The Latest New and Exciting Updates!
My review of Kepler 7 was just published in this month's issue of The Mountain Astrologer (on newsstands now).
Kepler 7 is a major revision of Kepler, with many excellent new and improved features including:
1. Revamped menus. In the past, it was sometimes hard to find a particular program feature. The entire menuing system has been redone in order to place all of the functions where they belong and easy to find.
2. An entire Vedic report. While a computer can't read a chart (especially a Vedic chart) with anything like the accuracy of an actual astrologer, the Vedic Insight Report in Kepler 7 does a fine job uncovering and delineating the yogas in a chart, the Moon's nakshatra and sign, each house and its occupants, and more.
3. Triwheel animation. You can now view both the transiting and progressed planets as they circle a natal chart, and watch aspect lines form between the middle chart (which you can set as either progressed or transiting planets) and the natal chart.
4. New Wheels. Kepler 7 adds Midieval Wheels, Huber Wheels, 3-D glyphs, and also the ability to show a user-selected set of fixed stars, asteroids, or midpoints around a natal chart.
5. Star Catalog and Sky Map. The program has a huge fixed star catalog built-in, that is sortable by zodiacal longitude, etc. as well as a new and beautiful Sky Map showing the planets and stars like in a planetarium.
Kepler 7 has many enhanced research features, additional treasure maps, a page designer, and more. It will be released this Summer.
Stay tuned to this column for more information on Kepler 7.0
Computing Planetary Positions - a tutorial with worked examples
Paul Schlyter, of Stockholm, Sweden, has been kind enough to write a very comprehensive tutorial on how to calculate the positions of the planets for the 20th and 21st centuries to within one or two arc minutes of accuracy. (Which is accurate enough for most astrological work.)
He goes over the necessary trigonometric functions and how to add them to BASIC and C+ languages, and then gives step-by-step instructions and formulae for calculating everything from parallax correction for the Moon (to measure its position from the surface of the Earth instead of its center), to precession, sidereal time, azimuth and altitude, and the precise positions for all of the planets except Pluto.
This is a wonderfully written and highly educational article. It is well worth reading even if you are not planning on creating your own astrological programs. You can read it by clicking here.
Famous People's Timed Birth Data
There are several astrology programs that offer collections of famous people's charts either within their program or as add-ons.
Additionally, there are online resources for the birth data of famous people. The following are ones that list birth times for at least some of the charts :
1. If you go to Matrix's website, specifically the Celebrity Astro*Search, you can enter the name of a famous person and often get their birth information. While, unfortunately, for many of the people only the birth date and place are shown, there are some where the birth time is also listed.
3. Michael R. Meyer's beautiful website has many famous people's charts you can examine by clicking here.
4. Auntie Virgin's Celebrity Astrology offers the charts of some contemporary famous people. Click here.
Would you like to know the current rising sign at any moment?
How about being able to pop up a chart wheel with all of the planetary positions for right now at any time?
The free program AstroClock 3.5 for Windows PCs allows you to do both.
The rising sign for your location is shown at all times in your system tray, and you can instantly see the current chart by clicking on it.
You can get the latest version of AstroClock by clicking here.
I really like it.
While I do everything I can to find new and useful website links for astrologers who read this column, I do not have the time to excise old, dead internet links from the earlier SoftStar News columns.
The internet is in constant flux, and websites often close without any notice, so I suggest that if I offer a link that interests you, explore it immediately instead of waiting until later.
Discounts on Software
Software discounts starting March 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 Priority 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.
You can support SoftStar News by:
Telling others about our website.
Sending us your insights and feedback on astrology software,
Alerting us to new programs and astrological resources,
Linking your website to ours,
and by purchasing your astrological software through this site.
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Copyright © 2003 Hank Friedman