|★ APPLICATIONS ★ DIVERS ★ PERSONAL COMPUTER ASTROLOGY ★|
|Personal Computer Astrology||Applications Divers|
There is a professional feel about the Personal Computer Astrology package - partly from the amount of detail that the program can generate and partly because it doesn't give too many concessions to the astrological beginner.
There are two quite thick manuals packed with detail about the program, Although free of most computer jargon they do have some astrological terminology that would quickly leave the beginner feeling out of his depth. In fact the computer side of the program is remarkably easy to grasp -the astrological side would take a while to plumb its depths.
This is at least partly because the program tries to do so much. The basic function of the program is to produce a natal chart and, using a quite complicated interpretation text file, to produce a detailed summing up of the character of the person involved.
Most helpfully it also produces a drawn chartwheel, either to screen or to the printer. The chart is invaluable for a proper interpetation, giving an easily digested form to a lot of otherwise incomprehensible material. It also gives a real professional touch as far as the customer is concerned. You type in the details - name, exact moment of birth, place of birth etc, and the computer does the rest. Assuming the place of birth is in the gazetteer (most reasonable sized UK towns and most large cities throughout the world are included, although not West Penge) the machine will automatically work out the latitude and longitude and even tackle the thorny British Summer Time problem. If your customer was born in Delhi or Wagga Wagga you'll have to know the time difference, however.
Look no hands
All these details can be saved to a name file. This is handy when, for instance, you want to compare this with the set-up for another day (Transit option) - a useful feature for professional astrologer. One limitation is that transits can only be worked out for one day at a time so to get an idea of the changing influences over a period of time would still be quite time consuming.
One useful feature that would be well worth tackling is the commandstring. This is a form of macro which allows you to load details and carry out any of the commands you would normally carry out from the menu. So you could enter details for a number of customers and then go out for the evening while the computer worked out details and printed out reams of text.
But once you have discovered how to do these basics you have only scratched the surface. You can modify the program in a host of ways. Obviously when it comes to deciding whether a planet is trined to another you wouldn't want to disregard anything that wasn't exactly 120 degrees apart. Some may accept anything up to 130 degrees while others would only want 123 degrees. This can be easily adjusted using the orb limits.
But more significant for the professional astrologer may be the ability to choose their favourite house system (PCA has six available) or setting the house cusps (where they change - there are five methods of calculating these).
Add to this the ability to calculate progressions of different ratios, day charts, solar and lunar returns, relationship charts, and a clock option updating a horoscope in line with the PCW s internal clock and you find plenty of options to explore.
The company offers what they consider pretty basic example files to show you the idea. This provides quite a presentable product and gives you an excellent idea of what is required when you come to write your own interpretation text files. However, be warned; this does not took an particularly easy exercise - either in computer or astrological terms. Although this can be done in a simple form the program also claims sophisticated 'artificial intelligence* features to avoid contradictions.
In the meantime the company are working on a full interpretation package out soon and a new version of the program should give a choice of four types of printed chart.