The Fractint Image Contest finishes December 5, when the members of The Fractals and Fractint Discussion List (subscribe: firstname.lastname@example.org "subscribe fractint") vote on the best image. Each entry is a PAR file which, when used with Fractint, creates 3 images based on a special contest formula file.
This package contains, in addition to this file (README.HTM), another HTML file (CONTEST.HTM) suitable for loading into your browser. This allows you to view the progress of the Fractint Contest off line on your computer. The package contains the current PAR files submitted to the Fractint list maintained by Tim Wegner. You should have dumped out the contents of the ZIP file into a new directory from which you are looking at this readme file. There are several batch (*.BAT) files to help you create the required GIF files. You will need to have Fractint and the FRACTINT.CFG file accessible to run UPDATE.BAT. UPDATE.BAT creates the image GIF files by calling one of several other BAT files once for each image.
Usage: UPDATE [n]
where the optional parameter n selects one of the MAKEGIF?.BAT files which activates Fractint. Leaving off the optional 'n' will create thumb sized GIFs made by the MAKEGIF.BAT file. Using n=1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 creates larger GIFs in your directory. It does not matter which you choose, the web page will read any of them. It just takes a little (or make that a lot) longer to load the big GIFs from your disk. Timings and sizes are estimates.
n batch file image size P200 Compute
time Disk usage
MAKEGIF.BAT 160/120 24 min 3.1MB
1 MAKEGIF1.BAT 320/240 2 hr 6.0MB
2 MAKEGIF2.BAT 640/480 10 hr 19.0MB
3 MAKEGIF3.BAT 800/600 13 hr 24.7MB
4 MAKEGIF4.BAT 1024/768 18 hr 39.0MB
5 MAKEGIF5.BAT 1280/1024 25 hr 57.7MB
6 MAKEGIF6.BAT 1600/1200 40?hr 90? MB
As new results are posted, you download a new Contestk.zip file from my Web page and unzip it onto your disk. Next, you can run the new update.bat file which uses the new par files to add the new GIFs to your directory. The ones you already computed will remain as is. The new web page included in the update will have additional cells to show the new GIFs.
To run UPDATE.BAT you will need to open a DOS window, point it into your 'new' directory. Set the Properties | Misc | Background to Always suspend off. This is so you can minimize the DOS window and the batch file will not stop running.
The thumb sized images are constructed very fast. You could even make two directories, one with thumb sized and another with much larger GIFs. You will find the web page allows you to click on the thumb sized image and jump to the associated larger GIF. If the directory only has thumb sized GIFs, that is what will pop up. But if you ran UPDATE.BAT 6, you would get very big images which most of us would have to scroll around on to see. :-)
The above was a quick simple pass through the construction process. Basically a version 1.0 look at the contest, the version posted Nov 25. It fails to work well with large GIFs. Since this is now Nov 27, it is time for Version 2.0. A model, which in fact is what this package contains.
The main page shows thumb sized images of all the images. In Version 1, these were in fact thumb sized views of possibly larger GIFs. The page loaded painfully slow even on a P200 if you had created 800x600 images. Your browser had to read 12 Megabytes of large images and show you scaled down thumb sized images. However, when you clicked on a thumb image, you were shown the larger one.
In Version 2, I have modified the references so that they point to a subdirectory \fractint\Contest\Contest.big\ which will contain all your large images. The \fractint\Contest\Contest.big\ directory and the \fractint\Contest\ directory are filled using a batch file named UPDATE.BAT.
From the \fractint\Contest\ directory run UPDATE. Leave the n blank. This places the rapidly loading thumb GIFs in the Contest directory. It should take about 15 minutes for these to be computed the first time and very little time for a later update.
Now go to the \Fractint\Contest\Contest.big\ directory and run UPDATE n, where n=1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6. This fills the Contest.big directory with the large GIFs which will take hours, depending on which size you chose. It's OK, you should minimize the DOS window and go about your other business. Also, if you created large images for the Version 1 of this kit, don't panic. Move them into the new directory using Microsoft Explorer cut and paste. The ones you have will not need to be done over.
Your directory structure should look like this:
\Fractint\ contains Fractint.exe
\Fractint\Contest\ will contain thumb size GIFs which show directly on the web page
\Fractint\Contest\Contest.big\ will contain 'large' GIFs which show when you click on a thumb image
Here are the steps in initial setup. Assume Contestk.zip has been stored in your Fractint directory, for example. Move to your Contest subdirectory and unzip Contestk.zip with the -d option to both the Contest directory and create and fill the Contest.big subdirectory.
Create subdirectory off your Fractint directory and create the page by typing these commands in a DOS window:
pkunzip -d ..\Contestk.zip
Use any value from 1 to 6 instead of the 3 in the last line. Now make sure the DOS window properties are set to 'Misc | Always suspend' = off. Now minimize the window (to stop the flicker of screen mode changes) and wait some hours for the GIFs to compute. Meanwhile, load the \Fractint\Contest\Contest.htm file into your Browser to see the thumb images while you wait.
Updates are easy. Unpack the new Contestk.zip as above. Par, frm, bat and htm files will be over written. Run UPDATE in both directories as above. The new GIFs will be created.
If at any time you decide you don't like the sizes of the large images, you can delete them from \Fractint\Contest\Contest.big\ directory and rerun UPDATE with your new choice for n.
Obtain the latest update of the The Fractint Image Contest Web Page Construction Kit (TM) whenever you get an email message indicating someone has submitted to the contest a new PAR file. Well, actually, give me a day or so to get the files edited. :-)
You minimized the DOS window and your page construction is not making progress? Did you set the Properties | Misc | Background to 'Always suspend' = off. You must do this so you can move the focus away from the DOS window and the batch file will not stop running.
This version is only a gleam in the corner of my eye. It may have the main page split into a tree of several pages if we get too many images to show easily on one page. Some observers think we are already there. :-) Please make suggestions from what you think the next version should have.
About the copyright of this package. Please, use this for personal enjoyment on as many machines as you wish. Before posting on the web or other mass distribution, please inform me. Thank you all for allowing me to help out with this great contest.
The ballots must be posted here and at Paul.N.Lee