TMA SoftStar News: November 2013
by Hank Friedman
Note: The links to online resources within these articles are shown as underlined. You can find them on my web page:
The Most Frequently Asked Question about Astrology Software
Over the past few months, I've been receiving one question from astrologers regularly:
Can I use my favorite PC astrology program on my iPad, Android phone or tablet, smart phone, or Mac?
What many astrologers don't understand is that every type of device uses its own "language".
Most phones and tablets use the Android or iOS language, while most PCs use Windows, and Macs use the Mac OS. Programs written for one language won't work on devices that use a different language.
The only universal astrology program is called AstroApp, and it runs on every device because it is internet-based, which means that as long as your phone, tablet, or computer can log on to the internet, you will be able to perform a wide range of calculations. You can even import the chart files from your current program into AstroApp, and have access to all of the data wherever you are.
However, since 2006, all Macs have started using the same brains as PCs, and that has made it much easier to install Windows on Macs, so that if you currently want to run any of your Windows programs on your Mac, you just need to get a copy of Windows and a program called Parallels, that lets you run Windows and Mac programs side-by-side.
Additionally, there is an app called Astro Gold for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch that can read Solar Fire Gold files and provide astrologers with a basic set of astrological functions, and a Vedic astrology program called Jyotish Tools that runs on Android and Kindle Fire devices that can import Quick*Chart files (which most PC programs can create).
The StarFisher Free Astrology Program
I am always looking for new free astrology programs, and when I found the StarFisher program for Windows PCs, I was pleasantly surprised. Most free software is quite limited in its scope, but the author of StarFisher created a program with many both basic and advanced features.
The points are calculated with the Swiss Ephemeris, the Atlas comes from the geonames database, and the time zone tables are from twinsun.com.
You can customize the program in many ways, e.g. specify the colors of the planets, signs, aspects, elements, and screens, choose what aspects (and orbs) to use and what points to aspect, select from 14 different house systems, have different aspect sets for birth charts, transits, directions, and synastry, and point sets for birth charts, transits, and directions. You can select points from the planets, major asteroids, transplutonians, and many fixed stars.
When viewing any wheel or biwheel, if you click on a point, the screen shows you just the aspects that point makes. Neat!
The program displays midpoints, an aspectarian, a nice basic chart information screen, extended information (including Latitude, Azimuth, Altitude, Right Ascension, and Declination), Rising and Setting times, Planetary Hours and Aspect Separations.
Where the program really shines, however, is in the amazing variety of Return charts it can generate including Solar, Lunar, Phase Returns, Precession-corrected Phase Returns, semi-returns, and also fractional returns.
The transit and Secondary Progressed searches can not only look for aspects between points, but also house cusp crossings, ingresses, precession-corrected transits, entering and leaving, and indicates the speed and direction of the moving points.
The compatibility functions include a standard biwheel showing interaspects, and also Composite, Davidson, and more.
The program also has built-in interpretations for natal planets by sign, house, aspects, and degree, and for major transits and progressions.
StarFisher is a very interesting free astrology program that many will enjoy exploring.
The RF Ephemeris
The RF Ephemeris is a free ephemeris generator for Windows. It allows you to create both ephemeride and aspectarians in Geocentric Longitude, Declination, Right Ascension, and Latitude using Tropical or Sidereal coordinates, and Heliocentric Longitude and Latitude, and specify the True or Mean Node, for Noon or Midnight in Greenwich, for a period of any number of days from one day to a full year.
You can include when the Moon changes sign, choose a bold or italic or smaller or larger font, and copy the output to the clipboard or save it to a file.
For a free ephemeris program, the RF Ephemeris is quite versatile.
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