Getting the Source

The Java source for the applet is here. The individual files are packed together and compressed in a ZIP archive. To unpack, use an unzip program that can handle long filenames. For Windows 95 and Windows NT users, I suggest Nico Mak's WinZip. You can get it at


Speeding Up

This applet consists of about 50 Java classes. Each of these is stored as an individual file on the server. First generation browsers have to load file by file. New browsers can load a whole bunch of classes packed together at once. This speeds up loading of the applet considerably. As a matter of fact, the three major players in the browser market propose three different standards of packing and delivering Java classes:

Of course, all three are incompatible.
For your convenience, this applet is offered to you in three formats:

Your browser should be able to automatically pick the format that it loads fastest.


Using the Applet Off-line

If you would like to copy the applet to your computer so that you can use it off-line, proceed as follows:

  1. On your computer, create a new directory (or "folder", as some people say).
  2. Have your browser save this very page as default.html to that directory.
  3. Have your browser download the Java classes for the applet into that directory:
  4. To view your local copy of the applet, open file default.html in your browser.

The code runs as a standalone Java application as well. The advantage: You may resize the application window at your discretion and the layout adjusts. In this case, you need a Java interpreter, such as Sun's java or Microsoft's jview. To run, enter the following commands:

java Approx

jview Approx



The applet was compiled with Microsoft Visual J++ Beta 3 and tested with Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 and Sun HotJava 1.0 preBeta 1 on Windows NT 4.0. Please report any trouble that you experience to me.