News


This site was last updated Fri 17 Oct 2014 11:57:15 EDT.


2014/10/17 - The site has been down for a couple of days due to a couple of power events at the hosting company, the second of which took out the partition this web site was located on. Most of the site has been restored from backup at this time, although some of the large backgrounds are still not in place, but I expect this work to be completed within a day or two.


2012/12/02 - The Upcoming Backgrounds page has been partially updated. There are more updates to come, as a number of areas of the site are out of date - a number of broken links, the torrent system and zip files need re-arranging, and I'd like to change the terms of usage.


2012/10/24 - The first of several galleries of small images has been posted here, and two more here and here.


2012/10/18 - Today is the 10th anniversary of Blatte's Fractals. I know there hasn't been much in the way of updates in the past few years, but I hope to change that shortly. Stay tuned.


2010/01/30 - The torrent tracker for the zip file collections has been down for a while, unfortunately unoticed. It is now running again.


2009/07/01 - The site was down for most of the day on Monday June 29th due to a failing system disk. The system was re-built with a new disk and all files were copied or restored from backup. All services should be running again at this point.


2009/05/01 - A new gallery of backgrounds has been added for May 1st.


2009/04/09 - Some of you may have noticed that there haven't been a lot of updates to the site lately. This hasn't been my intention. Unfortunately this is a side-effect of some significant issues I've been having with vision and eyestrain lately. I have been seeking advice from several medical specialists regarding this, but progress to date has been disappointing. More updates to follow.


2009/03/01 - A new gallery of backgrounds has been added for March 1st.


2009/01/01 - Added a new gallery of backgrounds. The Upcoming Galleries page has been partially updated.


2008/12/03 - Added a new gallery of backgrounds.


2008/12/02 - After some significant downtime, the site is back. There is a new gallery of Apophysis Fractals, and there will also be a new backgrounds gallery in a couple of days. The Upcoming Galleries page shows what will be available in the next couple of months. There may be some hiccups with the site for the next few days as I get all the components running again.


2008/04/07 - Due to popular request, I've posted a gallery of 60 backgrounds for the iPhone/iPod Touch.


2008/03/01 - A new gallery of images has been added to the site for March 1st.


2008/01/01 - A new gallery of images has been posted for January 2008. The upcoming galleries page will be updated in a few days.


2007/12/24 - As some of you may have noticed, the site has been down for several extended periods of time in December, and has suffered times of poor performance before that. This was a problem with my excellent hosting company's not so excellent ISP. After the several days of downtime in early December at which time said ISP was dodging calls and giving no ETA for return of service, my hosting company started making plans to move to a new ISP. Before this could be completed, the ISP went down again, and this time all the voice lines as well as the data lines were out of service. Full and complete information about what exactly happened at the ISP is not available, but the understanding is that they did a "midnight run" and removed all their equipment from their location. Something about someone not paying the rent; no one has been able to get a clear answer. Since getting a new data line installed takes time and this happened during the Christmas holidays, my hosting provider ended up packing up and moving his entire machine room to somewhere that had connectivity. My greatest appreciation goes out to Walled Networks for providing all of us refugees rack space and connectivity on such short notice and during the Christmas holidays. I don't know what the long term plan for my hosting company is, but at the moment the site should be stable and it is now on a much more reliable network than the previous one. Further updates will be made available when I have more information.


2007/12/22 - There was another period of extended downtime, due to more problems at my hosting company's ISP. While the network is (more or less) back up at the moment, it may be rather fragile for the next little while. A more permanent solution to this reoccurring problem is currently underway.


2007/12/03 - There was an extended downtime yesterday and last night due to a telecom outage at my hosting provider/ISP. I apologize for any inconvenience.


2007/12/01 - A new gallery of backgrounds is available for December 1st.


2007/11/05 - Due to the rapidly fluctuating and dropping US Dollar, I am switching all prices for products and services on this site into Canadian Dollars, effective immediately. All future quotations for products and services will be issued in CAD, and payment is appreciated in the same currency. If you choose to pay in a currency that is not CAD, a 3% surcharge will apply. This only applies to payments for products and services; donations of course are welcome in any currency. To convert your local currency into CAD, please use one of the many free currency converters available online. One such converter is XE.com. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.


2007/10/01 - A new gallery of backgrounds has been posted for October 1st. I've decided to continue with the 1280x854 backgrounds for the short term, although response to my request for comments was very minimal. This size will be discontinued sometime in the near future.


2007/08/27 - The Upcoming Galleries page has been updated with the images for the next two backgrounds galleries.


