See the SPOTWORKS DVD including Bomb animations!

Bomb is a visual-musical instrument. It uses alife, and is alife. It runs on your PC and produces animated organic graphics in response to the keyboard, audio music, or on its own. You can download it from this web site, and run it on your PC. Artistic and conceptual explanations can be found here and here.

I encourage you to make your own "music" with Bomb, or just use it as a screensaver. I am always thrilled to hear about what people do with it, so please keep me informed if you make something of it. Collaboration is also a possibility. Mail me, or talk to other users in the discussion forum.

Please contribute to the creation of free software like this.

one click downloads:
RPM - Linux - Windows - Macintosh - BeOS - Max

More information about the recent versions for download:

  • has the latest code in CVS.
  • Redhat RPMs for linux: full (3meg v1.26), source (3meg v1.26) and mini (625k v1.24).
  • v1.30 for MS-Windows with DirectX8: binary and source.
  • Martin C. Martin has ported v1.19 to BeOS. You can get software valet, self-extract archive, and compressed tar files from his site. Only the tar file includes source code, but it requires a "make install" before it will run. It was selected as the BeWare Gem of the Week.
  • David Zicarelli, the man behind Max, has made Bomb into a max object/plugin so you can control the graphics with sound, midi or your own graphical programs. Get it here. It includes a tutorial and an example piece synchronized to jhno's album understand). The "suck" directory in this release has been lobotomized to reduce the file size (it fits on a floppy). You can get the full deal from the mac distro below. note:before attempting to use the Max bomb object, ensure that you allocate at least 8MB of memory to Max.
  • v1.26 binaries and source code (3 meg) are available for Linux.
  • v1.14.1 binaries and source code (3.5 meg) are available for PPC Macintosh (MacBinary II of a Stuffit archive). New feature: works with Autolaunch as screen saver on Mac! Note that I have heard that this is incompatible with MacOS 8.5 and above.

these old mini versions do not include source code, and have many of the images removed to save download time and disk space (1.4 meg)

  • mac (MacBinary II of a Stuffit self-extracting archive)
  • win32 (zip)
old version: v1.13 binaries and source code (3.5 meg) are available for win32. This uses an older version of DirectDraw and may work on some systems not supported by v1.30.

People who have contributed to bomb (including those from whom i have copied code): originally derived from vga_eyecandy
    Tom Lawrence: rotor idea
    Nick Thompson: wisps, waves, fade2cmap, many suck/*.gif
    Eric Nyberg: gifs
    Jim Frost: xli header file
    Kirk L. Johnson: gif code
    Torben Mogensen: idea for symmetric life
    Andrew Willmott: lots of help for all sorts of mac things mac sound code originally from cthugha
    Peter Broadwell: showed me coupled quadratic maps
    Jamie Zawinski: bits of X code (copyright below)
    David Zicarelli: bug fix and max version
    Martin C. Martin: found bug in tiff reading, did BeOS port
    Sebastian Kuzminsky: found bug in flame-data reading
    Caolan McNamara: made work on X root window
    Jeremy Braun: ESD support
Here's some collections snapshots taken from the screen as it runs. these are only 320x200 and average 20k each. view them full-screen for best effect.
  1. misc one
  2. misc two
  3. misc three
  4. misc reaction-diffusion
  5. image-based reaction-diffusion
  6. gradient of image-based reaction-diffusion
The reaction-diffusion images tile so they make great backgrounds.


  1. HyperNews discussion forum
  2. Inside the Bomb - an explanation.
  3. README and copyrights
  4. license
  5. manual
  6. these are old: this section of this document tries to explain how it works, what it means, and how it relates to my research.



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License by spot at draves dot org.