Magic Designer Overview

This computer program is an exact emulation of a toy which was sold years ago called Magic Designer . It also once had the name Hoot Nanny. It is made out of metal and comes with circular paper and colored pens.

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Here is a description of this toy and how it is used: Original Instructions in PDF

This program uses trigonometry to figure out how to draw these designs. Without getting too technical this is how it works:

To draw a design, the paper is rotated a full circle. The position of the pen moves around due to the motion of the gears. The program takes many samples and asks, where is the pen at this point? Because the number of pixels is not infinite (typical computers have 1024 by 768 or 800 by 600) a finite number of samples is all that is needed to get the maximum possible accurate drawing. The length of the two arms is known and the position of the pegs (which are those pins standing on the gears) is calculated relative to a common center. Then, one of the possible two points where the circles made by those two arms swinging around their pegs (imagine that the arms were not connected to one another) intersect, is where the pen is located at that moment. This becomes a colored pixel.

I am not Spirograph. I do so much more. And I am rare and special.

Now an Android Version:

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Get it on Google Play Download Magic Designer Emulator Noads / Android

The following is snapshot of the computer program. Pieces of it and how it is used are on the HELP PAGES.

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Download from Source Forge

Free Download:

--> ** New Touch Friendly Browser Version of Magic Designer **<--

Works with 8 inch Android Tablet with browsers: Firefox, Browser, Dolphin, Maxthon. Works with PC browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer 8 (and I assume higher). Please contact Andrew Katz with any feedback about where things work or do not work, such as smart phones and anything Apple.

HELP PAGES Download Version

 Ellipse Controls
 Button Operations
 Status Line and Keyboard

Users are invited to email to me their
saved designs (as MGS files). I will add
them to this site. Thanks.

Extreme Examples for Windows Version

Tutorial for Magic Designer emulator v.1.3

(by a keen but anonymous User)


Physical Parameters of the metal designer

Programming Details including Math

I would like to know who my user community is:

Andrew Katz Email

Browser Version (2007) of Magic Designer

Browser Version (2009) of Magic Designer

Third Party Links related to Magic Designer

My other stuff on the Web

My Favorite useful sites

My Employment Resume

Ken Katz's book on Science and God

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