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Amazing retro gnu graphics!

Bill Harris writes:

Speaking of strange graphics, shows an example of text (gnuplot’s dumb terminal) graphics of data from MCSim (code and other material available from

Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 10.58.13 AM

At another extreme, slide 20 of shows a stereogram of more MCSim output (I was a bit more naive back then). I included the stereogram as a bit of humor just to show what could be done with J graphics. Surprisingly, one person in the audience focused intently on that slide and, after a moment, said “Got it!” We spoke afterwards, and it turned out that he was on the board or at least a volunteer at the Portland (OR) 3D Center of Art & Photography (

Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 11.04.39 AM

Regarding mcsim, the package that arose from my project with Frederic Bois in the 1990s, Harris writes:

What attracted me was the GNU imprimatur; what kept me was the easy ability to do system dynamics (a la MIT’s John Sterman or Jay Forrester or the Tom Fiddaman you see in your comments occasionally) well. It was missing the ability to do tabular nonlinearities, and so I wrote Frederic. He quickly added inline code ability, which lets me use the GSL and its interpolation routines. I’m looking forward to your adding that capability to Stan soon (especially since I no longer know how to install MCSim on Windows!). Incidentally, the quick reference card mentioned at that link is now available on the MCSim home page and shows how I use the inline code feature.

Regarding system dynamics, I pointed to this paper by Cavan Reilly and Angelique Zeringue on predator-prey models for the Canadian lynx series: