Quickphase Pro from Moon Connection.
If you’ve visited the PaganFM! web site, you’ll find a well-designed moon-phase widget on the main page. The company that produces this also produces a stand-alone PC program that is much more powerful for under $20.00. As many pagans are very interested in the phases of the moon, for obvious reasons, I decided to check this program out.
The program is offered in a number of formats, including download only, or with a CD. If you purchase the download version, you can run it as a stand-alone version, or you can choose to download the Microsoft Installer version.
What’s the difference? In the stand-alone format, you can run the program with no changes to your Windows Registry. If, for some reason, your computer crashes, and you have to rebuild your hard drive, you don’t have to re-install the program. You just go to the directory, click on the file, and it runs.
The Windows Installer version installs like most Windows software, and can create a desktop or start-menu icon. It’s easier and more familiar to use, but like any other Windows program, if you lose your hard drive, you’ll need to reinstall the software.
If you want to create a start-menu icon for the stand-alone version, here are the steps to follow.
So, what can you do with QuickPhase Pro? And is it worth $20.00?
At $20.00, it’s priced right about where most inexpensive software is. Also, if we’re looking for when the next New Moon or Full Moon is, we can find that in many pagan almanacs or other online sources. What you won’t find in those sources though, is a view of how the moon looks ‘right now’. The other feature that this program offers is the ability to enter your exact latitude and longitude for an even more accurate representation.
When you first start the program, you’ll need to find your latitude and longitude and enter these into the program, but the software links to web sites that will easily find that information. Future versions of the program will make this easier, but I’ll talk about that in a bit.
If you purchase the software over the web, you’ll get a license number that you’ll need to use to activate the program and all of its features. Once this is done, the program is ready to use. If you happen to move, going to a configuration screen will also let you change your home location.
When the program is running, it looks almost like most other Windows programs, and runs in a standard Window, with the exception of all of the Windows tool bars. This program has a bit cleaner interface with the top Window listing Day, Month, Find, Config and Help. The program seems to come up in the Day mode, showing you the current phase of the moon. Available at this point are arrows allowing the shift by hour or day of the current moon phase. Switching to the Month view, the user is presented with a monthly calendar, available in three different views. View number 1 is mostly for desktop purposes, while the two remaining views are available for printing. View 3 is quite utilitarian, and printing this form is quite usable for making an appointment book.
The find menu is a tool to permit you to list upcoming moon phases.
The configuration panel is where you can change your location, time formats and other information.
The Help button displays a text file describing the operation of the program. It does not use the typical Windows Help documentation, but as this program is not as large as many Windows programs, the text file is entirely sufficient.
There are some limitations to this program. It goes back only to year 0, and ahead to 9999. The farther out you get from modern times, the less accurate the software is; it seems that the phase of the moon does not follow as easily a predictable pattern as we might think. Still the accuracy of the program over any of our lifetimes will be easily within a few minutes.
I did have a chance to have an email conversation with the developer, and discovered that this program is undergoing constant revision. Some upcoming features will be the ability to look at the phases of the moon to some 4000 years BC, and this should be accurate to within a few hours. Also up for change will be the input of latitude and longitude. Rather than visiting a web site and inputting this data manually, it seems that process will be more automated.
So, is this program worth the $20.00? If you value being able to create your own calendars, if you like having moon data available on your desktop, rather than visiting a web site, I think so. Should you wait until the next version comes out for the new features? The developer told me that for those who already own the software, there will be a significant discount on the new versions.
This program can also be purchased as a gift for anyone you know who might like such software for Yule. It’s simply inexpensive, but well-designed and useful software.
© 2008 Deirdre A. Hebert