Last Posting


This will be the last posting for this site. It's moving to a new location:


All the old posts have been moved there. Update your links and bookmarks as appropriate. For now, everything here will be left as is. Eventually, the images will disappear as part of a website update on the hosting server.



Website Update Announcement

Stephen Silver has made available an update (Version 25) to his Life Lexicon.



Various New Oscillators

P7 Sparker Scot Ellison has found a new Period 7 Sparker.

P4 &quotSuper-Fountains" Nicolay Beluchenko found a much smaller Period 4 super-fountain style oscillator, and then managed to shrink it further.

A fountain-type oscillator is one which has a phase in which a spark is separated from the body of the oscillator by several cells distance. The maximum possible distance is the oscillator's period less one. These isolated sparks make the oscillators useful in guns and other engineered objects.

P4 Beluchenko also has found a Period 4 Oscillator component (which comes in two varieties) which can be supported by Period 2 components.

P4 wicks & rings By using Period 2 components to connect them, any number of these Period 4 components can be combined to create wicks and rings.

P4s He also found another set of Period 4 Oscillators whose halves can be recombined in various forms.

P4 And finally one last small Period 4 Oscillator.



New Long Period Oscillators

description Jason Summers has found a few new long period oscillators. First is a Period 22 Oscillator whose basic rotor can be repeated. Shown beside the simpliest version is an extended example.

description He has also found a Period 14 Oscillator and a Period 27 Oscillator with similar rotors.



"Rule 110" Unit Cell

Rule 110 Unit Cell

Jason Summers has put together a "Rule 110" unit cell. A unit cell is a Game of Life pattern which acts as if it were a cell or component in another automata, allowing the Game of Life to incorporate the abilities and results of that automata into itself. For example, several years ago David Bell created a Life unit cell which can be used to recursively simulate the Game of Life.

"Rule 110" is a 1-dimensional non-totalistic cellular automaton. A cell's next state depends on its current state and the states of its two nearest neighbors, as follows:

Gen 0Gen 1

From Summers' description of his pattern:

The logic used in the pattern is (B AND NOT A) NOR (B XOR C), where A is the cell to the left, B is the cell itself, and C is the cell to the right. This produces the inverse of the correct rule-110 result. The result is then put through various duplication, reflection, and inversion reactions to produce four copies of an uninverted signal. One copy is sent to the cell on the left, one to the cell on the right, one is fed back into the same cell, and one is emitted upward as a visual record of the cell's states.

That the horizontal spacing (256) is a power of 2 is intentional, and might make it more efficient to run in Hashlife. The period (1200) can't reasonably be made a power of 2.

It should be easy to adjust the period by multiples of 120 generations, and the horizontal spacing by multiples of 60 cells. Other adjustments are possible, but more difficult.

As Summers notes, it would be an interesting project to build a puffer which lays down these unit cells as its output, and do so at a rate faster than they'd be needed by the "Rule 110" automata run.

Image Key:

  • A: Marker Tubs and initial Block
  • B: Glider->Spaceship reaction
  • C: Spaceship->Glider reaction
  • D: Turn Glider 90°
  • E: Invert & turn Glider 90°
  • F: Split stream
  • G: Duplicate stream
  • Red: Input streams
  • Green: Output streams
  • Blue: Internal streams

Unlabeled are a couple of signal generator Glider Guns and a couple of Fishook Eaters which are a part of the logical operators. The objects in the corners are used for alignment of multiple cells.

Using the pattern:

To use the pattern, place copies such that the "decorative still-lifes" at the corners coincide. The initial state of the cell is forced to be ON by the glider located between the tubs (A in the pattern). Remove the block infront of it to set the cell state to OFF. If the Fishook Eaters on the left and right edges don't disappear on their own in a few generations, then they can be removed manually before starting. For Game of Life programs that don't like the annotation format commands, a file without the formatting is also available



Fixed-Width and Slipping-Stripe Greyships

fixed-width 2c/4 spaceship supporting a p9 wick
Hartmut Holzwart, 15 December 2005
Here are a few more greyships and related patterns constructed recently by Hartmut Holzwart:
long and short versions of a fixed-width perpendicular greyship
Hartmut Holzwart, 13 December 2005
simpler fixed-width perpendicular greyship
Hartmut Holzwart, 13 December 2005

The following two patterns are "failed spacefillers" -- they expand in the same way as a standard spacefiller for a while, until an internal instability in the boundary between the two types of stripes catches up with an expanding edge.

alternate mirror-symmetric pattern showing Gabriel Nivasch's
slipping-stripe reaction: Hartmut Holzwart, 28 November 2005
trial pattern showing a slipping-stripe reaction sent in
by Gabriel Nivasch: Hartmut Holzwart, 21 November 2005

These last two patterns, along with many of the greyships from previous postings, can also be seen here in MCell holiday colors.

(Disclaimer— I have no association with anyone or any organization, and speak only for myself. Links and quotes are provided for information only.)