Introduction to Fractint

FRACTINT plots and manipulates images of "objects" -- actually, sets of mathematical points -- that have fractal dimension. See Fractals and the PC for some historical and mathematical background on fractal geometry, a discipline named and popularized by mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot. For now, these sets of points have three important properties:

For a demonstration of some of Fractint's features, run the demonstration file included with this release (DEMO.BAT) by typing "demo" at the DOS prompt. You can stop the demonstration at any time by pressing "Esc".

The name FRACTINT was chosen because the program generates many of its images using INTeger math, rather than the floating point calculations used by most such programs. That means that you don't need a math co- processor chip (aka floating point unit or FPU), although for a few fractal types where floating point math is faster, the program recognizes and automatically uses an 80x87 chip if it's present. It's even faster on systems using Intel's 80386 and 80486 microprocessors, where the integer math can be executed in their native 32-bit mode.

Fractint works with many adapters and graphics modes from CGA to the 1024x768, 256-color XGA mode. Even "larger" images, up to 32767x32767x256, can be plotted to expanded memory, extended memory, or disk: this bypasses the screen and allows you to create images with higher resolution than your current display can handle, and to run in "background" under multi-tasking control programs such as DESQview and Windows 3.

Fractint is an experiment in collaboration. Many volunteers have joined Bert Tyler, the program's first author, in improving successive versions. Through electronic mail messages, CompuServe's GO GRAPHICS forums, new versions are hacked out and debugged a little at a time. Fractint was born fast, and none of us has seen any other fractal plotter close to the present version for speed, versatility, and all- around wonderfulness. (If you have, tell us so we can steal somebody else's ideas instead of each other's.) See The Stone Soup Story and A Word About the Authors for information about the authors, and see Contacting the Authors for how to contribute your own ideas and code.

Fractint is freeware. The copyright is retained by the Stone Soup Group.

Fractint may be freely copied and distributed in unmodified form but may not be sold. (A nominal distribution fee may be charged for media and handling by freeware and shareware distributors.) Fractint may be used personally or in a business - if you can do your job better by using Fractint, or using images from it, that's great! It may not be given away with commercial products without explicit permission from the Stone Soup Group.

There is no warranty of Fractint's suitability for any purpose, nor any acceptance of liability, express or implied.

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   * Contribution policy: *
   *   Don't want money.  *
   *     Got money.       *
   *   Want admiration.   *
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Source code for Fractint is also freely available - see Distribution of Fractint. See the FRACTSRC.DOC file included with the source for conditions on use. (In most cases we just want credit.)


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This page maintained by

Noel Giffin,
noel@triumf.ca