What kind of computer do I need for astrology?

by Hank Friedman

As I've mentioned elsewhere, one should get a Windows PC (not one running Windows RT) or install Windows and Parallels on their Mac, because there are many astrological functions not available for Macs, Chromebooks, Android and iOS smart phones and tablets, Linux, Windows RT, and other platforms.

About Laptops: Never buy a laptop without trying it out (e.g. at a Best Buy store) because some have very reflective screens (too shiny!) and some have keyboards that are hard on the fingers or poorly laid out (where are the backspace and enter keys?).

About Brands:

When asked what brands of computer desktops and laptops I recommend, I find Samsung, Sony, Asus, Toshiba, and Lenovo to be the best (although some people have had troubles with Lenovo PCs).

For the best inkjet printers, stick to the Canon brand, which is by far the best. You definitely want a color inkjet printer, because it creates the best graphics and color is important in astrology.

For the best monitors, I prefer Dell monitors, but there are many good brands. Just avoid the ones with reflective screens.

I am often asked the following questions:

1. How much memory, storage, computer speed do I need for astrology programs?

The answer is that any modern laptop or desktop Windows PC will have plenty of all three for any astrology program that you get. (Avoid computers with Atom processors, and get quad-core Intel Core processors instead.)

2. Why aren't there many good astrology programs for other platforms?

There are two reasons:

A. The market is simply too small for the effort. As of June 2014, for example, only 2½% of computers in use were Macs.

B. Many devices don't have "the juice". Until phablets, smart phones, and the less expensive tablets have much faster processing units and more storage, they won't be able to run professional-level astrology programs.

3. Do you have any other recommendations?

Yes, I've found it incredibly valuable to have a widescreen monitor for my desktop PC. I purchased a Dell 29 inch UltraSharp U2913WM monitor that allows me to place three different full-sized windows side-by-side on my screen.

I can have my word processor, Western astrology program, and Vedic astrology program, for example, all open and functioning at the same time, or view an astromap, a transit graph, and a natal chart simultaneously.

If you do buy a laptop, understand the trade-off between portability and screen size. If you are going to use it a lot on the road, get a 13" screen ultrabook, but if you plan to use it only at home, in one place, get the largest size screen you can afford (15 or 17 inches).

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