Posts Tagged fractal softwares

Mind-Boggling Fractals

While doing the fractal softwares tests I had the opportunity to try one software that was in my list of “I want to try this someday”, Mind-Boggling Fractals. I always liked its colourful images, but never could find even a demo of the software.

Apparently, the author gave up on its development and it is now available for free in that list of fractal softwares. It used to be shareware, and a very expensive one if I can remember, considering what it did. Maybe because you now can replicate most if not all of its effects with some colouring algorithms in UltraFractal (pwc.ucl and kcc3.ucl in UF 4 which is what I use) it was no longer interesting for it to be kept as a separate software.

Anyway, I tried it and I didn’t go too far, I just did 2 images (a relatively deep zoom in a simple Mandelbrot looking for a square midget) and gave up. I think with these 2 colouring methods of UF I can make much more interesting images in that style, if needed. Here are my attempts:

Mind-Boggling Midget

MB-Midget

Mind-Boggling Midget

MB Midget 02

It might make some interesting images, but with UltraFractal I have way more options, as in different formulas. With this specific software, I will be limited to a dozen or so kinds of fractals.

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Freewares, sharewares and annoyingwares

While doing some searches on something fractal-related, I found one page with a list of fractal softwares. Also there was a brief description for each of these softwares, which most of the times also helps you to have at least a clue about what it is, even though it might be a bit subjective or can even be a forced good review pushing you to choose that special item of that list instead of others.

Anyway, there’s this interesting entry that says (some bits removed to not explicitly tell which software it is –  people can get picky at times and refuse to understand criticism):

“One of the most popular generators of fractal graphics in 24 bit true color.   This freeware 32-bit program, written in Visual C++ by (…), has capabilities far above many that are available, and is well worth taking the time to try out and use.   (Both the executable and source code are available.)”.

Did you read “freeware” there too? OK. Just checking. Also, the source code is available for those that like to see how it goes behind the curtains. Nice, and the description makes you think it’s a very good piece of software. But click the link and… there’s this disclaimer in the page that says:

Entrance to the (…) download area is for registered members only.

Registration is $35 and is made via Paypal.

Upon registration, you will be emailed with a link, password,
and unlimited access to the download area.”

OK, did you read that too? You will only be able to download this freeware (??) software after you pay a fee to enter the download section of the site. Now how can this be called freeware? To me it’s just something I’d call annoyingware. And then programmers complain that their softwares are pirated or shared in P2P networks and warez sites. If they knew how to sell them, they would sell.

I always liked to and did register as many softwares I could that aren’t extremely overpriced (unfortunately, most still are) and that are really useful and/or without bugs, and even I’ve made some small donations to programmers here and there to help the development of their stuff, and like I did with UltraFractal, when I thought I could sometime have a profit from stuff I did with it, it was kind of a moral and obvious decision to register it (and other similar stuff), if I could ever have any benefit from using it – read “benefit”as pure $$$ – it would be nice to “pay” the author of the software for that the same way you pay for a tool you use at work. But when a software is known for being buggy, overpriced, hyped, or that have a clone software that does the same (or almost) in an open source/freeware format as a paid software, I don’t register or buy it at all, and sometimes when I register a software that later becomes buggy or that lacks support or even that charges me a lot more for a stupid upgrade… I have no guilty in getting an “illegal” updated version of that. But this was the first time I’ve seen some stupid thing like that, a “membership” to download a “freeware”. Pffft. Maybe a bad choice of words or advertising, but still stupid.

Just to make things clear, here’s the definition of “freeware” seen in Wikipedia:

Freeware (from “free” and “software”) is computer software that is available for use at no cost or for an optional fee.[1] Software referred to as freeware is almost always proprietary. Software that is commercial is occasionally referred to as payware.

Also…

“Not to be confused with Free software.”

OK, the author might say that he’s asking that fee because you’re downloading the source code blah blah blah. And the asked fee is nothing like “optional” in that site. Don’t pay it and don’t get the software, it’s simple as that. Had the author asked for a donation, he would probably make much more money than using this “pay before you even see what you’re buying” method. This would be a little different than what I’d call a “freeware” as it stated in this definition, it could (and sometimes is) called a “donationware”.

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Starting to test the softwares… and what a surprise!

Let’s try not to get bored and install all these softwares. First part starts here. Little I knew that I was going to have a nice surprise…

First I’ve unzipped most of the downloaded stuff that doesn’t come as a single .exe file (.RARs and .ZIPs), then what was left (a bunch of .EXEs) I decided to install already after that so I didn’t have to redownload boring stuff by accident. All these files and installation packages are quite small and simple, so I’m already expecting to find very basic softwares…

First installed softwares were: Aros Magic, Double Fractal and Fractint 21 beta (it appears as “Fractint for Windows” in the menu, although it’s not called WinFract!)

Aros Magic: a toy. Full of small jokes here and there, and nothing but a toy. Seems that its “millions of colours” feature is like when you set Fractint to work with more than 256 colours, it goes to a default blue and black gradient and all your previous colour schemes are set to that instead. Seems that it works with the basic images and formulas only.

Double Fractal: another toy. It’s not very easy to guess that you must click one of the images that appear in the window that opens when you launch the software. Then another window opens which seems to be the “editor”. Very basic images as well.

Fractint 21 beta (actually it seems to be v. 20.99): YAY. Fast, Evolution method is available, big resolutions, works smoothly in Windows 7, which means… it’s all I ever wanted from Fractint to be. Now it’s time to install my alternative formula collections and my colour maps to that version and have some real good fun again. I couldn’t really be more pleased. Sorry but the project of testing all these other softwares will be stopped for a while, it’s Fractint time again!

Note: it says “not for public release” in big bold letters in the Fractint beta main window. I can’t be sure how stable it is yet (seems quite stable so far) and I’ll respect this and won’t publish the link for a download of this version, in case you are interested. Just do a search or visit some of the links in my menu, it’s hidden there somewhere and it’s quite easy to be found. Also remember if you wish to install that it’s a beta software, and it might (still) have bugs, use it at your own risk.

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A bit of boredom that might be useful

Some say that good ideas came out of boredom. I’m bored. So I had this idea while there aren’t new images enough for a new gallery… I’ll try to find as many fractal softwares as I can using the links here (that are by far not a full list of all the fractal softwares available) and some extra Google searches and see what happens. Just like when I found Fractint by accident, this might happen again and I can hopefully find some new toy. Or get even more bored. I might write a few comments about some of the most interesting ones and write also some bad comments if I really don’t like some. But there won’t be a step by step review of each one or any kind of comparison between the softwares, I’m doing this just for fun.

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Thank you Google! (Not really…)

Yesterday I had another peak of visitors, around 40. Not bad. But when I went to check my stats tracking software for the reasons why I had these visitors… there it was, all about Mandelbulbs again.

What I don’t understand is that there is much more content about the other kinds of fractals here than about Mandelbulbs, but still it is what is listed the most and the best in Google – I redid most of the searches used by the visitors, and my site appears in the first page of results in most of these. I have some plans related to redoing and changing some of the tags of the images and the posts that seem that don’t work like I expected, but as there are about 500 fractal images here it’s not easy to do it at once. Sometimes posting one image at a time with some description even if it’s short seems to have more impact and better results for it to be found in search engines than the tags in the whole gallery post where the image is.

I’m starting to wonder what will happen if I start writing “Mandelboob” instead of Mandelbulb. Is porn still attracting visitors? There is as much porn in here as Mandelbulb images, I suppose.

Edit: I told you this would work. Some people already visited the site looking for boobs.

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