About Gencols

For general discussion about Conway's Game of Life.
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gliderman
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About Gencols

Post by gliderman » September 5th, 2014, 3:41 am

Gencols seems a very useful tool in GOL researches.However,I am not really good at C programming . :oops: I find it really hard to install and use this program.Could anybody expain it a bit more specifically to me?Or is there a simplified edition of gencols? :?:
I really wish such programs easier to use.
Glider is a miracle!

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gliderman
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Re: About Gencols

Post by gliderman » September 5th, 2014, 8:54 am

I'm using windows.How can i install gencols? :(
Glider is a miracle!

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dvgrn
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Re: About Gencols

Post by dvgrn » September 5th, 2014, 10:14 am

gliderman wrote:I'm using windows.How can i install gencols? :(
gliderman wrote:Gencols seems a very useful tool in GOL researches.However,I am not really good at C programming . :oops: I find it really hard to install and use this program.Could anybody expain it a bit more specifically to me?Or is there a simplified edition of gencols? :?:
I really wish such programs easier to use.
You can try downloading the Windows executable that I compiled a while back. If it runs on your system, that at least skips the compiling step, perhaps at some cost in execution speed. Then --
  • Read the file called README,
  • read the file called Arguments.Explanation,
  • and especially work through the file called Examples -- i.e, actually go through all the steps, which are actual sample runs where you can look at the files that gencols produces, and hopefully see why they're useful.
Don't try to open these files in Windows Notepad, by the way, or you'll lose all the line breaks -- they're UNIX-style, not Windows-style, and embarrassingly even relatively new Windows versions still ship a Notepad that can't handle such a common file format. Use something like Notepad++ or Textpad instead.

Paul Callahan originally posted this program twenty years ago this year, so you should get much faster times than the ones noted in the Examples file!

There was also a good initial attempt by codeholic to get more people to understand the basics of using gencols. There are a few sample problems there that you can work through, maybe. Ask specific questions if you run into specific problems.

I suppose the main limitation of gencols is that it doesn't really find interesting things by default. It just finds everything, and then you have to already know what's interesting. Then you can figure out how to apply the filters and so on to see the reactions you want.

Unfortunately, distinguishing between interesting and not-interesting takes a fair amount of practice and experience. Really it's good to have a specific project in mind, so you can say something like, "I need a reaction that fits here and does this", and you have a simple test to find out what works and what doesn't.

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gliderman
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Re: About Gencols

Post by gliderman » September 5th, 2014, 11:19 am

Oh,I see.Thank you very much!
Now I may be able to find more fun in game of life.
Glider is a miracle!

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