2007/06/29 - After analysing download statistics of backgrounds based on size, I noticed that 1280x854 backgrounds now only account for around 1% of all images downloaded (an average of 1.1% over the three months since the 1280x800 size was introduced). Based on this, I've been thinking about discontinuing 1280x854 backgrounds in future galleries. Of course the existing images in 1280x854 will remain on the site, but no new images will be added. If you have a monitor that displays at 1280x854 and are a regular visitor to the site, please send me email and let me know this. If I get few or no responses, 1280x854 images will likely be discontinued starting with the next backgrounds gallery in the fall.


2007/06/01 - A new gallery of backgrounds has been added for June 1st. This will be the last backgrounds gallery until the fall.


2007/05/01 - A new gallery of backgrounds has been posted for May 1st. Also, all images added to the site within the last month have now been incorporated into the zip files.


2007/04/20 - The great update is pretty much done at this point. I've added almost all possible images in 2560x1600, 2048x1536 and the new size of 1280x800 to the site. There are a few remaining images, mostly problem cases that are really slow to render or are hard to reproduce at larger sizes, but overall I've been able to add many more images than I thought possible. I will be working on getting those last few images in before May 1st. Somewhere along the line, the limitation that was preventing most KPT Fraxflame images from being made available in 2560x1600 has gone away, and I didn't realize it. I've gone through several major operating system upgrades as well as using a much newer version of Photoshop since I last did any serious work with Fraxflame, and one of those things, or several, has fixed the problem. The larger Fraxflame images lack the fine quality and detail that Apophysis can produce, but at least they are available now. The lack of a complete collection of 2560x1600 images was not an intentional discrimination against people with larger monitors; just a natural fallout from the fact that when I started this site, the largest size supported was 1920x1200, and many of my older images were never rendered larger than 1920x1200. I had to do a lot of re-rendering to make complete the collection of larger images. The new images are not yet in the zip file builds; they will be incorporated when the zip files are rebuilt on May 1st with the new gallery.


2007/04/02 - A new gallery of backgrounds has been added to the site for April 1st. The zip files were delayed by a day this month, as I have been adding additional images in 2048x1536 and 2560x1600 to older galleries. The zip files for these sizes are now significantly more complete, and I hope to finish adding all possible images in this size to the site before the end of April so they will be included in next month's build of the zip files. I've also started adding images in the 1280x800 size. Currently these are only available individually, as I'd like to complete the job of adding all images at this size before building a zip file. I hope to be done with this task by the end of April as well.


2007/03/01 - A new gallery of backgrounds has been posted for March 1st.


2007/02/27 - Prints of my images are now for sale. Please visit the Prints Page for more information. The ordering system is a little primitive at the moment while I'm still getting things ready, but a proper storefront is on the way.


2007/01/01 - A new gallery of 10 images has been posted for January 1st. Happy New Year! The upcoming galleries page has been updated once again. Also, I am working hard at making prints of my work available. I hope to have them available for sale in the first quarter of 2007. Keep an eye on this page for updates, and email me if there's an image you would like to see printed.


2006/12/18 - The server was upgraded to a whole new machine today. This was done both for performance reasons, and also to eliminate an ellusive problem that was causing frequent crashes. After checking the memory, disk, power chain, electrical circuit and upgrading both system software and Apache and related mods, it was decided it would be easier (and cheaper, as time is money!) to replace the entire machine. The server is now a dualcore 3.8GHz amd64 bit machine.


2006/12/01 - The server has finally been upgraded to Apache2, and a new bandwdith throttling module is in place. It operates with much similarity to the previous module, acting to slow down fast (automatic) browsers, and deny access after a certain amount of data has been downloaded in a specific time, however I hope this module will do the job better and also be a little more user friendly. The limits are fairly generous, but if you're trying to get all of a large size of backgrounds, you will run up against them and should probably request a zip file. The zip files have been moved to a new virtual server and will no longer be bandwidth throttled. If you notice any issues you think are related to this, please send me an email. And, December's gallery is now available.


2006/11/27 - I've updated the backgrounds galleries with about 50 new 2560x1600 images, and a handful of 2048x1536 images. The images are available from the individual galleries currently, but won't be incorporated into the zip files until they are rebuilt for 1st of December.


2006/11/24 - A gallery of 10 images has been added to the Extras section. These are images that are favorites of mine, but don't quite enjoy enough popularity to be included in the main backgrounds galleries. The images are available in all standard sizes.


2006/11/19 - The Extras section of the backgrounds is back (although it was never really gone, it was just not linked from the main page), and has some new items. A new gallery of 40 PSP backgrounds has been added, and the Turbulence backgrounds have had some new images added and are also available in a wider variety of resolutions. More updates to this section to come in the next couple of days.


