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Apple Businesses Science

Mac OS X Quantum Simulations 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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Mac OS X Quantum Simulations

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  • Celestia (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nexum ( 516661 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @07:17AM (#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...

    • Re:Celestia (Score:4, Informative)

      by Igor47 ( 557180 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @07:29AM (#5249118) Homepage
      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 (Score:5, Funny)

      by Tseran ( 625777 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @10:02AM (#5249698) Journal
      My God, Its full of stars!
    • by interactive_civilian ( 205158 ) <mamoru@gmail . c om> on Friday February 07, 2003 @10:43AM (#5249978) Homepage Journal
      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. :)

    • by Greedo ( 304385 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @03:20PM (#5252488) Homepage Journal
      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?

    • 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.
  • Anyone know why "apt-get celestia" wants to remove all kde-related material from my system?
    • by Teancom ( 13486 )
      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.

  • by torpor ( 458 ) <ibisum@gm a i l . com> on Friday February 07, 2003 @08:10AM (#5249200) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • 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.
  • Caution warranted? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 07, 2003 @08:37AM (#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.
    • 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 :)
      • by golo ( 95789 )
        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? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Erik K. Veland ( 574016 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @09:01AM (#5249364) Homepage
    Is Celestia mindblowing or just great (and availible on other platforms)?
  • 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
  • by korpiq ( 8532 ) <-.@korpiq...iki...fi> on Friday February 07, 2003 @09:32AM (#5249521) Homepage
    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.
  • Desktop Cray? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by phoenix_orb ( 469019 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @11:02AM (#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?

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


        mike overbo

    • Re:Desktop Cray? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 07, 2003 @11:25AM (#5250274)
      The app is a hoax. http://www.macmerc.com/article.php?sid=536
    • This may help:


    • 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.
    • The-emperor-has-no-clothes-ware.
    • by davesag ( 140186 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @11:06PM (#5255801) Homepage
      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.

      • 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.

      • 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
        • 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.

  • breve (Score:5, Informative)

    by jeffehobbs ( 419930 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @04:02PM (#5252794) Homepage

    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...!

  • by girl_geek_antinomy ( 626942 ) on Friday February 07, 2003 @04:27PM (#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...
  • My copy seems to be broken -- I can't find the Planet of the Apes!
  • Celestia ISS Sunrise (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    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.

Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just makes the manuals thicker.