I've just started at my first graduate job, and am currently learning how to program by creating some applications using a number of languages. Unfortunately, due to some massive work commitments, the programming has fallen by the wayside so that I can carry on working on the Linux Sys Admin.

One of the things that is quite important to me, is that I don't get sucked into one language (and it's important to my boss too) so I want to be able to get to know as many syntaxes as possible. In order to do this, I've set myself up a little project:

Back in the early 90s (yes, I can remember that far back) I remember watching the Christmas Lectures on the BBC. They were often science based, and from what I can remember were 45 minute presentations, with the aim of both being accessible, but not watered down. One presentation that sticks in my mind was one by (as yet unknown) on "Chaos Theory." The general gist was that whilst things may appear to be chaotic, they do indeed have order. He created an algorithm and applied it to a manual board in front of him. After about 26 loops, there was a random mess infront, and it looked as though there was no pattern.

Next, he demonstrated the same algorithm on the computer next to him (bear in mind this was probably not much later that 1994) which demoed the algorithm alot faster. Since I started programming, I always wanted to be able to write this experiment, as I really enjoyed what I saw.

Anyhow, my aim is to be able to create a library of the source code to this experiment in as many languages as possible.

I've setup a launchpad project to help organise the project. It's up at https://launchpad.net/chaos/ so hopefully I'll get some people to join me.

The actual experiment is up at http://chaos.zrmt.com (bear in mind it runs javascript as isn't massively fast at the moment). If you want to download it and run in on your computer - then wget http://chaos.zrmt.com/index.php.

Wait til ~10,000 moves, then see the magic.