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Good Lord... over the years I've literally spent thousands of dollars experimenting with new astrology software that comes out on the market and in continually upgrading to the newest versions available.
Once you've made the decision to begin buying astrology software - there are a few things to consider before buying.
Chart Calculation Software Is A Must
Astrology chart calculation programs are not necessarily created equal when it comes down to ease of use. Some of the best most powerful and accurate programs out there can be incredibly difficult to pick up and use straight out of the box. (i.e. Don't lose the manual; you'll need it later on.)
The Good News and the Sobering News
The sobering news is that most good quality astrology chart calculation software programs still cost between $150 and $300. It's a small specialized market; and we consumers don't have the advantage of millions of buyers driving down the price.
The exception to this (driving down the price thing) is the ACS PC Atlas. Many chart calculation programs now include this atlas as part of their package. The ACS PC Atlas, automatically looks up longitudes, latitudes, time zones, and (perhaps most importantly) provides accurate time changes for over 252,000 places in the world. I shudder to tell you just how much I originally paid for my original version of the stand alone ACS PC Atlas (well over 300 smackers) - and now it comes free or as an inexpensive add on.
Whichever chart calculation software you're considering purchasing, you really should double check to make sure that it's compatible with (or includes) the ACS PC Atlas.
Do I Use?
While there are nowadays several excellent options out there, I still have to go with recommending Solar Fire. From the very beginning (when switching from DOS to Windows), I found Solar Fire very easy to use and it has all (and more) of the powerful bells and whistles that the average astrologer and/or astrology enthusiast will ever need.