2006/11/15 - The site has and will be experiencing some periods of downtime over the next few (and past) days as the server is upgraded and the site moved from Apache to Apache2. I will also be installing and testing a new bandwidth throttling module, so there may be access issues related to that until any kinks are fully worked out. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. If you have problems accessing the site over the next few days, please try again in a few hours. Thanks.


2006/11/01 - A new gallery of 10 backgrounds has been added for November. The upcoming galleries page has been updated to reflect the planned gallery for January 2007.


2006/10/01 - New gallery of 10 backgrounds added. The BitTorrent experiment was pretty much a failure; see the FAQ for more details.


2006/09/06 - Five of the most popular zip files are now available for download via BitTorrent.


2006/09/01 - A new gallery of 10 backgrounds has been added. The are also galleries planned for the first of each month for the rest of the year. See the new upcoming galleries page for an idea of what will be available and when.


2006/06/14 - The Fractals Galleries have been re-arranged into reverse chronological order, instead of being sorted by gallery-type. This should make it easier for repeat visitors to see if new galleries have been posted, and bring more focus onto the newer galleries, I hope.


2006/06/13 - There's been a lot of intermittant downtime lately due to problems with my hosting company's upstream provider. I like my hosting company a lot, and I don't want to switch, but their upstream provider blows chunks (excuse my language). So, If you haven't been able to reach the site lately, that's probably what's been going on.


2006/05/17 - Due to an absolute innudation of people from various journal and blog sites attempting to link directly to images, a valid, local referer is now required to view all images.


2006/04/01 - I've added a new gallery of 10 backgrounds. This month's gallery turned out rather blue, for some reason. It will probably be the last backgrounds gallery added until the weather cools off in September or October.


2006/03/01 - New gallery of backgrounds added.


2006/02/17 - I've added another gallery of dual desktop backgrounds. I've tried to include a number of Apophysis flame images this time, as they are among some of the most popular images on this site, however many flame images are not well suited to the extreme widescreen format required for the dual desktop galleries. Many of them are very "blobbish" in shape, so when trying to make them fit I just end up with black areas at either side of the frame. This may improve a little with future images as the new version of Apophysis supports rotating images, something I've been waiting for in a flame generator for ages.


2006/02/11 - Thanks to a suggestion by a reader, I've added 40 backgrounds for the PSP (PlayStation Portable).


2006/02/10 - Well, things are back to normal (mostly) with a few minor additions to security. The site now uses cookies to control access to the password page, so please make sure you have cookies turned on in your browser if you wish to access the background images. The password now also changes frequently. These are likely only the first of several changes, but as I'm sick of dealing with the issue (I'd rather be making images), I've sub-contracted this work to someone else. I've put the backgrounds galleries back up in the meantime because additional changes are taking too long to implement. The site may be undergoing a major redesign soon. If you experience any problems getting access to the backgrounds that you feel are caused by site error, please contact me.

I just want to say thank you to each and every one of you who offered encouragement, help or donations during this frustrating time. It's nice to know that there are still some decent people out there.


2006/01/29 - The backgrounds portion of this site is down temporarily due to access control problems. What this means is that simply putting a password on the images linked through the Terms of Use page is no longer sufficient. Someone is repeatedly posting the password to access the large images elsewhere and also linking directly to the password page, something that is normally denied by referer, however none of these visitors seem to be passing a referer to my site so I have no way of tracking them down. Additionally, many of these visitors who already have the password are turning auto-downloading software on my site and doing other things they should know better than to do if they had read my Terms of Use. Clearly the access controls are insufficient for the rudeness and thoughtlessness of today's web surfer. So, the site is down until I can implement something better. I hope it will only be down a day or two, but I'm not entirely sure how long it will take to lock the site down properly. In the meantime, please feel free to browse Blatte's Fractals, and the zip files are still available for download if you like what you see there.


2006/01/18 - After getting some requests for images at 2560x1600, I've started adding backgrounds at this size, concentrating on popular images and images that I already have rendered large enough. This means that the images are scattered throughout the galleries, sorry about that. A page linking all the new images is here. I'm not sure what the demand for this size will be at this time, so if you have a monitor that does 2560x1600 and would like more images of this size, drop me an email and let me know. Unfortunately most Fraxflame images will never be available larger than 1920x1200, and as well some of the post-processed images were created at an insufficient size, but the rest should be possible given enough CPU time.


2006/01/01 - New gallery of backgrounds added.


