Jolly Software

Hoar frost in Great Langdale

The collection of programs listed below is published under the terms of the Open Contract license which can be viewed at Basically what this means is that you can do anything you like with the software except sell it for a profit. In addition the author cannot be held responsible for any damage it might cause to either your computer or your sanity.

The programs are all written in Visual Basic and in addition to the usual .exe file, the source code is also included so you can a) see how they are written and b) modify them to suit your own purposes. Of course, you will need to download Visual Basic from the Microsoft site to do this. I cannot sing the praises of Visual Basic too highly. It is fast, robust and a delight to use.

One word of warning; while I am confident that nothing here will harm your computer in any way, I am not a professional programmer and the programs and examples published here are not necessarily good examples of how programs should be written, nor are they guaranteed to work. You must take them as you find them.


Full-featured programs

Magic Lantern

Magic Lantern is a slideshow program. It differs from other slideshow programs in that it is possible to specify a compression factor which allows you to view your pictures on a widescreen TV at the correct aspect ratio - ie without the picture being stretched to fit across the screen.

Download Magic Lantern now!.

Mandelbrot Explorer

Mandelbrot Explorer allows you to explore a wide range of related Mandelbrot and Julia sets up to a magnification of over a trillion.

Download Mandelbrot Explorer now!.

Chaos Explorer

Take a simple expression like x => Ax(1 - x) and a whole world of chaos opens up.

Download Chaos Explorer now!.

Hopalong Fractals

Generate some lovely fractals with this program.

Download Hopalong Fractals now!.

IFS Fractals

See how simple linear transforms can generate some lovely IFS fractals with this program.

Download IFS Fractals now!.

L-system Fractals

Many interesting fractal curves can be generated using a simple Lindenmayer or L-system to specify them.

Download LFractals now!.

Graph Explorer

Graph Explorer allows you to explore a wide range of mathematical functions.

Download Graph Explorer now!.

Galactic Gravitation

Using Galactic Gravitation you can appreciate why astronomers think that 90% of the matter in our galaxy is invisible.

Download Galactic Gravitation now!.


Have you ever wondered how accurate Ptolemy's heliocentric system really was? This program may surprise you.

Download Epicycles now!.

Three Body Orbits

It is well known that, while 2 gravitating bodies will orbit each other sensibly, throw another object into the system and anything can happen!

Download Three Body Orbits now!.

Easy Tiler

Easy Tiler enables you to explore a huge variety of tilings of the plane including Penrose Tiles.

Download Easy Tiler now!.

Tatami Tiler

If you have ever wanted to crerate a Perfect Patio Paving then Tatami Tiler is the tool you need.

Download Tatami Tiler now!.

Cellular Automaton

Stephen Wolfram wrote a whole book - 'A New Kind of Science' - on 1 dimensional automata. This program is an ideal way to explore his ideas.

Download Cellular Automaton now!.


If you have never heard of the Conway's game of Life then you haven't lived. Even if you are familiar with this remarkable cellular automaton, this program will allow you to experiment with different rules and even try it out on a hexagonal board.

Download Life now!.

Ant World

The game of Life is only one of a number of 2 dimensional automata. Ant World will let you explore a range of 'wandering' automata.

Download Ant World now!.

The Entropy Game

Have you ever been puzzled by the Second Law of Thermodynamics? This program explains, using a 2 dimensional automaton similar to the game of Life, exactly what entropy is and why it is, ultimately, bound to increase.

Download The Entropy Game now!.

Traffic Jam Simulator

What is it that causes 'bunching' on a motorway? Traffic Jam Simulator will show you what causes it and you will learn the importance of the 2 second rule as well as having fun causing horrendous pile-ups!

Download Traffic Jam Simulator now!.


Have you ever wondered whether it is really possible for a single mutation with a small advantage could spread through a whole population in a few dozen generations? This program will guide you through a series of simulated experiments which will give you a much better understanding of how evolution really works.

Download Evolution now!.


A program for creating, editing and querying a taxonomic database

Download Taxonomist now!.


If you sing in a choir or play a musical instrument, this program will test your ability to tune a note accurately.

Download Audition now!.

Small utility programs

Unicode selector

Have you ever wanted to find the multiplication symbol? Have you ever wanted to use Greek letters? What about Cyrillic characters? Unicode provides all these and much more and this program will enable you to use them all in your own documents

Download Unicode Selector now!.

Font Picker

There are literally hundereds of Font Pickers available on the internet and I will not claim that mine is the best - it just does what I want it to do and no more - ie it simply lists all the available fonts so that you can see what they look like.

Download Font Picker now!.

Colour Picker

When writing programs in Visual Basic (and other languages) it is often nice to be able to refer to colours by name. But then you have the problem of finding out the name of the colour you want. This simple program just lists all the named colours so that you can see what they look like. Options are provided to sort the colours by hue or saturation etc.

Download Colour Picker now!.

Colour Cube

Every paint program has a colour dialog window from which you can choose any colour you like. The trouble with most of them is that the saturated colours are very prominent and it is quite difficult to choose subtle shades such as pastel colours for textual backgrounds or interesting colours like olive drab or dark umber. With the guidance of a useful 'help' file, Colour Cube attempts to explain sveral different systems which are commonly employed for slicing up the colour cube and you can decide for youself which you think is best.

Download Colour Cube now!.

This program has been awarded 5/5 for excellence by the Soft82 editors. Click on the rosette below for more free software from Soft82.

Free download software

FreeCEN Transcriber

This program is only of any use to people involved in the FreeCEN project

Example programs and modules

In writing VBRhapsody I have had to spend hours and hours trying to figure out how to input and output MIDI data using I know from the number of people who have posted questions on the internet and from the generally poor quality of the replies that very few people have actually cracked this particular nut. The following program will show you how to input MIDI data into your program and how to output short MIDI messages.

Most of these programs (and literally thousands of others) can be downloaded from

Last updated: June 2017