Search found 584 matches

by pcallahan
September 26th, 2020, 3:02 pm
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: Life Lessons...?
Replies: 28
Views: 3981

Re: Life Lessons...?

If Conway and the team 50 years ago had the tools at their disposal that we have now... It would be hard to convince anyone in the early 1970s that we would have no base on the moon (indeed no human presence at all), but that billions of us would be carrying phone-size devices that could run the or...
by pcallahan
September 26th, 2020, 1:40 pm
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: Life Lessons...?
Replies: 28
Views: 3981

Re: Life Lessons...?

One small observation on these lines: popular and even academic treatments of "complex systems" often claim you can't predict them except by running them step-by-step. But among cellular automata, this is only true of highly "chaotic" kinds (which are not complex in the sense I'm interested in). It...
by pcallahan
September 19th, 2020, 6:30 pm
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: Life Lessons...?
Replies: 28
Views: 3981

Re: Life Lessons...?

Conway's Life has also turned out to be a fairly effective Sorting Hat, so to speak, that can divide up Lifenthusiasts into "mathematician" and "engineer" categories. Good point. (Speaking as someone content to sort into Hufflepuff and just say no to elitism, but that's for another day and probably...
by pcallahan
September 19th, 2020, 10:55 am
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: Life Lessons...?
Replies: 28
Views: 3981

Re: Life Lessons...?

Well, I would disagree slightly with that. It can be fun to design rules with gimmicks like this one: x=3, y=2, rule=B3-cy4e5i6ck/S23-kq4w5j8 3o$bo! I could have phrased it better. There's nothing wrong with designing rules. My point, I guess, is that you don't have to in order to find something in...
by pcallahan
September 18th, 2020, 3:55 pm
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: Life Lessons...?
Replies: 28
Views: 3981

Re: Life Lessons...?

Also, aside from technical lessons, a "social" lesson. A sufficiently motivated hobbyist community can move far in advance of universities and industry. The explicit examples of self-replication in Life and the novel patterns found through search have no parallel in peer-reviewed literature. I'm not...
by pcallahan
September 18th, 2020, 1:57 pm
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: Life Lessons...?
Replies: 28
Views: 3981

Re: Life Lessons...?

The most obvious ones are connected to emergence. "Law of small numbers" Specifically with respect to gliders and other small spaceships and oscillators. There are relatively few ways to arrange 5 cells in a connected pattern, so it should not come as a big surprise when the same thing comes back (s...
by pcallahan
September 11th, 2020, 11:30 pm
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: Physical implementation of Conways computer
Replies: 16
Views: 3293

Re: Physical implementation of Conways computer

Back in the late 1990s, I remember the Seattle airport had a Life display wall at one of the concourses as part of the various artworks. Display consisted of individual bulbs, maybe a 24x24 array. It would display patterns and run them for a while, about 1 gen per second. Not sure how they were gen...
by pcallahan
September 2nd, 2020, 11:44 am
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: What math goes into cellular automata?
Replies: 3
Views: 1031

Re: What math goes into cellular automata?

Since Life and many other CAs are equivalent to universal computers, effectively any kind of math can come into play, though very little is needed just to write a program to run the rules. It's also true that some things come up more often than others. Some are more along the lines of computer scien...
by pcallahan
August 31st, 2020, 6:26 pm
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: Linear Algebric Approach to GoL Rules and 3-state GoL
Replies: 5
Views: 1407

Re: Linear Algebric Approach to GoL Rules and 3-state GoL

I didn't read your framework carefully, but the problem is that it's not a linear system. An example of a linear CA rule is XOR in which the next state of a cell is the sum of its neighbors mod 2. Because it's linear, you can compose generations using matrix operations, and it's easy to predict. In ...
by pcallahan
August 27th, 2020, 2:17 pm
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: A Broader Audience for Cellular Automata
Replies: 78
Views: 47615

