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Mac OS X Quantum Simulations

pudge posted more than 11 years ago | from the computers-can-do-that dept.

Apple 66

Jeremy Lee writes "There are some 'educational' apps that transcend the merely interesting, and expand you mind with the force of a crowbar in the cerebellum. Celestia is one. Atom in a box is another. I keep it handy on my new iBook to blow the minds of chemist friends. It only runs on PowerPC Macs, but it's almost a justification for getting one. It should be used in schools to teach chemistry." Celestia is also great (and available for other platforms) ... I couldn't download it from the main link on the page, but was able to get it from SF.net. But if you really want to amaze your friends, turn your Mac into a Desktop Cray.

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Snowy NJ FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5249011)

Bitchaz!

Celestia (4, Interesting)

Nexum (516661) | more than 11 years ago | (#5249097)

My God,

I thought the CosmoSaver screensaver was good but Celestia is amazing - if you have OSX, or a friend with OSX, or if you are anywhere near an Apple store go get a look at it. When the camera zoomed out from Earth and showed the entire Galaxy for the first time my jaw dropped...

-Nex

Re:Celestia (4, Informative)

Igor47 (557180) | more than 11 years ago | (#5249118)

celestia works perfectly fine in windows, too. haven't tried the *nix version, but its there. everyone needs to download this. its amazing!!!

Re:Celestia (5, Funny)

Tseran (625777) | more than 11 years ago | (#5249698)

My God, Its full of stars!

You said it! (4, Funny)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 11 years ago | (#5249978)

I've been playing around w/ Celestia ever since Slashdot ran an artical about making a CD of Open Source Software for Windows awhile back (I think it was an Ask Slashdot...I'm lazy and drunk so feel free to do a search). Celestia was mentioned in the comments of that story and I thought I would check for a MacOS X version and...DAAAAAAAMMMMMNNNN!!!!

There is something to be said about zipping to objects on the other side of the universe in just a few seconds. And it runs surprisingly well, even on my Late 2001 iBook (600MHz w/ 384MB of RAM and 8MB VRAM). This program is the ultimate for armchair (or bar-top as my case would be at the moment...gotta love wireless internet in Japan) astronomers. It does seem to have problems rendering Earth (as someone else mentioned the mirror effect somewhere in the comments of this story) but everything else is just amazing.

If you haven't downloaded this software yet, then the terrorists have already won...err...no, that isn't right. But seriously, get it and get it like now...as in yesterday! It is AWESOME.

BTW, on a side note, has anyone had any success compiling Celestia from source. I tried but failed (unfortunately, don't remember why). No particular reason to compile from source, but I wanted to try and see if it would be a bit more optimized. Anyway, I had difficulty. Anyone else?

Cheers. :)

Re:You said it! (3, Funny)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 11 years ago | (#5250153)

Ah, nothing's better than having Celestia and XEphem running on my iBook, now that I can't see the damned stars anymore thanks to the smog and light pollution.

A bit out of date? (5, Funny)

Greedo (304385) | more than 11 years ago | (#5252488)

I read this article and just installed it. Wow.

However, I'm I the only one who still sees Skylab orbiting the earth? Shouldn't it be in a geostationary orbit, approximately 0km above Australia?

Re:Celestia (1)

kzadot (249737) | more than 11 years ago | (#5252574)

It also runs on Linux. Mac OS X is not even necessary:

The situation for the UNIX version of Celestia is more complicated. It certainly works on x86-based systems running Linux. As of version 1.1.3, it should also work on PPC based Linux computers as well.

Celestia on Debian? (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 11 years ago | (#5249149)

Anyone know why "apt-get celestia" wants to remove all kde-related material from my system?

Re:Celestia on Debian? (2, Informative)

Teancom (13486) | more than 11 years ago | (#5250308)

It wants to install the new libfam0c102 (g++ 3.2.2), which conflicts with your existing libfam, compiled with 2.95.3. Wait a couple more days, and 3.1 will finish being transitioned into sid (kdelibs, kdebase, arts, and qt are all there already). Then they will coexist peacefully.

