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RE: Data compression
2x lossless compression routinely that doesn't take all
day on a typical low-end Pentium would be the goal.
However, any such program has to be extremely well-documented
and available with full source on both Windoze and Linux.
If we started using it, we would have to be sure of being
able to uncompress the data 10 years from now.
For lossy, please look at hcompress before going too far.
It does what astronomers want: smooths background yet
retains star profiles. This has been tested by the group
with estimates of errors caused by various levels of
compression; any other algorithm would have to be tested
in the same way.