TMA SoftStar News: October-November 2014

by Hank Friedman

Note: The links to online resources within these articles are shown as underlined. You can find them on my web page:

/tma.htm

Note: The links to online resources within these articles are shown as underlined. You can find them on my web page: /tma.htm

New AstrolDeluxe Updates

John Halloran, the author of AstrolDeluxe Report Writer (for Windows PCs) has just released a new set of delineations for Chiron. The author did considerable research preparing the Chiron interpretations and I found them exceptionally well written.

He has also released a new update of AstrolDeluxe Report Writer, version 8.5. Since I last reviewed version 8.3, John has added Local Space Maps; when you click anywhere on a map, it shows you a list of the closest cities and their coordinates. The update also adds Local Space charts using zodiacal coordinates, a 30-degree strip sort, and the ability to turn on and off the display of individual asteroid lines in maps. AstrolDeluxe is one of the few programs that will allow you to add map lines for a large number of asteroids. Also, the positions of Chiron, Ceres, Pallas, Juno, and Vesta can now be calculated as far back as 1650 C.E.

Taking care of your Windows PC

[Note: Since most astrology programs are written to run under Windows, the following programs are all programs that run on Windows PCs.]

One of my real passions is finding the best software, not just programs for astrology, and I scour the web and test hundreds of programs to see if they are worthwhile. Since most astrologers are not computer experts, I wanted to share with you the most useful programs to have on your computer.

Backing up your computer

The most important task for every computer owner is to perform regular backups, so that in the event of a crash or computer virus, you can recover your charts files, astrology programs, etc.

The best way to back up your computer is to use software like Macrium Reflect Free to create an image of the contents of your hard drive onto an external drive (that you only plug into your PC once a week to run a backup).

I often recommend Toshiba external hard drives, as they are inexpensive and reliable.

Protecting your computer from intrusions

1. A better Firewall. To keep our computers safe from outside intrusion, Windows provides users with a program called a firewall. But it's firewall doesn't control which programs on your computer are allowed to access the internet, and so it's fairly ineffective at protecting your PC.

I recommend getting the Online Armor Free firewall which is one of the best firewalls around, instead. (After installing it, right-click on the icon it displays in your system tray, and turn off the HIPS features, so that you aren't swamped with requests by the program. )

Update: I now prefer Privatefirewall, as it is free, less intrusive and quite effective.

2. Anti-Malware. Windows again does provide their customers with a built-in anti-virus program, but it's far too basic to offer trustworthy protection.

The best free anti-malware program is called Avira and it does an excellent job protecting your computer.

If you're willing to purchase the very best anti-malware program. I suggest BitDefender Anti-Virus 2015. In order to use it, however, you first have to remove any anti-virus programs you already have on your PC (and also under Privacy Control Settings turn off Scan SSL).

3. Safeguarding your web browser. Whether you use Internet Explorer, FireFox, or Chrome to browse the web, it is important to protect your browser from being "highjacked", which means taken over by a malicious website. Browser Protect is a free program that works well to keep you safe.
Watch the Earth from Space

The International Space Station in April 30, 2014 activated the HD Earth Viewing Experiment. Several High Definition cameras are aimed at the Earth and continuously broadcast the images on the Internet. You can watch the Earth turn, and see all of its beautiful sights.


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