Btw, this is all assuming that you are using sid, and probably a third-party KDE.

HTH.

Re:Celestia on Debian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5251188)

I say it again: Linux will never be ready for the desktop.

Re:Celestia on Debian? (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254672)

Well Apt-get sure isnt, but I havent seen a "ms-get excel" or anything like that, so such is a minor detail. I installed it from downloads off the official page(Imagine such a thing!) and it runs fine, even though gtk is a bitch. I dont know if it's using my hardware for accelleration or not, since it's running so slow.. it could just be calculating positions for a while and /then/ sending it to be rendered near-instantly, but I don't trust it.

Great article, this one. (4, Insightful)

torpor (458) | more than 11 years ago | (#5249200)

I really like it when /. posts stuff that's "just cool". Politics and religion are one thing. Cool code that someone wrote just coz is another thing entirely. Really makes my weekend to find stuff like this!

Celestia is fantastic.

X-Plane, also (if you can get it all together and all running), is really great. I'd love to see the two merge, somehow, heh heh ... great for us armchair (or, in my case, tiBook) astronauts.

Incidentally, if you like 'odd software thats just cool for being cool' then you ought to know about sweetcode.org [sweetcode.org] ... so many gems on this site.

Re:Great article, this one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5250961)

the folks who made X-plane have the demo of a space-flight game on their website. and they have that wierd walking robots game there too but I didn't like it

Desktp Cray (2, Funny)

Satchel Buddah (534002) | more than 11 years ago | (#5249208)

I must say that the Desktop Cray app is very impressive. After a few minutes spent on finding the correct presets the result was spectacular.

Re:Desktp Cray (3, Funny)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 11 years ago | (#5249240)

The only thing missing are the Blinkenlights.

Where have you been? (2, Funny)

droleary (47999) | more than 11 years ago | (#5252074)

DasBlinkenLights [subsume.com]

Re:Where have you been? (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 11 years ago | (#5252346)

Of course, to get the real (hardware) Blinkenlights effect, you need a stack of Xserves.

modules & security, etc. (3, Funny)

djupedal (584558) | more than 11 years ago | (#5249334)

I ran some duct work (dang carbon fiber everywhere now) in from the cryogenic chamber in the lab...switched over to external cooling, and scripted a module for it. So far, so good. If the core temp (X4 r2) remains stable until morning, I'll post a link to the module, if anyone's interested. Does anyone know a good security service? I'd like to post a roving guard until I can get an insurance rider/coverage, etc. Do NOT take this stuf to No. Korea.

Re:Desktp Cray (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5249767)

I'll be impressed when DesktopCray is Apple-scriptable.

Re:Desktp Cray (1)

azav (469988) | more than 11 years ago | (#5256765)

Could you then tell me what this is good for? I have less than no idea.

Caution warranted? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5249275)

Perhaps coincidence, but after trying Desktop Cray and Celestia (in that order) got my very first kernel panic... I've been running OS X since 10.0 and have never had one 'til now.

did you....R E A D M E (2, Informative)

djupedal (584558) | more than 11 years ago | (#5249310)

What part of 'Alpha software' (Celestia) was overlooked during your tests? You do know you're testing, right?

"This is a preliminary version of Celestia 1.2.5 for MacOS X. Use it at your own risk!"

So far, neither has acted foul for me. Knock on wood. I think the 1gb RAM I've got onboard helps :)

Re:did you....R E A D M E (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5249529)

In fact I did NOT see that. Teaches me to read /. before I'm fully awake.... ;-)

For the record: 400 MHz AGP (Sawtooth), OS X 10.2.3, 768MB RAM...

Re:did you....R E A D M E (2, Interesting)

djupedal (584558) | more than 11 years ago | (#5253404)

And for the record, my box locked up about 30 minutes later....I had to come in from another box and reboot.

