Mandala Reference

Mandala runs on Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows NT. It has not been tested on Windows 2000, however, it should run on Windows 2000. If you do not have a color display, you should select the Monochrome Palette, or create a custom monochrome palette.

Mandala help, this set of pages, can be viewed with the HTML Help Viewer. This is the viewer that is standard on Windows 98 (and all more recent Windows operating systems) . The Mandala help information is fully integrated with the user manual.

Microsoft makes available the help viewer to all Windows users, such as users of Windows 95. If you surf the Microsoft web site you should be able to find the help viewer and download it. We do not supply a direct link here because the organization of their web site appears to be always changing.

Mandala is supplied in a self-extracting compressed archive that requires approximately 400 Kilobytes of disk space. After Mandala is installed, the files in the Mandala folder will require about 300 Kilobytes of disk space.

The amount of RAM memory required by the program is a function of the window size. A full-screen Mandala program at a typical screen resolution, using the help viewer, will require approximately 7 megabytes of memory.

NOTE: In an attempt to draw pixels as quickly as possible, Mandala generates graphics commands which can be accelerated by many video cards. These commands flow from Mandala through the Windows operating system and directly into the video card for rapid execution. This situation is certainly not particular to Mandala, and is designed to improve the performance of many applications. It is possible, however, for problems with this process (graphics acceleration) to lock up the computer. When a computer locks up due to this problem, the problem can usually be fixed by installing a more recent video card driver (typically available from the vendor's web site), or by adjusting settings related to the video card. As an alternative solution, it is possible to adjust the amount of graphics acceleration that is allowed. This adjustment is made with a slider control located on a Windows dialog box. With most versions of Windows, you can get at this control by right clicking on My Computer and selecting Properties from the context menu. This will bring up the System Properties dialog. Select the Performance tab on this dialog, then press the Graphics button to display the Advanced Graphics Settings dialog. This dialog contains the hardware acceleration control. By default, the control is set for full acceleration, but it can be adjusted for less acceleration if your system experiences problems.

We have seen exactly one case where Mandala has locked up a computer due to problems with graphics acceleration. Adjusting the control to a lower level allowed Mandala (and some other applications) to run without incident. Since this will reduce graphics performance, however, you may want to investigate the device driver and settings so that you can obtain the highest performance from your system.

[Note: Windows, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT, are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Other product and company names mentioned on this site may be the trademarks of their respective owners.]

The status bar is located at the bottom of the window. It contains 4 information fields. The fields, in left to right order are:


Field Contents



Running or Paused

Set to Running when updates are taking place. Set to Paused when the Mandala is stopped.
2 Radius = XXX XXX is the radius of the outer circle, in pixels.
3 Seed = XXXX Shows the seed value used for the pseudo random number generator.
4 IPS = XXX, PPS = YYY XXX is the number of iterations per second. YYY is the number of pixels changed per second. This value is updated whenever the Mandala is paused, or every 5 seconds.

The status bar is optional. When visible, it can be hidden by selecting the View|Status Bar menu item. This same menu command will make the status bar visible when it is hidden (it toggles the status bar display). The keyboard accelerator is S.

Use the Edit|Copy to Clipboard command to place a copy of the current Mandala on the system clipboard. From the clipboard, the Mandala can be pasted into other programs for saving or printing.

The copied bitmap is a square which surrounds the outer circle.

Mandala is downloaded from a web page on the Internet. Select this link to go to the download page.

Mandala is supplied in a self-extracting compressed archive file that can be downloaded from the Internet. Typically, the file is downloaded to your computer desktop, where it will become visible on the screen. After downloading, execute (double click on the icon)  the file in order to begin installation.

The default downloaded file name is a combination of the program name (Mandala) and the major version number of the program. Mandala4.exe, for example, is the name of the installation file for version 4.0 of Mandala.  From time the time, enhancements and/or bug fixes may cause the program version to increase. Each new major version, therefore, will have its own unique file name, since the major version number is part of the file name.

The downloaded file serves only to contain the files that need to be installed, and the installation procedure. Once the installation is complete, the downloaded file is no longer needed, and you may delete it. Please note that even if you uninstall Mandala, the initial downloaded file will not be removed. The file that you downloaded is your responsibility, and you can either keep it or remove it after installation. The uninstall program only uninstalls what was installed.

You may want to check the Mandala web page from time to time to see if there is a newer version to download.

Once you have a copy of the self-extracting compressed archive installation file, you may execute it in order to install Mandala.

The Mandala Setup Wizard will check for sufficient resources, ask some configuration questions, and finally, install Mandala.

After Mandala has been installed, you may execute it through the Start menu. Unless you change the configuration during installation, the correct Start menu path will be: Start|Programs|Mandala|Mandala. The Mandala name appears twice because the first name is the folder name, and the second name is the program name.

The folder will also include the Mandala Uninstall program. This second program should be used to remove Mandala completely from your system. Alternatively, the Mandala installation can be removed through the Windows Add/Remove Programs applet on the Control Panel.

Errors may occur during the installation. They will be reported in a message box, and the installation will be terminated. The most common error will occur when the download of the installation file is interrupted, and not allowed to complete. This could happen, for example, when an Internet connect is lost during download. If this is the error you receive, you should repeat the download step. If other errors occur that cannot be cleared up, please email me at

Although the downloading and installation procedures have been described in terms of Internet-centric steps, the Internet is not a required part of the process. So long as you can get a copy of the self-extracting compressed archive installation file, you can install Mandala. That file could be placed on a floppy disk and taken to a computer not on the Internet, for example.

If you want to move the Mandala files to a different folder, please uninstall the software then install  it again, specifying the new folder. This is the only way to insure that the Mandala-related registry information is correct and consistent.

Mandala settings are stored within the Windows Registry. The settings will be saved each time they are changed, and restored each time the program is started. The settings are saved under HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Seed Solutions/Mandala. You can certainly remove this information if you do not want it on your computer. In that case, however, removed settings will default to initial values the next time that Mandala is started. The Mandala Uninstall program will also clean up the registry.

The size and location of the Mandala window are not stored in the Registry. They will be automatically set (by Windows) when Mandala is started.

Please note that Mandala and/or the Mandala Setup Wizard will make other entries in the registry. These entries enable the Add/Remove Programs applet in the Control Panel to understand how to remove Mandala. In general, manual editing of the registry is not advised, since it may cause a program to fail if inconsistent entries are created.  If you want to make sure that all Mandala-related entries are removed from the registry, please uninstall the program with the supplied uninstall program.

Suggestions and comments can be emailed to me at:

Mandala was developed by, and is owned by Seed Solutions, Inc. Copyright , 2000, Seed Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved. No warranty of any kind is made as to performance, or fitness of use in any application. Your use of this software is your agreement with these terms. You agree to hold Seed Solutions, Inc. free from responsibility for any damages that may or may not be associated with the installation or operation of the program.

This software may be redistributed in original form. No fee may be charged for redistribution without the prior and specific written consent of Seed Solutions. Inc. This software is licensed for personal and non-commercial use only, and is subject to the export laws and regulations as defined by the State Department of the United States of America, and other applicable regulatory agencies.

Last Updated: Friday, December 21, 2001 04:14:05 PM
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