emergent/swarm/evolutionary systems etc

Peter MacKenzie peter9547 at btinternet.com
Fri Apr 2 18:58:32 CEST 2004

Spreadsheets do seem to be an attractive option, but the benefits are not
without their detractors:

+Easy to work with
+Require no/limited skill acquisition

-Cells can only hold single items of data (which can be worked around by
using arrays of cells to hold multiple attributes for each location)
-Require no/limited skill acquisition (being familiar and honest with my own
psychological composition, I know that the only way I'm likely to develop a
fair degree of programming competence is if there's a driving pressure to do
so.  It's something I'd like to learn, and this gives me the excuse/leverage
to do so.)

Unknowns:  Time series graphical output would be necessary, even if it's
very primitive.  Do you know if the spreadsheet could be set up in such a
way that cells would change colour depending on their values, or if the
graph making facilities would be able to create reasonable representations
of said values so that a series of graphs would be capable of showing up
phenomena with fluidic (wavelike, turbulent, etc) characteristics?

I'm afraid the temptation to take the hard route my prove too great
(psychological paradoxes: I always feel good about feeling so terrible about
these things after I've passed the point of no return in the undertaking,
and the enormity of the task at hand sinks in - it's a whole adrenalin
thing), but I'd still like to make a comprehensive assessment of my options
before I commit to anything.

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