SoftStar News

July 2004

A Free Windows Planetary Hours Program

If you would like to see an icon in your system tray -- i.e. an image at the bottom right of your computer screen -- showing the planetary hour for the moment, and playing a sound when the planetary hour changes, then this new free program, ChronosXP, is for you.

You can specify your location, and clicking on the icon pops up a window showing the planetary day, and a table of all of the planetary hour times for that day.

This table also shows you the times of Sunrise and Sunset, and can be printed out.

The author also offers the software in the Dutch language, and you can download the source file for the software too!

To get ChronosXP click here.



The Latest Update of AstrolDeluxe, version 6.3

Since the last review of AstrolDeluxe (version 6.1), John Halloran has again added new features to his AstrolDeluxe Report Writer, In the interim, he added maps for Canada, Mexico, and Australia to his astromapping function, and in version 6.2 updated the ACS atlas to the latest version, and added both the ability to see a well-designed sortable Gauquelin sector table showing the chart points in each sector, and to search your chart files for planets in specific Gauquelin sectors, in or out of Gauquelin Plus Zones, and more .

AstrolDeluxe keeps on getting better and better. It offers a very wide range of charts, tables, and graphs, including some that I haven't seen in any other software. The new version includes, for example, the Boehrer Graphic Declination Chart, which is a graphic display of all of the planetary positions, making it easy to see out-of-bounds planets, parallels, etc. To see an image of this chart, click here. You can also search your chart file(s) for individuals with specific out-of-bounds planets.

The "Crown Jewel" of the new version is the animation of the quadwheel display. Here you can view a quadwheel of the current transits, secondary progressions, and minor, Solar Arc, DR-70 Minor, tertiary, or special progressions, around a natal chart, and either manually move the chart forward or backward in time by increments of a day, month, or year, or have the program automatically move the quadwheel forward or backward by one of these increments.

One of the enhancements to the quadwheel, which works with the biwheel and triwheel too, is that you can click on any point's glyph in any wheel, and see a table showing the exact position of the point (minutes of arc are not visible in the quadwheel itself) and all of the aspects that point makes to other planets. The table first shows the aspects it makes to its own chart, but continuing to click on the point will sequentially show you the aspect the point makes to planets in each of the other rings (e.g. to the transiting, secondary, tertiary, and natal chart points). Neat idea!

Similarly, as you view a multi-wheel chart, you can see interaspect tables from the Display menu for all the planets in any two of the rings, and easily switch to viewing interaspects for any other pair of charts. These interaspect tables can include declination aspects.

You can also see Ascendant and MC changing positions for any of the three outer wheels as alter the time forward or backward by days, hours, or minutes.

To quote the program's user notes: "Version 6.2 (also) adds Hermetic Minor Progressions, which are calculated maintaining the same distance between the Minor Progressed Moon and the transiting Sun as exists between the natal Moon and natal Sun, according to the method taught by Elbert Benjamine (pen name C.C. Zain) of the Brotherhood of Light."

AstrolDeluxe Report Writer Version 6.3 has more enhancements than I can mention in this column, and is a worthy successor to earlier versions. It still has all of the wonderful touches of previous versions, such as the ability to use a sliding bar to increase or decrease aspect orbs as you look at a chart, plus more powerful features than ever before.

P.s. The Famous Charts collection that works with AstrolDeluxe has also been updated to version 5.1, with 4177 famous people's charts, 2483 of them include precise birth times. This set of charts is excellent, and a perfect complement to the fine research features of AstrolDeluxe.



More on Kepler 7.0


Kepler 7 is now shipping, and I recently received the final version.

Cosmic Patterns has added even more features than I described in my Mountain Astrologer review (introduced in the previous issue of this newsletter, you can read it by clicking here).

As you view a birth chart, if you click on the "Show Hot Spots" checkbox, each planet has a box around it. If you then click on any planet, you can now see well-written interpretations for the planet's sign, house, and aspects.

In addition to the biwheel format where you can see fixed starts, Arabic parts, or asteroids around a natal chart, you can also now see all of the midpoints around a natal chart.

