"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." - From "Introduction to Astrology" © Time Cycles Research.
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.