SoftStar News

March 2001

New!


Read the latest issue of Mercury Direct in the subscriber edition of The Mountain Astrologer for my latest software review of Kepler 4.7.

Kepler has come a long way since its DOS days, and has wonderful educational features for the beginning astrologer, and powerful mapping and harmonic features for the advanced astrologer.

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I just received both the new version 5.0 of Halloran's AstrolDeluxe software, which adds many new features, and a slew of add-ons for A.I.R.'s Millenium software, including the electional and horary wizards Father Time and Nostradamus, a new advanced rectification module, Super Search, Neural Net Analyzer, and their Advanced Research module.

AstrolDeluxe version 5.0 has many new advanced features for astrologers. You can save charts in graphical and HTML formats for placing on websites, and in ASCII format for emailing to others. You can now set your computer's clock to atomic precision using the Internet from within AstrolDeluxe.

The software adds declination aspects for both individual charts and for synastry, a chart rectify and animate tool, an ephemeris generator, prime vertical charts, tri-wheels, and tables of parans, primary directions, and planetary rising/setting/culminating/anticulminating times.

Its Search feature is very enhanced, and now includes searches for intercepted signs, Void of Course Moon, retrograde planets, intercepted planets, linked (by the same sign) houses, signs on house cusps, planets in specific decans, planets at the end or beginning of signs, and declination aspects between planets.

One of the more unusual, and very useful, additions to AstrolDeluxe is its Sensitive Points/Planet Aspects table. This table lists all of the planetary pictures (A + B - C) that aspect natal planets. Double-clicking on any line pops up Witte's delineation of that particular planetary picture. AstrolDeluxe also offers in-depth harmonic analysis of the sensitive points, showing the strongest harmonics for any chart.

Finally, the Famous Charts add-on has been expanded to over 4,000 charts and is an excellent data collection for those interested in the latest stars, etc.

I'll be exploring both programs more in future SoftStar News columns.

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Free Astrology Fonts! A reader sent me an email saying that my earlier SoftStar News link to free astrology fonts no longer worked. He was right.

This highlights the changeability of the internet, so if you want free fonts, download them soon from the following links:

Free Astrology Font #1

[Two of the three links no longer worked so I removed them.]

Upgrades in the Works


In my February 2000 issue of SoftStar News, I mentioned an excellent Vedic textbook by Ernst Wilhelm.

Ernst has now combined his two books, and added much new material, and is offering the new hardback for an introductory price, and an electronic version of the book, too.

To see a description of his books, click here

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I recently read a computer magazine article which said that Google was the best search engine for most purposes. I decided to test it against my old favorite Metacrawler, and Google was much faster and more accurate in its searches.

So from now until you hear differently, I suggest that you use Google as your Internet search engine (and no, I'm not on their payroll :-).

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While I'm endorsing websites, I would like to direct my readers to Completely Free Software. This website provides the very best and continually updated collection of free Windows programs, including utilities to make computing easier and more effective, games, internet tools, and much more. They'll even email you, if you want, a weekly newsletter of the best new free software.

Neat Stuff Too -- A Cooooler PC


Having just upgraded to an Athlon 1 Gigahertz computer, I discovered that my PC was running so hot that I was afraid to leave CDs in my new CD writer, and my computer room began smelling like degassing plastic.

I decided to research how to get my system to run cooler, and after much testing and investigating, found a truly great piece of software, CPUCooler.

The program gets your CPU (your computer's brain) to operate at a much lower temperature, often 36 degrees cooler!

You can get a trial copy by clicking here. The software only costs $13 to register, and works like a charm.

Copy Protection, Bugs, and other Issues


In doing some mapping research, I was surprised to discover that Solar Maps (and the Lite version built into Solar Fire) has less accurate positioning of cities than the ACS atlas.

For example, Boston is 3 miles off from its actual position, which is not a huge amount, but worth noting. Fortunately, a fix is possible.

Whenever you need complete precision in your mapping, enter the program, select Map, and Edit cities. Add the city you want more precision for (even though it's already listed in the city listing), using the built-in ACS atlas to Look Up the correct longitude and latitude, and then click OK, and yes, you want to save the changes. Then re-enter the Edit cities section, and delete the old city position.

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AstroDatabank 2.0 is a truly wonderful program. The one feature, however, that is still in development, instead of fully functional, is the ability to pop-up charts within your favorite charting software.

When I tested out this feature, I was surprised that I could only get it to work with Solar Fire and AstrolDeluxe!

I didn't have a copy of Janus 3 or AstroCalc or AstroWin 2.0 to test, but it did not work with any Vedic program, nor with TimePassages, Win*Star, or Kepler.

Getting two different astrological programs to coordinate in this way is no easy task, and requires a lot of effort on the part of the producers of both programs. After talking with several of the companies involved, I'm sure this issue will be addressed in time.

In the interim, remember that you can export charts to any of these programs.

Important Notes


Remember to update your software regularly.

The best programs (and companies) such as Solar Fire and Shri Jyoti Star (from ShriSource) update and improve their programs many times a year.

There are very important fixes (e.g. The Solar Fire 5.0.19 upgrade fixes a bug in the atlas lookup: now duplicate cities -- with the same name -- are all shown so you can select the right one) and excellent new capabilities (e.g. Shri Jyoti Star versions 3.721 and later allow you to use the divisional methods and nodal rulerships developed by S. Iyer, create dasha listings from any planet, import files from many other programs, and create ashtakavarga -- and sarva -- tables for all Vargas).

You can update either program via the Internet quickly and efficiently, and reap the benefits of newer versions.

Discounts on Software


Software discounts starting January 2001: 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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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 © 2001 Hank Friedman