Page 28 - ExtendSim User Guide
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Preface
Dedicated to the pleasure of finding things out
Simulation is defined as the act of imitation. Even a word processor simulates pen and paper, but how do you get the computer to behave like the stock market, or an electronic circuit, or even a car, and how can you communicate this power to the user? My search for the answer began in the early days of the space race.
I was attending the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn when the head of the Electronics Engi- neering department told us that a new department was being formed... a combination of mathe- matics, computers, physics and engineering. Being into math, and curious about the large IBM mainframe lurking down the hall, I immediately joined and made a constant pest of myself at the computer center.
The bug bit hard, I guess, and I began to realize that I could use computers to duplicate the lab- oratory experiments in class so well, that I never really did them, I just simulated them on the computer. NASA then asked if I could develop a simulation of their new liquid fuel booster for something called Project Apollo. I came up with the Rocket-Drop simulation, a monstrously large program that only had one function: follow the path of a single droplet of fuel, from the shower heads (as the fuel sprayers at the top of the engine were called) to the rocket engine exhaust, via subsonic, supersonic, and hypersonic flow.
It hit me then that simulation was inaccessible, except to the select few who had the resources to put together an entire system dedicated to one function. A generalized simulation applica- tion would be a great and useful thing, if one could find the computer that was both powerful enough and widespread enough to support it. This was 1965, and Seymour Cray was still building his superfast (at the time!) computers by hand and graphic user interfaces were still decades in the future.
When I saw the graphical user interfaces (GUIs) on the Mac OS and Windows machines, I realized that I could use these tools to fulfill that long awaited dream. ExtendSim is built upon those roots. Imagine That Inc. was founded in 1987 to develop and market Extend and its suc- cessor ExtendSim, the first simulation applications allowing users of any discipline to use sim- ulation and to develop their own libraries of customized simulation tools.
Imagine That! is dedicated to bringing the art, science, and fun of simulation to the desktop, in a form digestible and accessible by everyone. ExtendSim is the first user-extendible simulation package that meets those expectations.
Bob Diamond President
“You see? That’s why scientists persist in their investigations, why we struggle so desperately for every bit of knowledge, stay up nights seeking the answer to a problem, climb the steepest obsta- cles to the next fragment of understanding, to finally reach that joyous moment of the kick in the dis- covery,
which is part of the pleasure of finding things out.” attributed to Richard P. Feynman
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