2005/12/24 - The site is back after an extended downtime. New galleries coming soon. Maybe.


2005/07/12 - Added a gallery of dual desktop backgrounds for people with multiple monitor setups, with another gallery to come later today or tomorrow. Images are in two formats - one piece for Linux/Windows users and two pieces for MacOSX users. I also fixed a problem with the throttling software that was refusing access to the backgrounds galleries to random people. At least I think I fixed it <crosses fingers>.


2005/06/25 - Due to a complete hardware meltdown, the entire system this site runs on has been down since Monday. This just happened to coincide with my vacation (gotta love Murphy). Anyways, things are back to normal now.


2005/05/01 - New gallery of 10 Apophysis images added. Also, due to popular request, I've started adding images in 1680x1050 size. Images of this size will be added to older galleries over the next few weeks.


2005/04/25 - I'm totally fed up with my*$pace.com users who insist on hotlinking to images on my site. The volume of traffic is incredible and is causing a significant increase in bandwidth, even considering that most users are blocked by referer. From now on, my*$pace.com hotlinkers will get their own special image to discourage this behaviour. If you're from my*$pace.com, I highly recommend you read my Terms of Use unless you want to see a nasty picture on your page.


2005/04/02 - New gallery of 10 Apophysis backgrounds added. For those of you who missed the April Fool's thumbnail collection, count yourself lucky.


2005/03/09 - Lately I've been adding more images in 2048x1536 resolution. I hope to eventually have at least half the images on the site support this resolution. I can't do all, because some images, like the post-processed images have a fixed size, and many Fraxflame images won't render in a sufficiently large resolution, but I'd like to provide many of the other types of images in this resolution. This will be an ongoing work taking several weeks, likely.


2005/03/01 - New gallery of 10 Fraxplorer backgrounds added.


2005/01/01 - New gallery of 10 Apophysis backgrounds added. Web traffic wasn't too bad in December, so I've decided to leave all the galleries up for the time being. Also, while never really gone, the option to download all images is now more obviously available.


2004/12/01 - New gallery of 10 Ultra Fractal images added. Also, all the galleries will be available for December only.


2004/11/01 - New gallery of 10 Fraxplorer images added.


2004/10/19 - The server has been down a lot lately, caused by a problem finally tracked to a stick of bad RAM. BAD RAM! No cookie! Anyway, the RAM has now been replaced and also doubled in size, and the server should be stable once again.


2004/10/01 - New gallery of 10 Apophysis images added. This is the first ever gallery of Apophysis images, but I'm sure there will be many more to come.


2004/09/01 - New gallery of 10 Fraxflame images added.


2004/08/22 - Finally!! I have a new computer, a P4 3GHz with 1.5GB of RAM. Expect more Apophysis and deep zoom mandelbrot images.


2004/08/01 - New gallery of 10 Ultra Fractal images added.


2004/07/21 - The backgrounds galleries have gone into rotation and the zip files are no longer linked. The galleries will rotate once in a while (aka 'when I feel like it'), so if you haven't been here before, come back in a month or two to see some different images. If you would like to get access to download the zip files which contain the whole collection, please send me email listing the size of backgrounds you'd like, and I'll give you access. Yes, it's still free. This change is being made due to continuing abuse (unfortunately) and lack of donations (thank you very much to the people who donated). It really is sad that the number of people willing to spend the time trying to figure out how to abuse the server and outwit the throttling software vastly outweighs the number of people who donated. The good news is that there will be a new gallery for August.


2004/06/19 - I have finally lost my patience with all the inconsiderate people. Access to all backgrounds images now requires a (generic) username/password. Of all the options available to stop people in-lining images from my site (and other abuse such as harvesting), this seemed the most straight-forward. I thought about only allowing pictures to be loaded by people who are providing correct local referers, however many people do not know what a referer is, nevermind how to turn it on/off. I really would like to keep this site open to the public, but some people are making it harder and harder for me to continue to do so. I'm hoping this will be the last security measure I will have to take. Please see the Terms of Use for the access password. Access to the small images (ie, the Fractals Galleries) remains unrestricted at this time.


2004/06/01 - I have now enabled server throttling on this site. This is thanks to a few bad apples who have decided that downloading each and every image in *every* size is a good idea (about 4 people out of 2000 daily). Occasional inconsiderates have downloaded every html file and image on the site AND the zip files - that's about 1.8gb, most of it duplicate images! Ok, yes, the images are here for people to see, but this sort of thing really goes into blatant abuse of my bandwidth and for no practical gain (unless you just happen to have nine different monitors that match the nine sizes of backgrounds I provide, yeah right). So, now the server is throttled. If you reach the predesignated bandwidth limit, the server will first delay your requests, then eventually refuse to serve you altogether and you will have to come back later. If you experience problems you think are related to this, and you're not leeching/harvesting, please send me an email and include the IP you were trying to browse from, and I'll look into it. If you don't know what your IP number is, go to What Is My IP.