Re:did you....R E A D M E (2, Interesting)

golo (95789) | more than 11 years ago | (#5257824)

Yeah, but they should at last mention that a kernel panic is a common risk.
At any rate, first time ever and even for a kernel panic Apple's got a classy screen :-)

I used 'starry night' [starrynight.com] for OS9 and I saw that they now have a OS X version out, has anybody tried it?

So which is it? (2, Interesting)

Erik K. Veland (574016) | more than 11 years ago | (#5249364)

Is Celestia mindblowing or just great (and availible on other platforms)?

Re:So which is it? (1)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 11 years ago | (#5253426)

Celestia is mindblowing, and the Windows version is actually in better shape than the OS X version (unless they've updated the OS X version in the past few weeks).

Re:So which is it? (3, Informative)

davesag (140186) | more than 11 years ago | (#5255605)

the Windows version is actually in better shape than the OS X version

untrue. the windows version does not contain as many object as far as I can tell - try looking for the Mars Odyssey for example - it's not there in windows, but it it in osx.

ohhh Sneakers! (2, Funny)

ihatewinXP (638000) | more than 11 years ago | (#5249462)

maybe im just a little too young but what does that funny bench from the movie Sneakers have to do with anything? -
honestly though Celestial is an amazing program (esp for an alpha release) and is quite accessible and interesting to non-astrologists, like myself

Re:ohhh Sneakers! (3, Informative)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 11 years ago | (#5250127)

ASTRONOMERS, not astrologists. An "astrologist" is, like an astrologer (the more usual form), someone who believes in horoscopes.

Re:ohhh Sneakers! (1)

ihatewinXP (638000) | more than 11 years ago | (#5250219)

so thats why i couldnt find the "Gemini" preference pane!

Mind-bending visual bug (3, Funny)

korpiq (8532) | more than 11 years ago | (#5249521)

Is this the future of Earth?!

http://kato.iki.fi/htraEwolloF.jpg [kato.iki.fi]

On MacOSX 10.1.5, Celestia apparently wraps a realtime mirror image around us. Does not apply on any other planets.

Re:Mind-bending visual bug (4, Informative)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 11 years ago | (#5250139)

That's because your vid card can't handle the hi-res Earth. My iBook does the same thing if I have the settings wrong. Change the settings on Celestia for lower res and the earth should reappear.

Re:Mind-bending visual bug (0, Offtopic)

Arctic Fox (105204) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262159)

Is there a "In Soviet Russia" joke in here somewhere?

Desktop Cray? (3, Insightful)

phoenix_orb (469019) | more than 11 years ago | (#5250098)

What is it?

I have looked in the forums and the homepage, and it almost seems as if it is a joke.

Does it work?

Does it actually make a speed improvement?

How does it work?

With software that possibly emulates a 512bit integer processor (or so I gathered from the website) I would assume a massive slowdown from emulation.

Before I actually try this software, would someone let me know of their experiences with it?

Re:Desktop Cray? (2, Funny)

Erik K. Veland (574016) | more than 11 years ago | (#5250134)

My experiences have been good. Watch out for quantum fluxuations though.

Re:Desktop Cray? (2, Funny)

overbom (461949) | more than 11 years ago | (#5250960)

My experiences have also been great. In addition to Erik's quantum fluctuations, I've heard a smattering of reports concerning vector continuum flanging. As always, check the freem drive before you start it up.

hth,

mike overbo

Re:Desktop Cray? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5262655)

Nice computer. Flaven goiven!

Re:Desktop Cray? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5250274)

The app is a hoax. http://www.macmerc.com/article.php?sid=536

Re:Desktop Cray? (1)

romeus (649035) | more than 11 years ago | (#5267036)

Dear AC,

Desktop Cray is an XOSX not a HOAX.

fast regards,

Romeus Y. Arcy
Desktop Cray Development Team

Re:Desktop Cray? (1)

micaelus (450857) | more than 11 years ago | (#5251034)

This may help:

http://www.macmerc.com/article.php?sid=536

Re:Desktop Cray? (1)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 11 years ago | (#5251492)

Yes, it's a joke. It does absolutely nothing. In my opinion, not a very funny joke, but I guess different people have different tastes.

