General Overview of PIT

Before opening PIT, you will probably need to change your screen display to at least 1024 x 768 pixels (PIT was designed for a minimum of this size and anything smaller will cause imagery and bottom menus to be "chopped off"). A screen resolution of 1280 x 1024 is the best choice and should be used if possible. To make this modification in PC Windows, go to "My Computer", select "Control Panel", then click on "Display", and choose "MGA Settings". There are two movable buttons (left-right) marked "Display" and "Desktop". If need be, drag each button until the 1024 x 768 (or 1280 x 1024) option is shown. You will be instructed now to "reboot" (start again) the computer, using the indicated button. Your new screen setting will result (all initial icons will appear smaller). Again, you have a choice of switching back and forth between these instructions in the Tutorial and PIT once loaded, using the minimal button [ - ], or, preferably, you will work from a print-out version of this Appendix (pp. 6-24) to read the appropriate instructions.

  1. As always, you start by loading the program, using either the icon or "pit.bat".
  2. On the right of your screen, a black rectangular window will appear and superimposed on it will be a large black window. The window underneath, labelled "dirlist", is normally not used and must be removed by minimalizing it. But, first, drag it by its top title bar further right and look at its buttons, only several of which are activated.
  3. The bigger window, with "No Image" in its center, and labelled Pit on its title (top) bar, also contains the main menus accessed through 6 buttons on the left and a Help button on the right.
  4. First, click on Help and then on Display Help in its window. There is a large quantity of information that is often helpful when a particular function or command needs further explanation. But, it is generally inconvenient to access this by scrolling and hunting, so, if you so desire, print it all out (25 pages) for reference.
  5. Next, simply click on each of the left six buttons to familiarize yourself with the various command options. Some are in black, and ready to use, others in gray will only be later activated (into black) when a particular program or stage in processing is running.
  6. The large "no image" black window is called the "Thumbnail" window (a throwback term to earlier versions of PIT in which it, and several others, were notably smaller). You will use this window to display individual gray scale images or color composites.


Primary Author: Nicholas M. Short, Sr. email:

Collaborators: Code 935 NASA GSFC, GST, USAF Academy
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Last Updated: September '99

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