Pagan Daybook

Questions and answers

Q: Can I have Pagan Daybook play my music, or is it limited to the music that it installs with?

A: You can add your own tunes to Pagan Daybook's play list. Click on the Add button in the Music window. Your music must be stored as .MID, .MP3 or .WAV files.

Q: Why does it take several seconds for Pagan Daybook's window to display after the application boots up?

A: This delay is caused by the graphics engine in Pagan Daybook building the background graphic for the main window. Textured backgrounds take the most time, and some of the complex ones can entail a pretty lengthy wait, especially on a slower system, or one with relatively little available memory. The Craters texture is particularly troublesome in this respect. If you're finding the delay to be objectionable, you might want to select a theme that uses a different type of background.

Q: Can I configure Pagan Daybook to be both a screen saver and a stand-alone application.

A: Yes you can — in fact, you should. The screen saver portion of Pagan Daybook will be installed when you install the application. If you didn't select it as your default screen saver during installation, you can do so at any time in the future through the Display applet of the Windows Control Panel.

Q: If I only want the screen saver version of Pagan Daybook, can I delete the main application file to save space.

A: No — this would be a really bad idea. The screen saver calls the main application to fetch its pictures and to perform a number of important functions.

Q: Why are the calendar dates in Pagan Daybook listed with CE or BCE after them?

A: The short answer would be "because it's a pagan daybook."

The year one in western calendars is said to be the birth of christ — a somewhat chauvinistic and historically dubious beginning, to be sure. Years before this event are referred to as BC — "before christ" — and years after it are referred to as AD, or "anno domini," the year of the lord. It's a bit preposterous, 'specially if christ turns out never to have existed at all, a decidedly likely eventuality.

All this being the case, most scholarly works use the abbreviations CE and BCE — "common era" and "before common era" — in place of AD and BC. We've used them as well. We feel that if political correctness requires that dead people be referred to as "metabolically-challenged individuals" and elected officials can describe their lies as "being economical with the truth," this is a reasonable compromise for those of us who don't regard God as a bald-headed old man with a white beard, an unshaven guy with nail holes in his hands and a mysterious pyromaniac in a bedsheet.

Q: Can I use the text from Pagan Daybook on my web page?

A: No — the text for Pagan Daybook is copyright, and may not be reproduced without the express written permission of the copyright holders. The copyright holders will not grant permission for its reproduction on web pages or other similar media.

Q: Can I look at entries other than the one for today?

A: Yes you can — this is what the Calendar function does. You can access the Calendar function by right-clicking in the main application window of Pagan Daybook and selecting Calendar from the menu that appears.

Q: Can I access the Calendar function from the Pagan Daybook screen saver?

A: No, you need to use the main Pagan Daybook application to browse the Calendar.

Q: Can I change the text or pictures for selected entries in Pagan Daybook?

A: Yes — see the discussion of Personal Days in the Pagan Daybook Reference document.

Q: Can I change the font or color scheme of the Pagan Daybook window?

A: Yes — see the section of the Pagan Daybook Reference document which deals with Themes to configure these items.

Q: I live in Australia — can Pagan Daybook be configured to display the correct seasons south of the equator?

A: Yes it can. Right-click in the Pagan Daybook window, select Setup and enable the Southern Hemisphere option.

Q: Why are all the Egyptian deities in Pagan Daybook named after villains in Stargate SG-1? Did you have to license these characters?

A: Odd coincidence, this — or perhaps not. The writers of the Stargate episodes appear to have co-opted Egyptian beliefs for their story line, stemming from the premise that the pyramids are actually landing pads for extraterrestrials and the Egyptian gods came from outer space. They're not the first people to try this one on — the next time you're in a used book shop, see if you can find a copy of Chariots of the Gods by Erich von Daniken. It's a monument to questionable science, but an amusing read none the less.

Stargate showed up after the Egyptian gods and goddess referenced in Pagan Daybook. As such, it's worth keeping in mind that Hathor is not a murderous alien with purple breath and a glow-in-the-dark belly button, Apophis really is a snake, rather than just having one in his head and Osiris isn't a blond woman with an English accent.

Still, it's fun TV.

Q: Why doesn't my Pagan Daybook 14 registration code work with Pagan Daybook 15?

A: Pagan Daybook 14 and Pagan Daybook 15 are distinct applications, and need to be paid for separately. Please see the Alchemy Mindworks upgrade page for upgrade information.

Q: The phase of the moon display in Pagan Daybook doesn't seem to be working. All I see is a black circle. Is this a bug?

A: We receive several messages to this effect each month, coinciding with the new moon. Once a month, the moon goes completely into shadow, and ceases to shine. At this time, the lunar phase display of Pagan Daybook also shows a dark moon. If you look closely at it, you'll notice the shadows of craters in it.

This no doubt scared people to death a few thousand years ago, but it's nothing to worry about now. The moon will return — trust us. If you'd like to verify that the moon's still working properly, use the Calendar function of Pagan Daybook to advance the date by a week or two and observe the phase of the moon.

Q: I read that the spring festival of Libertas was celebrated by the Romans on April 21. Pagan Daybook says it was celebrated on April 13. Does this mean Pagan Daybook is incorrect?

A: Not as such. It's important to keep in mind that the classical civilizations from which much of Pagan Daybook's list of observances is drawn stuck around for a very long time. Ancient Egypt as a sovereign nation existed for something on the order of 3000 years — the first dynastic period of its history began around 2920 BCE. Rome was founded around 753 BCE, and fell to Germanic invaders in 476 CE — a national lifespan of over 1200 years. A great deal can change in a millennium or two.

When one speaks of what "the Egyptians" or "the Romans" did, it's usually important to specify which Egyptians or Romans are being referred to. The cultural and religious institutions of these civilizations changed with time — and so did the dates of their holidays. A Pagan Daybook that cited every variation of every observance it included would no doubt be a great deal more accurate — but it wouldn't be much fun.