Fracster Mandelbrot Set Explorer

Since online social networks are full of geeks like us anyway, let's come right out and admit it! Find your favorite part of the pretty fractal landscape known as the Mandelbrot Set with our nifty whizbang Java applet, then click the Click to Share button to add your discovery for others to enjoy. Hey, it's social! Sorry, there's no provision for spelling out your dating preferences. Source code now available!

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Mandelbrot Set? It's a fractal! It's an interative function! It's really cool-looking! It's... something those of us who played with computers in the late eighties and early nineties spent a lot of time staring at. To learn more, check out the excellent introduction to the Mandelbrot Set by David Dewey.

Why is this page called Fracster? It's a little joke at the expense of online social networking sites like Friendster and Orkut.

Where is the source code? Right here.

What has changed? If you wait long enough, a super-high-quality antialiased picture is calculated. You may zoom in on any square region by dragging the mouse. You can now click many times quickly; the calculation is interrupted immediately. You now have the option of more iterations, and this is saved with your discovery so that other people see what you see. There have been yet more speed improvements. Code changes were made that should make it behave better on low-memory machines running dodgy Java VMs. The locations of other people's nifty discoveries are now marked with an X. They are also outlined when you zoom in far enough, and labeled with a name and finally a title when you zoom in on them all the way. Compatible with Microsoft's Java VM. The algorithm now continues for 200 iterations by default, and I scale the available colors to cover the range of iterations present in the image.


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