[RC5] Re:Tierra

Matt.Wilkie Matt.Wilkie at gov.yk.ca
Mon Jun 14 14:56:42 EDT 1999


>>The distributed computing project that I personally was/am really
>>interested in was Tom Ray's Tierra (artificial life). Rc5 & s at h are
>>just things to play with while I'm waiting. :-)
>
>We used to run Tierra in beta at my old lab a few years ago. I 
>lost track of its progress since then. What is its current status?

Current status: Active but [apparently] uncommunicative.  I think
it's a case of still waters run deep. :)   After not turning anything new
up I tracked down Tom's email address and asked him about it. He
replied: 

"Tierra development has not stopped.  I have received a lot of  
messages like yours, and I am curious to know what is leading 
people to this conclusion."

So I told him he needs to update his web pages. I think there will soon 
be some new information forthcoming.

Oh, and for the eye-droppers: this is not really off-topic. Tierra, in it's
network mode, is a distributed net. In a nutshell, Tierra is a virtual 
computer environment in which live digital "organisms" compete for
cpu time, produce off-spring, randomly mutate, and evolve into 'hosts' 
and 'parasites', among other things. 

Network Tierra is this environment propagated into many 'continents' 
and 'islands' through the agency of host machines on the internet. Tierran 
organisms use their own modified version of ping, called tping, to find 
and migrate to other host machines. These host computers drop the odd 
spare cpu cycle here and there to let TierraNet and it's denizens 'live'.

Tierra's origin is on unix, with ports to amiga, dos, linux and windows.
Source code is freely downloadable too.
The Tierra home page is http://www.hip.atr.co.jp/~ray/tierra/tierra.html
The Photo Essay page (http://www.hip.atr.co.jp/~ray/pubs/images/images.html)
is probably the best page for an overview while the Continuing Report 
(http://www.hip.atr.co.jp/~ray/tierra/netreport/netreport.html)
gives the distributed view (warning: Tom gives a lot of detail and usually
puts everything in one page; it's big).

well that's enough blather, back to your regularily programmed 
discussion. :)

-matt

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