Clifford Ribaudo

iPhemeris Author


Cliff is a long time student of the Ageless Wiz, and for over 35 years has been a deep student of HP Blavatsky, Alice Bailey, Theosophy, Tibetan Buddhism, Freemasonry and other related subjects.

His interest in Astrology and the Astronomy, Physics and math which underlies it, began while he was at University studying Physics, Astronomy and Computers. Naturally, this led to his combining those skills and interests into what has become the iPhone and Mac App known as iPhemeris.

The History of iPhemeris

The idea for iPhemeris arose when Apple and Steve Jobs (a personal hero of mine) announced the App Store and the Developer Tool Kit in 2008. I'd been following Apple as an investor and Mac technology lover since 2004 and my reaction to the iPhone when I first saw it was one of those YES! moments when you see a piece of technology that instantly solves all your related complaints and issues.

iPhone was such an obvious improvement to everything that was the cluster fk that was cell phones in those days, that I was one of those idiots waiting on line for hours at the Apple store to get one. So when Steve Jobs subsequently announced the Developer Kit, I knew had to get my hands on that too and do something... but what?!

Early one Saturday morning and shortly after the announcement of the SDK, I literally awoke with the idea for iPhemeris and it's name on the tip of my tongue. I thought wow, this technology is so powerful I could easily put on it all the Astrology information I'm currently carrying a bunch books around for.

I spent several months reminding myself of the physics, geometry, algebra and other math skills needed to build an App like iPhemeris. I began by familiarizing myself with the works of Jean Meeus, Paul Heafner and the Jet Propulsion Labs (JPL) Ephemerides. That is some deep stuff that took me a while to wade through, particularly because scientists are absolutely the worst programmers. Being a professional coder, I find they use all kinds of now discredited coding practices and hacks and just loads of icky stuff that makes any professional programmer (which I have been all my working life) run away in horror... makes one wonder how we ever made it to the moon alive, yikes!

Anyway, I ended up writing all my own routines using algorithms from books and studying the principles and building a small, fast, C library to do all the hard-core math. The first iPhone was powerful, but one still had to be sensitive to memory consumption and speed of floating point calculations. So I spent time optimizing, figuring that good design would only help me later.

One thing led to another and after about 6 months of lots of evening, weekend and late night work (iPhemeris is not my day job) I had what turned out to be the very first tool for Astrologers on iPhone... and in my humble opinion, still the best 🙂 And it has continued to grow and be improved and developed into what is now the most complete, powerful Astrology App available for iPhone and Mac.

You can read more about my iPhone Astrology exploits on the iPhemeris blog elsewhere on this site.... Happy charting!

Cliff Ribaudo
iPhemeris Author