Re: A Broader Audience for Cellular Automata

Heh, but it can also make you mis-understand the universe if you're not careful. Most CAs don't have the various conservation laws that seem to be such an important part of the laws of the real universe, for example. Is this perhaps a good motivation for putting more emphasis on reversible CAs? I f...
by pcallahan
August 24th, 2020, 12:15 pm
Forum: The Sandbox
Topic: Processing Life cell lists as streams in Unix
Replies: 1
Views: 682

Processing Life cell lists as streams in Unix

This is a pretty simple idea and I'm sure I'm not the first (actually I have done things like this before, but using a stream wasn't the point). awk '{for (i = -1; i <= 1; i++) for (j = -1; j <= 1; j++) { if (i != 0 || j != 0) print $1 + i, $2 + j print $1 + i, $2 + j }}' | sort | uniq -c | awk '{if...
by pcallahan
August 19th, 2020, 2:01 pm
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: I have a hardware only 256 x 256 "Life Machine", is that interesting?
Replies: 7
Views: 1882

Re: I have a hardware only 256 x 256 "Life Machine", is that interesting?

So, I agree that perhaps my apparatus is not useful because nobody can compete with HashLife at this point, right? Since you gave the grid dimensions, I assumed you were using a dense representation serialized as a stream of bits. But if it's a sparse representation, that would be interesting to se...
by pcallahan
August 18th, 2020, 10:18 am
Forum: General Discussion
Topic: I have a hardware only 256 x 256 "Life Machine", is that interesting?
Replies: 7
Views: 1882

Re: I have a hardware only 256 x 256 "Life Machine", is that interesting?

It's a little bit interesting, but not very practical. There have been hardware implementations of Life before. I'm not aware of one exactly like yours, but I'm curious about the details. I assume it has to send the entire grid serially through the 74LSxx logic. I can see how to do that if you have ...
by pcallahan
July 14th, 2020, 2:01 pm
Forum: Patterns
Topic: Refactoring DRH's cyclotron with stable components?
Replies: 95
Views: 38366

Re: Refactoring DRH's cyclotron with stable components?

Entity Valkyrie 2 wrote:
July 14th, 2020, 2:56 am
I know that everyone has heard of the glider-block cycle, but what about the glider-xs31 cycle?
Cool! I wonder if there is anything simpler. This seems to leave more spacing around the glider collision, though I'm not sure how to use it.
by pcallahan
July 13th, 2020, 8:14 pm
Forum: Patterns
Topic: Glider-Powered Spaceships
Replies: 41
Views: 6791

Re: Glider-Powered Spaceships

This was not the question, but I had a different idea of what a "glider-powered spaceship" would be. In CGOL, you don't really need a power source, but in the physical universe, where you do, one proposal for a starship is a laser-driven solar sail. This was used by Robert L. Forward in his science ...
by pcallahan
July 10th, 2020, 12:44 pm
Forum: Patterns
Topic: Refactoring DRH's cyclotron with stable components?
Replies: 95
Views: 38366

Re: Refactoring DRH's cyclotron with stable components?

Wow, nice results! Single-engine cyclotron gun using the 3-block shifter+3 Snark reflector, no rectifiers needed: Has the 3-block shifter ever been "useful" before as opposed to just being part of a pattern intended to demonstrate it working? EDIT: I'm note sure to what extent using blocks to cataly...
by pcallahan
July 9th, 2020, 6:33 pm
Forum: Patterns
Topic: Refactoring DRH's cyclotron with stable components?
Replies: 95
Views: 38366

Re: Refactoring DRH's cyclotron with stable components?

Hey, what about the famous bistable switch ? One of its parts is just a century eater, which can be replaced with a century-to-glider converter (there are a couple of these, showcased in the CC semi-cenark and CP semi-cenark . So that way you do get over-unity glider production and a nice little cy...
by pcallahan
July 9th, 2020, 1:53 pm
Forum: Patterns
Topic: Refactoring DRH's cyclotron with stable components?
Replies: 95
Views: 38366

Re: Refactoring DRH's cyclotron with stable components?

