The Creators of Solar Fire

by Hank Friedman

Solar Fire was conceived of and created by two people: Stephanie Johnson and Graham Dawson.

Graham Dawson was the chief programmer of Solar Fire for most of its journey, and a true programming genius who skillfully added feature after feature to Solar Fire with amazing speed and brilliance.

I discovered, for example, during the process of exploring Solar Fire Deluxe for my review of it, that it was constructed so incredibly well that it could do more than it was designed to do.

I created a page (using the program's unparalleled Page Designer) that had four biwheels on it. I then went to the Animate Page feature and designated the first biwheel as transit-to-natal (i.e. transiting planets around a natal chart), the second biwheel to secondary progressed-to-natal, the third to tertiary progressed-to-natal, and the fourth to minor progressed-to-natal.

I then animated the page and sure enough, the planets in the outer rings of all four biwheels animated at their own rates, each in accordance with the method used in its biwheel. I was amazed at this incredible capability.

I have also been consistently awed by the solidity of each version's initial release. Although in general astrology programs are a bit buggy when each new version comes out, this has not been true of Solar Fire. That's a testament to Graham's superb work.

Stephanie Johnson has also made priceless contributions to Solar Fire's evolution. From the start, she insisted that Solar Fire be as easy to use as possible, and conform to the Windows protocols completely so that anyone familiar with any Windows program could use Solar Fire effortlessly.

In fact, when I evaluated the user interfaces of all of the top astrology programs in my article, "The Value of the User Interface in Astrology Software", Solar Fire came out way on top of all of the other programs.

Stephanie also created all of the interpretive texts for Solar Fire, another great contribution to its value.


Many others have contributed to the development and enhancement of Solar Fire. (In fact, I myself have contributed many artistic page designs, helped them incorporate Vedic features, and shared with them many insights for improving the program.)

I will be adding to this page in the near future.

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