1.2 System Requirements
- The main development-platform for Archimedes is Windows. Archimedes can
be used on all versions of Windows from Windows 98 upwards. It might even run on
Windows 95, but this cannot be guaranteed.
- Distributions for SuSE Linux 10.4 and Ubuntu Linux 7.10 are available.
Max OS X:
- Intel- and PowerPC-Macs with OS X 10.4 or newer are supported.
- Real-time dynamic geometry in three dimensions is not possible without
hardware-accellerated 3D. Thus the most important system requirement is an
OpenGL-capable graphics-card. While it is not essential to have the latest features for gaming
it is of the utmost importance to have a stable OpenGL driver. Be sure to use the latest
driver. Important points are:
- When using old drivers the program tends to crash or even freeze your system such
that all unsaved data will be lost. Test this out before working with Archimedes
on a regular basis.
- ATI’s OpenGL driver is known to crash if the option ’VSync’ is activated.
- Often drivers for notebooks are not updated by manufacturers. The drivers
supplied for desktop-systems cannot be used for notebooks.
If this is the case with your notebook, you can try ’special’ drivers for gamers.
There are sites on the internet that modify the regular drivers for desktop-systems
so that they can be used on notebooks. Have a look for ’Omega drivers’ or ’DNA
drivers’, but be aware that those are not official drivers.
- OS X usually has good OpenGL drivers.
- Linux has no hardware-accelerated 3D-support for many cards. Be sure to activate
3D hardware acceleration in the appropriate settings-dialogue of your distribution.
Open a terminal, enter ’glxinfo’ and check the output for the string ’mesa’. If
you find this string, your system uses software-rendering for 3D. This is very
slow and offers a substandard rendering quality, that shows at text-objects in
particular (those will flicker). In case you want to use Archimedes with mesa
software rendering you might want to set the value ’Extras - Settings - Sizes
- LazyRendering’ to ’1’. This will prevent your system from not reacting to
- For smaller constructions (all constructions that are made by hand without using recursive
macros or large loci can be considered small) a 500 MHz-CPU is sufficient. Be sure not to use
too many points for your loci when using a CPU of that speed.
By using recursive macros one can generate constructions with several thousand objects. In
this case the CPU-speed is of importance. (A tetrahedron-fractal with two recursions has
2608 objects. On the authors machine with 1 GB RAM and 1.6 GHz CPU speed the fractal
can still be edited interactively.)
- The program itself uses approx. 16 MB of memory. While there is no upper limit for
memory-usage in case of large constructions you probably should not try to run Archimedes
with less than 32 MB.