Happy Birthday Astrocalc celebrating 30 years today!

On this day it’s about 7 years since I took over the wheel navigating and steering Astrocalc in to the future. Indeed, this period has in many ways been like a first phase in a Saturn cycle and it matches well with the fact that Saturn now is passing over my natal Ascendant. Moreover, with transit Uranus in trine with my natal Saturn, Sextile natal Moon and in trine to its natal self at my Mc, and with transit Sun joining zenith of my wheel, I find this day to be an excellent opportunity to announce a new direction for Astrocalc in to the future and as appropriate it also comes with a birthday present, for you. But to get some perspective, let’s have some history first.

It all began before my time, on this day 27th of July 30 years ago, at 9.54 AM in Quorn UK, to be more precise. Colin Miles, at the time a Chemical Engineering graduate with an interest in Astrology and Astronomy, joined force with Terry Dwyer, who had retired as a Music Teacher and Lecturer to devote himself to astrology. Together they founded the software house of Astrocalc, which also was the name of the programme that Colin brought in. Terry extended this with his Starword, a report writer program to interpret natal charts, which for the time was rather unique – and still is!

To get a technological perspective, the IBM-PC model 5150, the one that would come to set the future norm, was released in August 1981 and the first IBM-PC compatible had just been introduced a month earlier in June 1982. However, Astrocalc started out on the Video-Genie (a Tandy TRS80 clone) and the Commodore PET which still was the pop home computers of the time. Within the nearby years as many as 30 different types of home computers was covered to have the Astrocalc astrology software developed for and as time passed the focus switched more and more to IBM PC compatibles and eventually Windows where we still are today.

Over the course of the years many people apart from Terry and Colin have come to play different and important roles in the progress of Astrocalc and while some of them are mentioned on our About page, the most important is and will always be the Astrocalc user whose feedback is behind many of the implemented features and improvements that have taken place over the years.

In a perspective of a lifetime, 30 years is a quite respectable age and while I have been involved something like 20 of them, I’m only responsible for the last 7 being at the helm. During this time the main focus has been on our flagship software Astrocalc but also Astrogeography, Starword and Transits Forecaster have got a facelift. Unfortunately there haven’t been enough time and recourses to carry on also with the other programs that once were on our list. One reason for this is that some of them actually weren’t ours and Colin Miles acted as an agent for the developer in question who then decided to not continue the cooperation as he retired.

Another reason is that when I first took over as main developer and started the work on what later was released as Astrocalc 6.0 in 2006, we saw the shift from the old MS Dos and Windows 3.x 16-bits platform to the new 32-bits one with the arrival of Windows XP and later Vista. This introduced several compatibility concerns and many new things to study and think about, on top of everything else. When you come as lead in such situation it appears important to act with the future in mind, but at the same time you also need to look after and care for the legacy that was left you. While I worked hard and did my best I have to admit that I didn’t always get it right there. Although I have to say that with Astrocalc 6.2 we are now back on solid ground offering a solid product that can satisfy most needs and to a very affordable price. So where does it leave us to look for in future and what about a new direction?

Well because I don’t have anything to show here today, there is something of Catch 22 over it, as I don’t like to talk about and tie my hands to details about something that still is under development. But yes, it’s about a new version of Astrocalc and it’s also about a free version of Astrocalc, although perhaps not exactly as you expect it. First and foremost it’s about Astrology and to make you a benevolent of its greatness, if you want to, to explore the depths and heights of yourself. It’s also about a step in to the unknown, the unexpected and maybe to break barriers that have been laid out to preserve Status Q and maybe it’s to fulfil the Prophecy of the Mayan Calendar or to open and step through the gate to the Age of Aquarius. Unfortunately I cannot really say more about that part, and indeed I may not even know, actually I don’t know because what still is to become can always be changed and in the end it will be the product of those who gave energy to its creation.

Let me put it this way instead, Colin Miles who ran Astrocalc before me is Pisces and with natal Neptune on my Ascendant it was “natural” to follow, or to try to follow, in his footsteps. A little bit like Father and Son, symbolically speaking. But in the same image is also the unavoidable break up contained, just the son is destined to break free from the father to seek his own true way of self. Well, born to be Cancer I have natal Uranus in Conjunction with Mc, trine Saturn in 2nd and opposite the Aquarian Moon on Ic, I would say that’s the new direction Astrocalc will be heading from now on. Yes, it’s something of an experiment and that’s why I can’t tell for sure where it will end up.

I can tell for sure though, that I probably won’t get far on my own so I sure hope there will be a few jumping on the train, or if it will be a rocket – who know?

Does this mean Astrocalc no longer will be available as a commercial product you pay for? No, they are two different entities but will happily coexist  So if you really have astrological ambitions beyond yourself, you are welcome to pick up our birthday present (see front page) and maybe make someone else happy at the same time.  More details will be made available as things get ready and unfold.

Joakim Schramm
Astrocalc Software

8 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Astrocalc celebrating 30 years today!”

  • Caroline Davison
    Caroline Davison 28th July 2012 at 09:58

    I am glad that Astrocalc is still with us after 30 years. I am certain the charts are the most elegant on the market.
    My first version was on cassette which ran on a Spectrum 48K. The program has come a long way since then.
    Best wishes
    Caroline

  • Richard Llewellyn
    Richard Llewellyn 28th July 2012 at 11:54

    Congratulatlons! A toast to the next 30!

  • Caroline Buck
    Caroline Buck 28th July 2012 at 14:41

    I too started with Astrocalc on cassette 30 years ago. I was living in South Africa at the time, and it was quite revolutionary there then, after all those hours manually calculating! Wishing you every success in the future. Caroline

  • Sandra Groves
    Sandra Groves 30th July 2012 at 12:05

    Its lovely to hear your enthusiasm and hope your dedication and hard work works well for you and Astrocalc. I also started with Astrocalc 30 years ago with a disc for our first computer 'Commodore'. felt very Aquarian using technology of the future with my favourirte subject. You deserve the wishes of success being posted . Kind Regards Sandy

  • Dr Alan Phelan
    Dr Alan Phelan 30th July 2012 at 15:24

    Dear Joakim,

    Happy birthday to Astrocalc and keep up the good work. You are, I believe, a worthy successor to Colin and I love Astrocalc as much as I did when I first used it on a Commodore 64. Thanks as well for all your help and assistance in the past.

    Warmest regards,

    Alan Phelan

  • sylvia cooper
    sylvia cooper 31st July 2012 at 21:40

    Happy Birthday Astrocalc! Congratulations and best wishes sylvia

  • Lana Wooster

    Congratulations Joachim, Colin, and Astrocalc!
    Like Alan Phelan I started with Astrocalc and Colin's programmes in the Commodore 64 days!
    I wouldn't, or couldn't, be without it!
    Best wishes for your further developments,
    Love
    Lana

  • Wendy

    Well, I must add my bit too - I started with Colin, must be nearly 30 years ago, and my computer was the Amstrad 8256! Now long defunct - but how nice to be able to say that I am still using Astrocalc and still love it and would not change to any other programme. Both Colin and Joakim have been a great help when needed, and have put in many years hard work to provide us with such a reliable and user-friendly programme.

    Long may it continue!