2004/05/30 - Added 20 backgrounds at 1024x768 made with KPT Turbulence to the Extra Background Galleries.


2004/05/22 - Added a new gallery of Fraxplorer images. Backgrounds galleries will likely be rather slow over the summer as I concentrate on other projects and more importantly, spend some time in the Big Room while the weather is nice.


2004/05/01 - New Gallery of 10 Fraxplorer backgrounds added.


2004/03/31 - I have finally replaced all images in the older fractal galleries which has eliminated those pesky colour profiles, and I have added 10 selected images in 2048x1536 size to the backgrounds galleries. Lastly, a new gallery of background images has been added for April 1st.


2004/03/02 - Traffic on the site this past month has been absolutely nuts. I decided to deny access to people coming in from Google image search early in the month, but even then total traffic for the month was nearly 80GB. I haven't really had the time to prepare another gallery (much less do any creative work), so there will be no new backgrounds this month.


2004/02/01 - Well, I decided to go ahead with this month's background page update despite the issues with high traffic. I added a gallery of 10 Deep Zoom Mandelbrot images. I have also been meaning to add some backgrounds at 2048x1536 size, but that effort is on hold for the time being due to excessive bandwidth usage.


2004/01/27 - On January 23rd, Google made a change to either the content of Google image and/or the search algorithm for Google image. This has resulted in a large number of referrals from Google, causing my traffic to increase more than fivefold overnight. I'm still deciding whether I can afford to allow this traffic to continue.


2004/01/01 - New Gallery of 10 Fraxplorer backgrounds added. Moved a number of the older galleries to another page so that the front backgrounds page will load faster.


2003/12/01 - New gallery of 10 Fraxflame backgrounds added.


2003/11/01 - New gallery of 10 Ultra Fractal backgrounds added. Also fixed a problem where visitors from translate.google.com did not have permission to view images.


2003/10/18 - This site (exoteric.roach.org) has now been up for one year; the backgrounds galleries have been up just over six months. In that time, there have been more than 11000 visitors, who downloaded over 15000 backgrounds. Other random stats:


2003/10/15 - All images in the background galleries have now been updated to remove colour profiles. The 'Download All' section has now been added, allowing images to be downloaded in specific sizes as zip archives.


2003/10/10 - Added the Extras Galleries of 152 images in 1024x768 and 1152x864 sizes.


2003/10/01 - New gallery of 10 Fraxplorer backgrounds added.


2003/09/23 - A short while back I started noticing problems with some of the images on this site when viewed on other people's computers. It took me a while to track down the root of the problem, but it seems to be the colour profiles embedded in all the images. Images without colour profiles display properly on all computers (discounting minor changes in monitors and display systems), however images with colour profiles often show up with strange colour shifts (most commonly, blue becomes purple) and colour banding (distinct lines between two very similar shades). This seems to be a very complicated issue, but the end result is that new images added to the site will no longer have embedded colour profiles, and I will slowly be replacing existing images in order to remove the colour profiles. In the short term, I recommend turning off colour profiles in your web browser (if you have the option). To read more about this, see my rant.

In other news today, I am working on another backgrounds gallery, and it should be available by October 1st. I have also altered access to the server to disallow direct linking to images. This should not affect normal browsing or linking, however if you link directly to an image, it will no longer load for anyone with a non-local referrer. Lastly, I'm doing a minor redesign of the site - nothing too radical, but it should look a little nicer and be easier to navigate when I'm done.


2003/08/15 - Blatte's Backgrounds was down between approximately 4:30pm on Thursday August 14th and 4pm on Friday August 15th due to the massive power outage that hit Southern Ontario and the north eastern US. Thankfully, none of the predicted post-blackout 'rolling blackouts' seem to have affected the area the server is located in, so downtime was restricted to only one day.


2003/07/04 - New gallery of 10 Ultra Fractal backgrounds added.


2003/06/18 - New gallery of 10 Fraxplorer backgrounds added.


2003/06/03 - Existing images are now available in more resolutions, and new images have been added to the site for a total of 36 individual images.


2003/04/07 - Blatte's Backgrounds returns in a better designed and publically accessible format.


2002/10/18 - Blatte's Fractals goes live with five galleries of images.



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