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Astrology for the Mac - Review by Beth Lock

 

"Astrology is a fascinating subject. While almost everyone knows his or her astrological sign, they are not always familiar with the personal characteristics associated with it. Those who turn their interest into more understanding of the subject itself will gain some truly unique insights about themselves and others. I have rarely encountered a person totally immune from wanting to know more about astrology."

For those readers who haven't explored using astrology in their lives, I'd like to insert some of my own personal comments here. I use astrology as a guide, not as a belief system. Anyone who has ever had his or her natal chart done (that I have associated with) has seen the benefits of a non-judgmental, black and white explanation of his or her strengths and weaknesses. As a guide, a natal chart can help us define the strengths and improve the weaknesses in our characters. It's merely another tool to use in personal growth. And like any other tool, it has to be implemented in order to work. These comments are presented as my viewpoint only, and for what it's worth.

My experience with astrological software prior to using the Time Cycles program had been with software written for the Windows platform. I was extraordinarily delighted to find this application offered by Time Cycles Research written only for the Macintosh platform. To my knowledge, it's the only complete package on this subject available for the Mac.

Installation was a breeze and I encountered no glitches there. Since I am reviewing the Io Series Value Pack, which includes fonts, famous collection (a group of 3000 charts of famous people), and AstroTexts, it takes up a whopping 100MB on my hard drive. However, because I wanted to review the entire program, I did install the Editable Astro Texts, which use about 70MB total (I may delete them if space becomes an issue). There is the option with the software to only install the components wanted for each individual application. After installing (with anti-viral software disabled as recommended) then restarting, I was ready to jump right in.

The software is written with the intuitive ease of classic Macintosh applications in mind. Though I'm neither a great astrologer nor a great Mac user, I was able to draw upon the knowledge of both subjects to immediately run the programs and read the interpretations without too much fumbling around (I like to "figure it out myself". Must be my Jupiter in Taurus in the 3rd house. ). It comes with a manual which is comprehensive, well written, and covers all the questions I encountered during my explorations of the software. I didn't need to call Tech Support, but did anyhow to determine their level of commitment and knowledge. My question was answered promptly and courteously with the promise of more help if needed.

There are some surprising and delightful features in this package. For instance, while using Io Edition, I copied all the charts to change from Tropical Placidus to Siderial Vedic, and after completion a little window popped up that said "cool." I loved that! Also, I was startled at the speed with which it calculated the natal charts. I also liked the ability to customize the wheels. The Export feature works flawlessly. This program is so deep that I can't wait to explore it more.

The Graphic Design feature allows those more creative individuals to personalize charts, and in color. There are over 75 different designs included, but with the graphics mode one can create an unlimited array of designs. Multiple charts can be placed on a page, and it has a Drag and Drop capabilities. I had thought I was fairly well versed in the study of astrology since I've been playing around with it for over 20 years. After exploring the different programs in this application I found my knowledge just scratches the surface of this fascinating subject. Time Cycles has structured their software packages for everyone from the novice to the professional astrologer. Here's a quick rundown of the individual components, which can be purchased separately or in
specially priced packages. Custom packages are also available.

   
 

Horoscope

 

Whether you are just starting out or you work professionally in this field, IO Horoscope is a must have. Io Horoscope produces detailed natal reports with accompanying charts. Its flexibility allows a shorter interpretation for when the exact time of birth is not known. The text is editable, and page layout is customizable. Included in Io Horoscope is an "Introduction to Astrology" (see opening quote above, taken from this text.). The interpretations can be exported as HTML for use on the Internet, or as text files to use with your favorite text editor.

   
 

Forecast

 

Io Forecast is like having your own personal consultant. Transits are figured using the current placement of the planets in relation to your current life phase. It has the same ease of use features as Io Horoscope. If astrological charting is your profession, Io Forecast is a great way to build and maintain a practice.

   
 

Relationship

 

Looking for that perfect mate? Curious about a new business partnership? Io Relationship allows you to define areas of mutual compatibility as well as areas where problems are likely to occur. Io Relationship is an extremely valuable tool for daily life. Same ease of use features as Io Horoscope. Uses both Composit and Synastry methods.

   
 
Body and Soul
 

If you take a wholistic approach to maintaining your personal health, IO Body and Soul is another great tool for you to use. It offers recommendations on gemstones, flowers, and aromas to improve your daily life. You can learn your more susceptible areas, which foods are most beneficial, best and worst colors, and how to identify and prevent various conditions and disorders. Same ease of use features as Io Horoscope.

   
 
Edition
 

Io Edition is a powerful tool to use in conjunction with the above applications. It's the essential element for your color graphics work with charts, glyphs, numbers, and data. With Io Edition you have available: natal and solar charts; Tri-wheels and Bi-wheels; American and European styles; 10 house systems; 12 sidereal Ayanamsas; Aspecterians; Midpoint and arc tables; tables of latitudes, longitudes, declinations and rights ascentions; and much, much more. Transit Pro includes: exact transits; traditional transits; progressed hits and the graphic ephemeris. Io Edition is a must have for professional astrologers and those students who have a serious interest in the subject.

   
  Detective (includes Famous Charts collection)
 

Io Detectives was written for the curious at heart. It allows customizable search parameters for chart comparisons. The Famous Charts Collection contains birth information for over 3,000 famous people from the past and present. Now just who is your cosmic twin, hmmm...?

   
  Star Sprite
 

I saved the best for last. :-) Star Sprite is linked to your computer's clock so it can calculate "real time" planetary movements. Easily one of the most fun and fascinating programs in the Io Series, Star Sprite takes Astrology into the 21st century using current computer technology along with the ancient studies. You can actually observe the movements of the planets, with option to choose only the specific planets you're interested in studying. And again, the best for last: Star Sprite can be used as a screen saver for when your computer is in rest mode. Star Sprite's event searching capabilities make this program an essential tool for every astrologer from amateur to professional.

   
  System Requirements
  System Software:Mac OS X 10.3 or later RAM: 156 Megs
   
  Summary
 

Whether you have just developed an interest, or have been an astrologer for years, the Io Series is the application of the future. It's better written and easier to use than Windows programs in this genre, and fills a huge void in the astrological software field for the Macintosh platform. Purchasing separate components and building on with more advanced applications as knowledge increases is also a plus in my book. (Aren't you glad you have a Mac?) Thanks, Time Cycles for your dedication and research. This is a program I'll value for years. Well written, fully comprehensive program, ease of installation, intuitive use, fantastic tech support and complete
instruction manual.

   
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