Here is a single engine cyclotron made with just Snarks and Bandersnatches. Plenty of room for compactification: Is there a way to turn that into a gun? BTW, I am personally less interested in compactification. I find sparse patterns a lot easier to understand. Specifically, is there any way to res...
by pcallahan
July 9th, 2020, 11:03 am
Forum: Patterns
Topic: Refactoring DRH's cyclotron with stable components?
Replies: 95
Views: 38366

Re: Refactoring DRH's cyclotron with stable components?

That's been thought of before, right? Sure, years ago (David Bell). And Paul's post mentioned it but didn't show it. It doesn't surprise me that this construction was made before with snarks, but I didn't recall that thread. (I see I posted, and I just barely remember finding this "failed stable re...
by pcallahan
July 9th, 2020, 12:57 am
Forum: Patterns
Topic: Refactoring DRH's cyclotron with stable components?
Replies: 95
Views: 38366

Re: Refactoring DRH's cyclotron with stable components?

Somewhat off topic, but I was going over this thread and started thinking about the 3-block shifter that has to be hit from alternating diagonals. I can use it as part of an oscillator with just snarks, but with bandersnatches, the oscillator can be started with a glider from infinity. In this case,...
by pcallahan
July 8th, 2020, 12:26 pm
Forum: Patterns
Topic: Refactoring DRH's cyclotron with stable components?
Replies: 95
Views: 38366

Re: Refactoring DRH's cyclotron with stable components?

Here's a 4g to 6g based on an unstabilized bandersnatch: x = 125, y = 100, rule = B3/S23 10$99bo$97b2o$98b2o29$33bo$34bo$32b3o13$26bo$25bobo$25bobo$23b3ob2o$ 22bo16b2o$23b3ob2o10b2o$25bob2o7$24b2o$24b2o8bo$33bobo$32bo2bo$33b2o3$ 26b2o$26b2o5$35b2o$35b2o2$73b2o7b2o$72bobo6b2o$74bo8bo! I have no idea ...
by pcallahan
July 8th, 2020, 11:12 am
Forum: Patterns
Topic: The Hunting of the Elementary Conduits
Replies: 498
Views: 283080

Re: The Hunting of the Elementary Conduits

I don't know if this the right place to post Bandersnatch findings, but here's something that could conceivably have a specialized use. An unstabilized Bandersnatch removes a blinker and sends a glider 180° x = 30, y = 28, rule = B3/S23 25bo$24bobo$24bobo$23b2ob3o$11b2o16bo$11b2o10b2ob3o$23b2obo7$26...
by pcallahan
July 8th, 2020, 10:49 am
Forum: Patterns
Topic: Refactoring DRH's cyclotron with stable components?
Replies: 95
Views: 38366

Re: Refactoring DRH's cyclotron with stable components?

Your question recently was whether a pattern similar to Goldtiger997's could now be completed with the rectifier removed from the toolkit but the Bandersnatch added. Oops, I guess it was. There are a lot of other question, like whether the size or number of glider-producing reactions can be reduced...
by pcallahan
July 7th, 2020, 1:42 am
Forum: Patterns
Topic: Refactoring DRH's cyclotron with stable components?
Replies: 95
Views: 38366

Re: Refactoring DRH's cyclotron with stable components?

I don't think we currently have a way to slow down a signal by 2 mod 8, or by 1 mod 8, that's allowed by the original challenge. Right? Components should be still lifes (ruling out the original cyclotron). The only thing I would consider "cheating" is a component that could produce an extra glider ...
by pcallahan
July 6th, 2020, 2:23 pm
Forum: Patterns
Topic: Refactoring DRH's cyclotron with stable components?
Replies: 95
Views: 38366

Re: Refactoring DRH's cyclotron with stable components?

Looks like we can get away with just one engine, as long as we're allowed to use Goldtiger997's trick with a block to separate two of the closely spaced outputs. I think the block is absolutely in keeping with the spirit of the original challenge. It's been known for a very long time and it is not ...