Version 3.3: Multiple processors, better progress reports, Facebook integration

The day before yesterday, version 3.3 of Mandelbrot Explorer was released. Here's what it looks like:

Mandelbrot Explorer 3.3

There are a number of new features, and they are listed in full on the version history page. I shall draw attention to the 3 main ones.

First, multiple processors, or multi-core processors, are now supported. Previous versions only calculated fractals on one processor core. Now, all the processor cores you have on your computer will be used, significantly speeding up calculations on a modern machine. If you wish, you can restrict this, so that only a certain number of cores are used, in case you want to leave some of your computer's processing power for other applications.

Second, the progress meter that reports how far through a calculation is much improved. Previously, the proportion of the pixels that had been calculated was shown. This could mean that the progress meter moved through 95% of its range in 5% of the calculation time, which wasn't very useful. Now, the fact that some parts of a picture will take much longer to calculate than others is included, so that the progress meter indicates the progress through the total calculation time. Related to this, since version 3.0, Mandelbrot Explorer has shown an estimate of how long a calculation will take; this estimate is now updated throughout the calculation if things are progressing faster or slower than expected.

Third, if you use Facebook, you can now integrate Mandelbrot Explorer with your Facebook account. You can then choose to post selected fractal pictures to a photo album on your Facebook account, which usually posts them to your wall as well, allowing you to share your favourite images with your friends.

There are other improvements as well. For now, why not download this latest version from one of our download partners. These new features required us to increase the minimum specification: You now need Windows XP or later, and the .NET Framework version 4. If you don't have this, the installer for Mandelbrot Explorer will download and install it for you, so that's not a problem.

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