Mandelbrot Madness JAVA!

Version 3.1 -- Installation and Setup

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What You Need First

There are a number of things that are needed in order to run Mandelbrot Madness JAVA! This program is not an applet! It is a Java application. While I have attempted to include an applet that will allow you to run MMJ! through your Web browser, I don't make any guarantees that it will work this way. Even if it does, it may be limited in some of its functionality, as some features such as saving images and opening parameter files may not be made available by your browser's Java implementation. For best results, you should run MMJ! as a Java application using a Java runtime environment (i.e., virtual machine).

Here's a list of what you need to run MMJ!:

MMJ! is a windowed application and uses the AWT (Alternative Window Toolkit). You cannot use it on a character-only system, even in batch mode.

Because MMJ! is a Java program, you will need some sort of Java virtual machine on which to run it. Java runtime environments have been ported to many operating systems now, and you are likely to find one easily with a quick search of the Web. I suggest starting at Sun's Java home page ( They have a number of ports located there, and links to other ports, such as Linux. Make sure to get a Java 1.1 implementation or later! MMJ! is a Java 1.1 application and will not run under Java 1.0! (If possible, you may also want to consider a just-in-time compiler system (JIT compiler), which may help increase MMJ!'s speed.) I would strongly suggest JavaSoft's JDK or JRE 1.1.7B, since there a number of features in MMJ! that rely on features that have bugs in early versions of the JDK and JRE, and it also includes a JIT compiler.

By its very nature, MMJ! is guaranteed to be a resource hog. The more memory your machine has, the better it will probably perform. It is a good suggestion not to have too many windows open at once, but the more memory you have, the more windows you will be able to comfortably keep open. This can also be affected by other applications you are running at the same time.

Also note that MMJ! uses long file names for both class files and the documentation. This isn't a problem for UNIX boxes or Macs, but Windows users should take note. If you use an older ZIP utility, such as PKUNZIP, to unarchive the files, you may end up with truncated file names, which will make things extremely difficult for you. You might want to use one of the newer versions of WinZip ( to open the archive.


Installing Mandelbrot Madness JAVA!

To install MMJ!, you must first extract it from its distribution archive. (Don't worry, this is a lot easier than it sounds!) Most likely, if you've downloaded software from the Internet before, you're familiar with ZIP archives. If not, programs such as WinZip (mentioned above) can make using them fairly simple.

When extracting MMJ! make sure to extract it to a clean (empty) directory and make sure to keep the directory structure intact. (In WinZip, this option is usually called "Use Folder Names" or "Use Directory Names".) Documentation (such as this file!) are kept in a subdirectory of where you install MMJ!, and you can't find them from the README file if you don't. You can find a file listing and directory structure for MMJ! on the Technical Information page.

And that's it! That's all you need to do to install MMJ! It would be my suggestion for you to create an icon or "shortcut" (depending on your OS) such that you can simply click the icon and start MMJ! I'll explain this in more detail in the next section.


Running Mandelbrot Madness JAVA!

MMJ! is normally invoked from the command line by running your Java virtual machine and giving it the main class to run. For example, on a Windows machine with Sun's JDK installed and MMJ! is in the C:\MMJ directory, you would simply type:

   C:\MMJ> java Mandel

If you have a different virtual machine, use whatever command necessary to invoke it. Mandel.class is the primary class file, and this is class you will use to load MMJ! Of course, if you install MMJ! in a different directory, you'll need to be there to run it.

It would probably be helpful to create some sort of command file so you don't have to type this in all the time. In the DOS/Windows world, these are called batch files; in the UNIX world, shell scripts. If you create a command file, you can simply execute the command without having to do all that typing (not that it's a whole lot anyway). Creating such a file is left as an exercise for the reader.

While the default mode of MMJ! is the interactive GUI (graphical user interface), it also supports several command-line utilities for quick access or batch processing. You can learn more about them on the Command Line Utilities page. All of these utilities, except for the batch mode, are supported under the new Command menu

Creating a MMJ! "Shortcut" on Windows 9x/NT

Mac and UNIX users: I'm sorry. I don't know enough about your platforms to help you here. But I can help Windows 9x or NT 4 users create a "shortcut" icon to simplify running MMJ! (I assume you're using Sun's JDK or JRE in this example.)

Right-click your desktop (if the left mouse button is your primary button) to bring up a pop-up menu. Select New -> Shortcut. This will bring up the Create Shortcut dialog. In the Command Line: box, type:

   java Mandel

and click the Next > button. In the next page, type:

   Mandelbrot Madness JAVA! 3.1

in the name box, and click Finish. Right click on the newly created icon and choose Propreties from the pop-up menu. In the dialog box that appears, click the Shortcut tab. Change the Start in: box to whatever directory MMJ! resides in. Change the Run: box to Minimized. You can also use the icon provided (mandel.ico) by clicking the Change Icon... button and finding the file. After the shortcut has been created, you can even copy it and add it to your Start menu.

Running MMJ! From a Web Browser

While this is not recommended, you can run MMJ! from within your Web browser, provided it supports Java 1.1. To do so, load the file mmj.html into your Web browser. You will see a small applet that contains only one button. Clicking this button will launch MMJ! just as if you ran it from the command line. However, this method of operation is not recommended. Most likely, certain functions of MMJ!, such as file support, printing, and copying to the clipboard, will be deactivated by the browser. For more on this topic, please read the section of the FAQ devoted to this problem.


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© Copyright 1999, Jeffrey T. Darlington. All rights reserved.