Portable Astrology:

Jyotish Tools for the Pocket PC

review by Hank Friedman

Starting with this review, I am beginning to explore the world of truly portable astrology resources, especially those programs that can be used with handheld computers.

Handheld computers also known as PDAa (Personal Digital Assistants) are small pocket-sized machines approximately the size of a deck of cards that you can use for taking notes, recording conversations, scheduling events, and more. They fall into two main groups: the Palm compatibles and Pocket PCs. The major brands of Palm computers include Palm, Sony, Handspring, Samsung, and Nokia. The major brands of Pocket PC computers include Toshiba, Dell, HP, and Compaq.

The Palm compatibles which run the Palm operating system are the original hand held computers, and offer the advantages of longer battery life, more types of programs, and a somewhat lower price. The Pocket PCs, on the other hand, run a special version of Microsoft Windows, and are much more powerful computers, running many times faster, with four or more times the memory, and a wider range of capabilities.

I recently purchased the Toshiba e335 Pocket PC and am now able to review astrology programs available for this platform.

The first program I would like to review is Jyotish Tools from JyotishTools.com authored by Brian Conrad. Jyotish Tools costs $49.95 and is an amazingly powerful program for its size and price, and runs on Pocket PC's running the 2002 operating system. You can get it online at . It includes a coordinate and time-change atlas for 2,200 cities, and can connect to the ACS Atlas (you just have to copy 3 ACS atlas files to your Pocket PC).

As a tool for Jyotishis, Jyotish Tools is truly excellent. It can create charts, even instant prashna charts for the present moment, and import chart files in the QuickCharts format, which means that I was able to transfer all 9,000+ of AstroDatabank's accurately timed famous peoples' charts to the program! You can export charts and listings as text files, and even email chart data to others.

It can create Rasi charts, 20 different divisional (varga) charts, and Shri Pati bhava charts, and display a full screen Rasi chart with a larger font which is very easy to read. On the primary chart screen, you can view both a chart and the planetary positions at birth and transiting, scroll through a dasa/bhukti listing that starts at birth, see the current dasha, bhukti, and antardasa, and click on any dasa and bhukti and pop up a table of all of the antardasas for that bhukti. A second chart information page shows the planetary positions by degree, sign, daily motion, Systems Approach status, nakshatra, and nakshatra lord, plus the yogi point, yogi, duplicate yogi, avayogi, sunrise time, tithi, day of the week, ayanamsa, and birth data.

On another screen, you can view an ephemeris listing of the planetary positions (all of the planets through Saturn plus the North Node) for 16 days, or the same day of the week for 16 weeks, months, or years, starting on any date. Jyotish Tools also has a graphic ephemeris screen, that shows you for a year at a time, starting with any date you want, and in either a horizontal or vertical format, the positions of the transiting planets and where they cross natal positions, house cusps (reckoned by equal houses from the ascendant) and more.

A third screen designed for Iyer Analysis shows the beginnings and middles of all of the houses in the Shri Pati house system, including the nakshatras and nakshatra lords of the bhava madhyas. It also shows the dagdha rasis, yogi point, tithi, yogi, avayogi, and duplicate yogi.

There is even a screen that shows a complete dasa and bhukti listing, i.e. all of the dasas and bhuktis from birth for over 100 years. You can attach notes to any chart, view charts in color, set your present location, customize the ayanamsa, year length, node calculation, language (English or Sanskrit), date format, and the method of calculating the D-2 and the D-11. You can also select from North, South, and East Indian chart format or the Western chart wheel. The software even includes extensive program help, documenting every feature of the program.

Jyotish Tools is simply a superb portable Vedic program. It provides Vedic astrologers with so many of the tools they need, and over time, more will be added.

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