Tools & Thoughts

Tools on this site

This site was started in 2002 and offered a number of tools over the years. It started with a number of Java-Applets, which back then were the best way to provide serious functionality on the WWW. After many years Java in the browser is no longer a viable option, so the functionality has either been converted to other technologies or is no longer available.

One functionality which has been available pretty much from the start is a tool to learn and work with the IEEE-754 floating-point format, which is used in practically all modern computers to store and perform computations with decimal numbers. It has been and still is one of the top hits on Google for the relevant searches, and is used by a impressive number of users every day considering the very narrow use case.

The site also contains a Java-Applet-based Mandelbrot-fractal generator, which unfortunately is effectively no longer usable due to the increased security settings of modern Java-Plugins - an unfortunate, but necessary restriction these days. The funcationality can be re-implemented in JavaScript, but I never got around to finish that. There are some very nice JavaScript-based fractal generators, though there is still one or two features in that Applet which I have yet to see implemented.

There also used to be games, for instance a simple game called G-Force (this was created before a similar name was used for graphic cards). Later on I added various support files and documentation for the 3D-space-simulation Celestia, which also led to a simple download of the high-resolution NASA-Blue-Marble image of earth - while this is a simple conversion of the original data to a JPG-file, this used to be a valuable resource for many. These days, it is seriously outdated, given the availability of Google Earth or improved version of that Blue-Marble dataset from NASA.

IEEE-754 converter
A converter to work with the bit-representation of a decimal number represented in the IEEE-754 floating point format. Useful for everybody who has to learn about or work with floating point number on computers.
To convert between files created by GPS-receivers in the NMEA-format and the KML-files used for Google Earth.
(deprecated) a Java-based Mandelbrot-fractal generator. Not usable anymore with todays Java-security settings.