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DOS has freeware fractal viewers for the Mandelbrot Set just like Linux. I found one called ZUK.COM from Poland. It's only 14 kilobytes long, which appeals to the minimalist in me, but it only goes down to a magnification of 400,000 times and the color palettes to choose from are limited. But it is a great way to explore the general features of the Mandelbrot Set because it's so darn fast. You can zoom in and out by holding the mouse buttons down, then you can pan up, down, left, and right with the mouse ball.

XAOS.EXE is a DOS port of the Unix xaos program I described earlier. The only difference is that when it starts, you have a menu of screen resolutions to choose from. The maximum magnification in Xaos is much greater than in Zuk, but you can't pan at all, only gradually change your course as you zoom in and out.

The Mandelbrot Set was discovered in 1986 and PCs in those days had 8 bit data buses and ran at only 4.77 MHZ, unless they were like my Amstrad 1640, which used a 8086 with a 16 bit data bus and ran at 8MHZ. But even the Amstrad lacked the horsepower to render the Mandelbrot Set so quickly as to permit live, interactive animation. People could build up movies of a Mandelbrot zoom frame-by-frame, and video tapes were made in this way, but they were often ugly because the animator couldn't see where he was going until the movie was complete. But one such movie moved author Isaac Asimov nearly to tears when he watched it near the end of his life in 1992, because he had an insight that the entire universe with its laws of regularity of succession existed as a fractal like this. Nowadays, we just launch our programs, go exploring for a while, and say, "Meh."

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