Re:Desktop Cray? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5251950)

A Cray is a supercomputer. Hense "Desktop Cray" is a joke.

Re:Desktop Cray? (1)

sweet reason (16681) | more than 11 years ago | (#5270815)

A Cray is a supercomputer. Hense "Desktop Cray" is a joke.

actually, the once-planned Cray3 would have fit on a desktop. it had to be small, because path lengths are the ultimate speed limit.

Defines... (1)

wallsaroundme (582721) | more than 11 years ago | (#5254669)

The-emperor-has-no-clothes-ware.

well their CEO is called Romeus Y. Arcy (4, Informative)

davesag (140186) | more than 11 years ago | (#5255801)

and Romeus Y. Arcy is a pretty obvious anagram for Seymore Cray. I downloaded it, ran it and was amused for about 3 seconds by dablinkenlights. Funnier is their forums with people actually claiming this thing does make their mac run faster. hats-off to a well conceived prank. - best thing is the icon imho.

incedentally there is a real Cray YMP in the Science Museum in London bearing a plaque with a quote from Seymore Cray claiming that when he heard that Apple had bought a Cray to help design the new Mac he replied that was funny, cos he was using a Mac to design the next Cray.

Re:well their CEO is called Romeus Y. Arcy (1)

azav (469988) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262667)

Oh ya, changing the cooling mechanism helps my Tibook run cooler too! Especially when I'm emulating 2048 processors and prefetching n to the 8th pipelines.

Re:well their CEO is called Romeus Y. Arcy (1)

romeus (649035) | more than 11 years ago | (#5267012)

Dear davesag,

Thank you for informing me about the unusual (to say the least) coincidence on my name being an anagram for Seymore Cray. I had heard before that his name was an anagram of mine! Life is stranger than fiction, hey?

Also I feel it's important to state for the record that I am not the CEO of XOSX Software, that's Dr Gette Lyfe.

fast regards,

Romeus Y. Arcy
Desktop Cray Development Team
http://www.xosx.com/desktopcray

Re:well their CEO is called Romeus Y. Arcy (1)

davesag (140186) | more than 11 years ago | (#5267268)

My apologies, I thought you were the CEO. No matter. I must also apologise for misspelling Seymour.

you don't happen to have a Fakeuw Sgies working there too by any chance?

ps: Could you do an OSX version of the Desktop Connection Machine too, or perhaps a Desktop Wetlab [bitsjournal.com] so that people don't need to risk coming into contact with e-coli.

Hmmmm.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5250458)

When apps are Windows-only, most of /. cries foul even though they're accessable to ~95% of computer users. Something is Mac-only, so ~97% of us (and growing ;) can't use it, and it's justification to buy into a vertical monopoly machine. Hmm.

I think you guys need more mind expansion.

Re:Hmmmm.... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5251140)

Hey, you won't find me complaining about the lack of spyware, clip art collections, and shareware puzzle games for Mac OS X. What else does Windows have that Mac doesn't?

Re:Hmmmm.... (1)

azav (469988) | more than 11 years ago | (#5262704)

You must be referring to the infamous BSOD.

Blue Screen Of Death.

All Hail Bill.

Re:Hmmmm.... (0, Offtopic)

jaredcash (645855) | more than 11 years ago | (#5251224)

~97% and climbing? Heh. Does Bill Gates feed you opium for breakfast EVERY day, or just on Fridays? Just curious, since if you'll actually check the stats, the market share for Windows is going the OPPOSITE direction. Why else would Billy Boy be quaking in his boots so much that he's now starting ANOTHER attempt at a Windows Switcher campaign. Wonder where they're going to get their stock footage from? Better, yet, who's the poor marketing schmuck who'll have to voice-over with lies what the person is actually saying. ;-)

Jared

LOL. Such attitude from someone who can't read. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5255813)

I was talking about Apple's continuously declining market share - see virtually any sales, web hit, or other statistic for the incredibly shrinking platform. I'm sure that's just part of some big MS conspiracy, though. But worry not, valliant mac user, your terrible reading comprehension will be a great asset for the Jobsian RDF. :)

sigh... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5252643)

My life is empty and boring, devoid of all meaning but for my PC, who's market share I check up on every hour. When it rises by more than 0.01%, I grant myself an hour of 'self abuse'. When it falls by the same amount, I troll /., with sour beads of salty tears and sweaty hatred dripping onto my semen-encrusted keyboard.

