SoftStar News

November 2003

A New Astro-Calendar Program, Part Two

For many, many years, I've wanted an astrological program that would be able to create weekly personal astrology calendars, and really useable monthly ones, too. Now my wait is over.

I, and many others, are eagerly awaiting the release of DayWatch, Matrix Software's new astrological calendar program.

If it is as good as it looks on their website, it's going to be a breakthrough in astrology software and great addition to my astrological software toolbox.

I have not yet received a copy, but according to the images and text about it on their website and the Matrix staff, DayWatch will have:

1. Beautiful monthly transit calendars for a specific person's chart, including a void-of-course Moon table for the month, editable holidays, a daily image of the phase of the Moon, monthly planetary ingresses and stations, outer transits within orb during the month, exact times of lunations and Moon sign changes, and transit-to-transit and/or transit-to-natal exact hits.

2. A printable listing of planets transiting the angles for a specific day, with interpretation.

3. A detailed onscreen listing of transits (both mundane and to a natal chart) with or without interpretations.

4. Interpretive reports for the month or the year, with the orb and applying/separating, and the ability to print out detailed monthly or yearly reports as well as monthly or yearly highlights reports.

5. A brilliantly executed Yearly Calendar report showing eclipse/lunation charts, monthly ephemeris, and an incredible vertical strip of monthly transits, showing both transit-to-transit and transit-to-natal events.

6. The ability to create a day-planner type of weekly astrological calendar showing holidays, lunar phase and sign, planetary ingresses and stations, transit-to-transit and transit-to-natal exact hits, and any appointments that you enter for the week. What an important feature!

7. A truly wonderful yearly stations report, showing both the dates of and a time graph of the duration of planetary stations and retrograde periods for each planet, and interpretations for any aspect made by the inner planets during their stationary/retrograde period.
8. For those wanting to plan events, DayWatch offers a special Lilly Strength graph for the month, showing what days each planet has the most dignity.

DayWatch has many more features than I can enumerate in this column. It is scheduled for release on November 28th, 2003, and will be available through me at a special introductory price of only $270, including free U.S. shipping.



Ode to an Old Program

In a world that progresses so rapidly technologically , we often make the mistake of thinking that everything technological gets better and better.

Not so!

My old LaserJet 4 printer, for example, is much solider than any laser printers they make today (in fact, my printer specialist told me to keep it forever, because it's so sturdy). And many programs written years ago are as good as, or better than, anything made today.

I remember my shock, in transitioning from programming on my old Apple II to writing software on the IBM PC, that there wasn't (and still isn't) any programming tool as good as the EPF IV utility I used on my Apple II in 1982!

I just received the following letter from a person who still uses Visual Jyotish. Visual Jyotish 3.0 is an old Vedic astrology program that was exceptionally well written. While its user interface is clunky, harkening back to DOS days, the quality of the interpretations and the utility and inventiveness of the incredibly well-designed tables remains unparalleled in modern Vedic software.

On my PC, the program works fine without needing to apply the trick mentioned below (even the Gochara module works fine).

(Note however that the programs -- VJ and Gochara -- stay in memory after you close them, and only really end if you reboot your PC or use the Windows Task Manager to end them.)

If you run into problems running Visual Jyotish -- which is still worth using for many of its features -- try the method offered below:

Dear Sir,

Re: your comments on inoperability of Visual Jyotish: I have the Version 3.0, but now since C&D software has closed down, there’s hope yet for old users!

This is one way by which you can use the software on any machine. After the installation, double click on the Visual Jyotish icon and you get the starting screen bearing an image of Lord Ganesha. There’s also a button ‘start’ visible on this page. Don’t click that button, but click anywhere else on the page- to play it safe, click on the blue background and voila! The program starts. This serendipitous discovery was a result of frustrated evenings trying to reconnect with my old VJWIN files.

Everything works fine just as before, except the Gochara Transits animation module.

By the way, C&D had to close down because of some tragic ill-health issues. So, pray everything gets alright, by the Grace of God.



The Problem with Older Programs

And interesting, and opposite, experience also happened to me recently.

A client showed me her old printouts from two other Vedic astrologers. They disagreed in the position of the Moon, and as a result, all of the Dasas (planetary periods) differed in their starting and ending dates.

I was able to see that indeed one of the programs was way off, and the other fine. I mentioned this to the person, and they said that they tried to talk to the astrologer with the old, faulty software, and he felt insulted and maintained that his program was perfectly accurate and would keep on using it!

It is very important to realize that the accuracy of planetary calculations in astrology software has improved considerably over the years, and that many programs written 10 years ago or more may contain inaccurate calculations. Additionally, some may have bugs that were never fixed.

I recently also had one customer ask me if I could somehow locate the installation disks for the old Matrix Blue*Star program. I told him that I couldn't, but also emphasized that the software was designed for calculating charts for the 20th century, and after the year 1999, significant bugs existed in some of the calculations, and so the software should definitely not be used anymore.

I always compare the results of new programs with other programs with established accuracy, and whenever I prepare for a client, use several programs and so find out quickly if a bug exists. (For example, one of my programs miscalculated charts for Spain, and I caught it immediately by comparing it with another program, and the author fixed the bug that day.)

Even more important is that Time Change atlases in software are continually improving, and if you are using a program 5 years old or older, many time zones, especially international ones, may very well be incorrect.

All the more reason to update your software frequently, which keeps your charting accurate, and can often be done for free or for a nominal fee.



Re: A Gift to the Readers of SoftStar News

For the last two months, ending November 15th, 2003, I offered a special discount for readers of this newsletter. With this discount on top of my already great pricing, one could get astrology software at a lower price than anywhere else.

Much to my surprise, and chagrin, only two people saw the offer!

As a result, I'm wondering whether I should continue this newsletter. Perhaps I should publish it less frequently, if so few people read it.

If you want me to keep on writing these columns, please email me at and let me know.

Thanks.

Hank Friedman

p.s. I am extending the offer to readers of this column for another month. Contact me by December 21st, 2003 for your special discount of an extra $20 off on any astrology software order of $250 of more. This offer is good for one purchase per reader. This discount is in addition to (i.e. on top of) the great software discounts I already offer. Thank you for reading this newsletter.

Note: this is the only place on my website that this offer is posted, and please mention it so that you do receive the discount. (If enough people respond to this gift, I may keep offering additional gifts to readers!)



Discounts on Software

Software discounts starting November 2003: 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.




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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 © 2003 Hank Friedman