TMA SoftStar News September 2011
by Hank Friedman
Major ACS Atlas Update
When the staff at Astrolabe became the stewards of the ACS atlas, they found that the previous owners had introduced some errors into the time-change database. In the past two years, they have fixed these errors and worked on incorporating the latest time zone changes into the atlas.
The new atlas is available as a free update for owners of Solar Fire Gold version 7. and for owners of Shri Jyoti Star 6. The updated atlas has also been incorporated into the new Solar Fire Gold version 8 (Please go to the TMA link page for more information*).
Other Free Updates
It is important to check for free updates to your software regularly. Not only do bugs get fixed, but, as mentioned above, atlases get improved, and new features are added. This Summer, Cosmic Patterns released a free update to their atlases for Kepler, Sirius, and Pegasus owners.
Recent updates to Solar Fire Gold 8 fixed problems with several divisional chart calculations, added new charts to their chart collections, and improved their appointments manager. Similarly, Shri Jyoti Star's added more tables, and Matrix Software recently released updates for Day Watch, Win*Writer, Horizons, Matrix Search, and Win*Star 4 Professional fixing screen display issues.
AstrolDeluxe Report Writer Version 8
John Halloran's AstrolDeluxe Report Writer provides a comprehensive range of chart calculations, research features, powerful report writing engine, and a very fine selection of add-on reports. The latest major update enhances the program in many ways, including a new 400 page PDF program manual, progressed-to-progressed aspects in the hit listing, and a "Reports Express" menu that allows you to generate interpretive reports very quickly.
The new Transit Calendar is actually a transit graph that depicts transit-to-natal aspects for two months at a time. The dates are shown at the top of the screen, with asterisks for exact hits and greater than and lesser than symbols (>>> and <<<) indicating when the event is within orb. One nifty feature is that the program actually calculates the transits for a two year period, and you can move forward or backwards two months at a time via buttons. Another unique feature is that it shows an R instead of an * when a station occurs before exactness.
For more advanced astrologers, version 8 adds three types of Primary Directions: Classical Primary Directions without Latitude, Classical Primary Directions with Latitude, and the new "Rational" Primary Directions. Rational Primary Directions converts all points to Oblique Longitude before directing them. Therefore, two of the three Primary methods built into the program take into account the Celestial Latitude of each planet, not just its Celestial Longitude. The program's author finds this gives more accurate results.
The powerful search features of AstrolDeluxe have been significantly enhanced by adding the ability to search chart files for out-of-bounds planets, planets near the equator, quadrant and hemisphere emphasis, aspects from planets to asteroids and Eris, and the dominant planets, signs, and houses in charts. Because you can conduct additional searches on any search results, the many types of search parameters become a very potent set of tools.
AstrolDeluxe Report Writer 8 enables those with true type astrology fonts to use them in chart wheels and text listings, adds better chart rotation tools, and overall is a notable and worthwhile update.
Regulus Platinum version 6
The author of Regulus Platinum has been very busy, and has released a new major update to the program. (Note: this update is free to owners of Regulus Platinum).
Astrologers have begun to express a great deal of interest in the Primary Directions and Rectification methods of Alexander Marr. These techniques have not been available to astrologers, except in a costly older program that does not run on current PCs.
Regulus Platinum 6 has incorporated a full suite of Marr's methods including the Epoch Chart, Dual Test, Radix/Epoch MDO, and (enabled for an additional fee of $149) Automatic Rectification using Life Events categorized in 50 types. The Life Events editor has also been improved to facilitate chart rectification.
The update also has a full-fledged Asteroid module with an excellently designed Asteroid Wheel, An amazingly detailed Asteroid Aspect table showing glyphs, coordinates, speed, and aspects made by each asteroid, and an Asteroid Editor (for selecting the asteroids you want used in the wheel and aspect table, from the more than 1000 built-in, and the 200.000+ that can be imported from astro.com).
Harmonic work has been enhanced with the addition of Harmonic charts, Age charts, Age + 1 charts, and Harmonic Arc charts. And Regulus Platinum 6 can create Antiscia and Contrascia charts, new types of Returns (Wynn Key Cycle, Progressed Solar Return, Kinetic Return, Primary Return, Sign Ingress Return, and Lunar Phase Returns), Lunation charts (New, Full, and Syzygy), and Solar and Lunar Eclipse Charts.
In addition to the 56 points Regulus already allowed users to include in chart wheels, transit graphs, etc., there are now 14 extra points available including additional angles, parts, hypothetical points, and a user selected Fixed Star, Asteroid, and Arabic Part.
Switching between Tropical, Sidereal, and the Draconic Zodiacs is simple, and Regulus Platinum 6 also allows you to copy any screen to your computer's clipboard, for pasting into other programs, and to save any screen as a graphic.
Regulus Platinum 6 offers a very fine set of enhancements to an already phenomenally powerful astrology program.
*All of the links mentioned in this article are posted on the TMA link page: /tma.htm
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