THE   SPANKY   FRACTAL   DATABASE

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General Info About the Database

Getting the Files

The original SPANKY was a DEC Microvax 3400 computer running the VMS operating system, and if you have had trouble getting FTP transfers to work, this is why.   VMS is much different than Unix and the syntax it expects from FTP is non-standard in this Unix centred universe of the Internet.   I like to think of Spanky as a lone mammal swimming in a reptilian sea.   Unfortunately, this time around, it looks like the dinosaurs are winning.   Anyway, Lynx 2.3 is able to correctly parse the VMS filenames, and spawn programs to view the images as well as NETSCAPE and the NCSA Mosaic client.   You can use FTP to transfer the files but you will have to learn the VAX/VMS directory and filename syntax.   Get the README.DOC file in the [pub] directory.

With this NEW copy of the Spanky Database, there should no longer be any problems downloading whatever may be found within the various directories and sub-directories.

Info on What Is There

I have started to accumulate a reasonable selection of fractal related programs and documents as well as images.   It is all stuff that is or was available on the net but I thought it might be convenient if you could find it all in one place.   If you know of worthwhile programs or articles that I have not included and that are freely available then you could EMAIL me and tell me what it is and where I could find it.   My address is Paul.N.Lee@att.net, I will try and keep things reasonably up-to-date.   I have put them all in associated sub-directories under the [PUB.FRACTALS] heading.

There is more information available on Spanky's image archive, as well as some more detailed background information about this server.

Get the index.doc file in the [pub] directory for a complete and nearly up-to-date listing of what is available on this site.   This document contains file sizes in blocks (512 bytes) as well as file modification dates.

Problems?

As much as I would like everything to work perfectly, the world is too complex a place and chaos will take over if conditions are favourable.   If you are having trouble transfering files or decoding files or viewing images and have exhausted all possible solutions and fixes from your end then try contacting me and maybe I can help.   It might be a problem here.   Sometimes files are stored or transfered here in the wrong format and I am not aware of it or sometimes the httpd server does not understand the file-type.   I know that there are some incompatibilities with the httpd server I am running and at least one other version out there.   I may not be able to solve your problem either but I will try to sort it out when I have time.

A Note to NETSCAPE users

Netscape was a great program and quickly became the most popular web-browser due to its capabilities and extensions.   However, like all software and browsers these days, there are some drawbacks and issues that people had with it when viewing fractals.   In its default settings, Netscape typically converted and compressed inline images, and either ditherd them to a colour cube or took a closest approximation to colours within a fixed palette.   Neither of these techniques are really acceptable when studying fractal images.   We understood the issues and the necessity when dealing with multiple inline images, but wanted the user to be aware that they are often viewing an image with less than optimum resolution or with a significantly altered and reduced colour palette.   If you really want to see what the artist intended you will have to save the image locally and look at it with another viewer.   Other browsers may also be guilty of this.   I am not sure.   I certainly have not tried them all.   It is best to get a really good browser such as Firefox.

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