SoftStar News

July 2000

Upgrades in the Works

I'm in the process of beta-testing, making design suggestions for, and reviewing the forthcoming AstroDatabank 2.0. Available in October of this year, the new 32-bit AstroDatabank 2.0 will require Windows 95, 98, or NT and run significantly faster than version 1.

Over 3,000 more birth records will be added, and 10,000 have been updated with corrections, making the program -- by far -- the best collection of astrological (and biographical) data in the world.

One of the nicest changes is that you will be able to export charts to other programs without any limit.

The program will also allow you to have the collections of charts in both Western and Vedic formats, and be able to switch between them easily. You will also be able to perform Vedic analyses of the data, e.g. whole sign houses, Vedic aspects, Vedic rulerships, twenty Ayanamshas, and more.

You will be able to create even more sophisticated Astro-Signature reports, generate control groups, and work in many foreign languages.

The best software for natal astrological research is about to take a quantum leap. We await its arrival.

Neat Stuff

Many people have asked me where they can get free astrology fonts for their articles, books, and computer programs. Until now, I have been unable to provide a source.

During a recent "web-surfing" session, I stumbled upon several free whole font sets of astrological symbols. Enjoy! Go to the site by clicking on the following link: Free Astrology Fonts!

Copy Protection, Bugs, and other Issues

I recently received a program from Europe to review. Unfortunately, because of the rampant piracy of software in Europe, the program's author felt it necessary to implement four levels of copy protection, including both a "key disk", and the necessity to email the company a code generated by the software as you installed it, in order to then get a second code emailed back to you.

The process of installing the software was so complicated by the protection method that it took me hours, and several email correspondences with the author, to get the program installed.

For those new to these ideas, copy protection means making it harder to produce copies of a program (to give away or sell to others). A key disk is a disk that has to be placed in a floppy drive or CD-ROM drive in order for the software to be installed, or run.

As examples, WinTrax requires a key disk to install the program on any PC, while Goravani Jyotish requires their CD to be placed in the drive every so often, and World of Wisdom software requires their CDs to always be in the drive to run their software. Parashara's 2000 requires calling or emailing the company to get a code each time you install the program on a new PC.

And this highlights the problems in using copy protection: it penalizes the legitimate user. If your key disk gets damaged or misplaced, you're out of luck until you can get a new one from the company. If you change computers, you need to reinstall the software, and contact the company with a new code in order to get the software operational again.

And if it uses a floppy key disk, you won't be able to install the software on any laptop computer that lacks a floppy drive.

Need I say more?

Copy protection is more trouble than it is worth. It keeps us dependent on companies to stay in business and respond promptly to our emails or calls, and can interrupt our use of a program we legitimately purchased, long after our purchase.

Important Notes

I have provided, on this website, published reviews that I have written over the years for the AFA Bulletin, American Astrology, Mercury Direct, and The Mountain Astrologer.

I was recently contacted by someone who read one of my reviews and bought the software based upon that review, and was subsequently disappointed by what they received. The software had all of the features I had mentioned in the review, but was harder to learn and to use than they had anticipated.

That is why I consistently recommend that people contact me, via email -- click here for a free consultation so that I can help them get exactly the software that will work best for them. My only requirement is that people order their software through me.

My reviews do not compare programs, only I can do that. Additionally, I don't focus on the negative features of software in my reviews. You'll need to talk to me to discover the potential problems with any program. I'm happy to help you, and don't want you disappointed with anything that you buy.

Discounts on Software

When you purchase astrology software through me, you will get:

1. My free expert guidance in choosing the right program.

2. The best pricing distributors are allowed to offer.

3. Free U.S. shipping, unless prohibited by the manufacturer, and for some programs, free Priority shipping.

4. Additional benefits. E.g. I offer a very inexpensive excellent transit report for purchasers of Kepler & Sirius, over 60 free beautiful extra artistic wheels for Solar Fire Gold, etc.

5. You are supporting my website, allowing me to continue posting astrology tutorials, software reviews, and much more.

6. Your software is fully registered to you and shipped to you directly from the manufacturer, with their full customer support as well as mine.

To go to my secure astrology software order form, click here.

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Telling others about our website.

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Alerting us to new programs and astrological resources,

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and by purchasing your astrological software through this site.

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Copyright © 2000 Hank Friedman