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The Magic Machine: A Handbook of Computer Sorcery Paperback – October 1, 1990


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 357 pages
  • Publisher: W.H. Freeman & Company (October 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0716721449
  • ISBN-13: 978-0716721444
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,381,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 3, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Published back in 1990, these were the days when programmers of visual effects had to understand the mathematics and algorithms behind what they were doing - or at least copy them and type them in - because you couldn't buy the latest software that would do it for you. These were the fun days of programming such effects. The chapters are taken from the author's column in Scientific American, and have a variety of algorithms and their explanations and implementations. The following is the table of contents:

1. Mandelbrot Magic
2. Visions of Julia - on generating the Julia set
3. The Strange Attractions of Chaos - Contains a program on the simplest known chaotic system and also a program on the Henon attractor.
4. Catching Biomorphs - One program that generates algebraic lifeforms and another that produces fractal forms laid out on a grid.
5. Fractal mountains and graftal plants - A program that draws a profile of a mountain and another program that produces an L-system for generating a plant.
6. Hodgepodge reactions - Contains a program that creates a cellular automaton that produces a self-sustaining reaction.
7. The Demons of Cyclic Space - Contains a program that create a cellular automaton that evolves.
8. Slow Growths - Simulates natural clustering processes.
9. Programmed parties - A program shows how to produce people who party on a computer screen.
10. Palmiter's Protozoa - Simulates protozoa hunting bacteria.
11. Panning for Primes - Shows how to write various types of prime number generators.
12. Special FX - Worms crawl on a computer screen, raindrops fall on a pond surface, and we get a view from a spaceship.
13. Balls in a box - Balls bounce, diffuse, and create nucear chain reactions.
14.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 28, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book talks about various aspects of fractals, biomorphs and many other very, very interesting aspects of maths. A book for beginners, intermediate and advanced readers. Algorithms and much more for computer programming. A MUST HAVE for everybody interested on fractals and computer science.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. Williams on October 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I got this book in the early 90's and the material was old then, still after all these years this is one of my favorite books. Every time i go back through this book is a breath of fresh air and it reminds me why I got into the technology industry. I highly recommend it to just about anyone.
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By W. Parker on June 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I remember reading these when they first came out in Scientific American. I cut some of them out of the magazine, but the clipping are now filed somewhere in a filing cabinet. I look forward to rereading them in book form.
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