frax

This baby has been a long time in gestating.  Hats off to Ben, Kai and Tom for creating, over I won’t say how many years, the greatest app ever to render a retina display pixel.  Frax is not only the meticulous culmination of a lifelong passion for fractal geometry, and a Borges-like infinite cabinet of wonders, but also a stunning algorithmic achievement.

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Those of us who have spent long and lazy evenings at Ben’s place know about his obsessions.  The beautiful espresso machine with its many Illy cups in every design, the Bösendorfer that goes down to 11, the sea kayaking, and in recent years, a string of Facebook posts in which he and Jenna are apparently breaking free diving records (!?).  Also, the puzzles.  Dodecahedral Rubik’s cubes and interlocking notchy bars and origami impossibilities.  There are puzzles everywhere at Ben’s, and solving them is his great obsession.  Most of them are disembodied: there is no richer, more perfect language for posing and solving a puzzle than the instruction set of a computer.  And Frax is the masterpiece.  Nestled in the NEON-optimized inner loops of the Frax code are tricks so ingenious that, if there really is a Book, they must be in there.

Go buy it.


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