You on the other hand sound like a really fun guy! I am not sure about a mind expansion, but could you give me some lessons in getting a life expansion?

breve (4, Informative)

jeffehobbs (419930) | more than 11 years ago | (#5252794)


I'd have to say that breve:

http://www.spiderland.org/breve/ [spiderland.org]

is one of the coolest scientific apps out for OS X right now. It takes some time to wrap your head around it, but with a little work, you can be writing your own 3D OpenGL simulations...!

~jeff

cerebella...? (3, Funny)

girl_geek_antinomy (626942) | more than 11 years ago | (#5253022)

Maybe this makes me a biology pedant, but...

with the force of a crowbar to the Cerebellum?

You want the cerebral cortex. That's where the thinking happens. The cerebellum is a funny little bit in the old middle bit of your brain that keeps your balance working. Applying a crowbar to it would merely have a simmilar effect to many pints of beer...

Re:cerebella...? (1)

Maserati (8679) | more than 11 years ago | (#5256010)

Let me get back to you on that in a couple hours.

Mac OS Scrotum Stimulations (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5255063)

Dear Apple,

I am a homosexual. I bought an Apple computer because of its well earned reputation for being "the" gay computer. Since I have become an Apple owner, I have been exposed to a whole new world of gay friends. It is really a pleasure to meet and compute with other homos such as myself. I plan on using my new Apple computer as a way to entice and recruit young schoolboys into the homosexual lifestyle; it would be so helpful if you could produce more software which would appeal to young boys. Thanks in advance.

with much gayness,

Father Randy "Pudge" O'Day, S.J.

Celestia Bug? (1)

bardencj (122074) | more than 11 years ago | (#5255803)

My copy seems to be broken -- I can't find the Planet of the Apes!

Re:Celestia Bug? (1)

jweatherley (457715) | more than 11 years ago | (#5258182)

You need to travel in time, not space, for Planet of the Apes.

Re:Celestia Bug? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5261396)

Is there a difference? :)

Celestia ISS Sunrise (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5256776)

Nothing like watching a peaceful realtime virtual sunrise for the International Space Station to make you feel better after the unfortunate space-related event recently. Happens every ~90 minutes. Just type "ISS" in the Go To Object window.

An investigation of Mac pricing. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5256950)

Why macs are too expensive..

An investigation into New Zealand Retail Prices

Dual
1.25 GHz $7,999+GST = $US 4770

PowerPC G4 Dual 1.25GHz processors
2MB DDR L3 cache
167MHz system bus
512MB DDR SDRAM (max. 2GB)
120GB Ultra ATA hard drive
DVD-R/CD-RW SuperDrive
ATI Radeon 9000 Pro
with 64MB of DDR SDRAM
Four USB ports
Two FireWire ports
Four PCI slots
Built-in 56k modem
10/100/1000 Base-T Ethernet
AirPort ready
Apple Pro keyboard
Apple Pro mouse

PC Pricing

Dual AMD Athlon MP 2200+ 2*478=$956
Asustek A7M266-D Dual Socket A $540
Radeon 9000 64Mb $160
Seagate 120Gb 7200rpm $314
512Mb PC2100 DDR SDRAM $168
Internal 56K Modem $17

Total $2155=$US 1143

Difference=$US 3627

Hmmmmmm.

So where is Planet X? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5261405)

If there were anyone to be Believers, it would be users of OS X :)
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