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.


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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