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Article #4 (74 is last):
From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: Fractals and Other Graphics / education / shareware
Reply-To: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Date: Mon Nov  4 19:57:55 1991

Reprinted from Current Notes, Vol. 11, No. 6, July/August 1991


Review by
Jerry Girard

     Bresnik's _Fractals and Other Graphics_ is composed of a variety of
programs.  Included are: The Hilbert Curve (adapted from Michael Ackerman's
article in _Byte_, June 1986), The Mandelbrot Set, The Sierpinski Curve, The
Dragon Curve, TruchetTiles, Not-So-Slow-Grow, Life, and other graphics
     Instructions are only provided for Life and Not-So-Slow-Grow.  The user
must be familiar with the other programs because on-screen help is poor. 
However, the limited instructions provided are clear.  Life graphs "the manner
in whch a cellular automation--a machine which functions independently,
operating on the information in its vicinity--survives, reproduces or dies
depending on the number of immediate neighbors."  The instructions contain the
rules, the program, and examples of cell outcomes.  The routine itself works
fine and might be a good tool for modeling cell growth.
     The instructions for Not-So-Slow-Grow outline the program's objectives and
detail the workings of the BASIC program but are a little wordy.  For example:
Not-So-Slow-Grow is "a model of diffusion-limited aggregation, ... the gradual
accretion of material on the periphery of a figure."  Say what?  Fortunately,
it gives an example: a crystal of "zinc metal that grows on the negative
electrode in a shallow plating tank."  The program's function is to graph these
figures.  It does a moderate job.
     Even with the documentation provided, I did not feel the program lived up
to its potential.  I'd give it a "C."  No mention of the individual program's
functions was given.  Its organization, as to the graphic programs, required
you to run each program to figure out what it was even related to.  You could
not easily escape from an error in these programs; you had to press [BREAK] or
[RESET] and then run the program over again.
     However, no bugs were found and Life, Not-So-Slow-Grow, and Chaos (a
program that graphs snowflakes) did hold my interest.  Such instructions as
were provided proved to be useful and accurate; color and resolution of the
graphic displays were also satisfactory.  I ran Fractals on my Atari 130XE with
DOS 2.5 and an XF551 drive.

     Available from: Bresnik Software, 555 Ware St., Mansfield, MA 02048. 
Shareware, all disks $5.95 + $2.00 P&H per order.

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