1.3. COMPARISON AND INTERFACING WITH OTHER SYSTEMS

next, previous Section / Table of Contents / Index (LATUSE, PLOT3D, SARCH, SCHAKAL) The BALSAC program system includes all features of the two PC-based program systems LATUSE (a subset of BALSAC/LATTICE) and PLOT3D (a subset of BALSAC/CLUSTER) developed by K. Hermann. While building and analysis strategies of BALSAC and LATUSE/PLOT3D are identical BALSAC offers many additional features and improvements, the most important ones being - portability which allows you to run BALSAC on DOS based PCs as well as on many Unix based workstations and mainframes using an X.11 Windows interface; - a completely revised graphics interface which offers a free choice of RGB color definitions with up to 240 (Unix/X11) and 16 (DOS/VGA) different colors/shadings; - a more user friendly menu interface with mnemonic keys and a separate menu window (Unix/X.11) for all options - faster and more refined graphics options (shading with diffuse, Lambert, and specular contributions); - larger internal space for atom definitions allowing the construction and analysis of larger systems; - on-line help facility which can be customized by the user; - much more features in the interactive graphic analysis of screen output; - full color PostScript file output yielding color prints of publishing quality. The files are well structured and can be easily modified by the user. The program system SARCH developed by M. A. Van Hove includes many features of BALSAC and offers in addition surface science oriented visualization tools like a kinematic LEED analysis option and an STM surface topograph. The interactive graphics options of SARCH are generally less sophisticated and slower than those of BALSAC. In addition, SARCH is in its present version restricted to PC systems while a workstation version is not available. BALSAC is, in some respect similar in its goals to the crystallographic and molecular visualization package SCHAKAL written by E. Keller. However, BALSAC is designed for interactive use. The graphics screen output shows complete substructures at all times. Substructures as well as the final atom cluster or crystal section may be analyzed interactively. In contrast, SCHAKAL produces somewhat more sophisticated final output whereas during the construction period screen output is always incomplete. Further, SCHAKAL (originally designed as a batch program for crystal graphics) does not allow interactive analysis and modification of a given atom cluster nor does it handle different net plane stacking using Miller indices. BALSAC uses several ASCII file formats for structure input/output which provides the interface with other programs. The different formats are listed in the following file type BALSAC input BALSAC output ------------------------------------------------------------ LATUSE X X PLOT3D X X SARCH X SCHAKAL X gray/color PostScript X ------------------------------------------------------------ In addition, BALSAC offers a binary output file format (raw binary) which allows you to save screen graphics as pixel images on output files. These can be used outside BALSAC to produce image sequences for animation or fast display of fixed views. next, previous Section / Table of Contents / Index