASCREEN errors out with an appropriate message. 

The current stable versions of Tcl and Tk are Tcl7.3b, and Tk3.6. There
is a Tcl7.4, and Tk4.0 out in beta, and TKASCASCREEN will run with them,
but perhaps it is best to stick to the released versions for now.

Tcl/Tk is a pretty simple package to install, and is not too big (about
5 Mbyte installed). If you have problems installing it, we can give you
some advice.

Charles Day and Jim Ingham, ASCA GOF

Please send comments and questions to ascahelp@athena.gsfc.nasa.gov