The Electional Astrology graph displays a graph, for a month at a time using transit-to-transit events, showing when it's the best time for any of 15 themes including work, luck, vacations, inspiration, romance, etc.

Kepler 7 also has a Moon calendar, showing the dates and times of each of the Lunar phases and also sign ingresses, in a lovely format.

They have also added a fine Lunar Phase report, which interprets both the lunar phase at birth and the progressed lunar phase.

Finally, they have updated their internal atlas for six countries, making it the most accurate time-change atlas available.

As I mentioned in the last SoftStar News, I will be offering it for a special introductory price of $245 including free U.S. shipping through September 2004. To learn how to order, click here.



Kepler's New Pastel Collection

I love beautiful charts wheels, and have even designed some myself. What most people don't realize is that several astrology programs, including Solar Fire and Kepler, allow you to import images -- as backgrounds to your chart wheels.

Cosmic Patterns, however, goes much further. With the help of an excellent graphic artist, they have created a CD of 138 new pastel Art Wheels that are the most stunning charts I've ever seen.

The collection, which lists for $200, can be used by those running Kepler 6.0 or 7.0.

To see examples of two of my favorite wheels, click here and here. (And they look even better printed out!)



Solar Fire is Alive!


I am happy to report that the creators of Solar Fire have decided to develop a new version of their astrological software masterpiece.

While it will probably take more than a year for a new version to be completed, it is wonderful news that development is now underway again.

I, myself, am very thankful.



More On InkJet Printers

In my last issue, I mentioned the incredible prices at Extracartridges.com. Upon closer inspection, I realize that replacement cartridges for my new Canon printer are 1/10th the price of the replacement cartridges offered by them for HP printers.

That's because HP has embedded computer chips in their cartridges, and have thereby made the cartridges impossible to copy. As a result, companies have to refurbish old HP cartridges, and you will inevitably pay much, much more to run a HP inkjet than a Canon one.

The bottom line is that in the long run, if you use your inkjet printer a lot, you will save greatly by using non-HP inkjet printers.

New printers also allow you to create "full-bleed" pages, also known as printing without borders. What this means is that if you use a program like Kepler, which offers stunningly beautiful art wheels, you can print them with the new inkjet printers to fill the entire page, with truly stunning results.
Click here to view a Kepler Art Wheel.

As I use my Canon i860 more, I'm astounded by both the speed (fast!) and quality of the printouts. I also connected it to my computer using a USB connection instead of a parallel cable, and this allows me to continue with my work while a page is printing.



Astracadabra

Esoteric Technologies, the creators of Solar Fire, JigSaw, and the Solar Writer programs, has just released a new program for Pocket PCs called Astracadabra 2004 for $89 (for information on how to order software through me, click here.

In order to run the program, you need a Pocket PC that has 64 megs or more RAM and runs Microsoft Windows Mobile 2003 operating system or the older Microsoft Pocket PC 2002, and a CPU using Intelís Strong ARM or XScale processors( or equivalents).

Astracadabra includes the full ACS PC Atlas data (to automatically look up the coordinates and time zone for 250,000+ cities throughout the world) and uses the incredibly accurate Swiss Ephemeris, with a data range of 1AD to 5399AD.

Astracadabra is one of the most powerful astrology programs available for the PocketPC now available. It can create natal charts and (Secondary, Tertiary, and Minor) progressed charts, and Solar Arc directed charts. It can show single wheels and biwheels, with aspect lines drawn in, as well as aspect grids and lists. It has an Essential Dignities table, and can show both a Vedic dasa listing and Vedic Varga charts.

It even can animate single wheels or the planets in the outer ring of a biwheel using the realtime clock feature!

Astracadabra offers many, many options including a full selection of house systems, several ayanamsha, both True and Mean nodes, Parallax Moon, Geocentric latitude, both types of Part of Fortune, the Vertex/Anti-Vertex and Equatorial Ascendant, the comet Chiron, 8 hypothetical planets, 4 asteroids, and the Black Moon.

It also has the ability to import charts from Solar Fire.

I have been waiting a long time for a program to use for Western astrology on my Pocket PC, and Astracadabra, happily, is the best!



Discounts on Software

Software discounts starting July 2004: 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 Express shipping Worldwide.

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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