Word count: 1050
Today’s Quest for Life was far more successful. The best Life out there by far is LifeLab for Mac OS 8.6 through X. It’s worth downloading for the Persian Rug pattern alone. (I stared at it for 1,000 generations.) You can use any RLE format file with LifeLab, but I found that it wouldn’t open foreign files unless I converted from DOS format to unix (where necessary), and changed the file type and creator to match the sample text patterns (not the PATT patterns). That was more work than I expected from a friendly mac app, but it comes with enough pattern samples that I didn’t need to do it. I was just obsessed. I even read up on the current status of Life research.
If you are sadly macless, you can play Life online or take the couch potato approach and watch animated Life gifs. Life32 is supposed to be a good Windows Life program, but I can’t vouch for serfware.
While browsing around, I found some other interesting toys, such as an The Brain Automata [sic] on-line, and a page of Mac Classic ALife programs. I spent yet more time in Classic mode fiddling with Tresvita, a 3D automata-generator. It’s a very cool program, considering its advanced age. I downloaded a few others from that page and wasn’t nearly as impressed. The Hexagonal CA wasn’t adjustable enough, for example.