Magoo is an Othello playing program that was originally written in C++ for X Windows. It was ported to Java back in 1996.

Use of first person singular on this page refers to Peter Gorniak, who you should be mailing with any comments or questions about MAGOO. First person plural are Andrew, Greg and myself, the original authors of the X version.

I see that the counter keeps increasing and I may have some time later this summer. Especially if you play MAGOO regularly (I know some people do!) please vote below on how you would like to see it change.

Magoo Feature Poll

Which enhancement should Peter implement next for Magoo?

Cooler looking interface
Better AI
Hotseat human vs. human
Internet human vs. human
Other (mail Peter at


If you can't see the game you might be too low in the frame hierarchy. Click here to correct this.

Here's Peter's current web page.

Magoo News

Back To Top

Magoo FAQ's

I guess I could've put all of these into question form?

Why does it say "Your Name" on the board?
Well, there's actually a text field in the beginning letting you fill in your name (meant for network games and thus not very useful without them).
Why haven't you worked on Magoo recently?
Magoo is a side project that sits somewhere at the bottom of my priority list. I'm surprised that I ever got around to doing this much. You can see my excuses on my project page. I also have not been the fastest at answering e-mail about Magoo. I apologize for this. Please look through this FAQ and see if I answer your question.
I can't play Magoo
Every Java enabled browser or applet viewer should run Magoo. I have seen it run on several platforms and under several browsers. If it doesn't work, check whether you have any output to stderr/stdout. If so, I'd appreciate you sending it to me.
I have problems with display/board-resizing...
Magoo is meant to run in colour. I know there are problems with monochrome terminals, and these will most likely not be fixed. Other display problems (like black-on-black button titles) may be due to the way your java implementation communicates with your OS. I try to set colours explicitly wherever I can to prevent this, but if you see something like this, please send me mail with info about your platform and the java implementation you're using.
I'd like Magoo's X Windows code
I have not given this code out to many people, partly due to a lack of a stable anonymous ftp server on my side, and partly because the old code is a mess. However, if you bug me enough, I'll probably get around to it sometime.
I'd like to have Magoo's (Java) code
My response here depends on your intentions. I readily give out the code to people writing othello programs themselves (there have been quite a few of these requests) or wanting to look at my search engine. If you want to put Magoo on your web site I will give the the class files if you guarantee that you will not be charging people. If you want to buy Magoo to make a profit of it in any manner you can still send me mail, but be warned that I will say 'no' to all offers that take the rights to the code out of my hands or disallow Magoo to appear anywhere else on the web.
Why 'MAGOO'?
MAGOO stands for Mayer-Agno-Gorniak-OthellO. That'd be the original authors of the X version. Only the Gorniak is left now.

Back To Top

Java MAGOO History

Back To Top

MAGOO Java Version

Yes, I (Peter Gorniak) have finally found enough time to put out aversion of MAGOO in Java. Version 1.0 is out, so everything should work :). Just choose one of the three skill levels, choose your colour, enter your name and click the button. That should pop up the MAGOO othello board. You can open as many boards as you like, but of course your performance will get awful pretty quickly. Note that I had to simplify the search engine a bit due to Java's slow performance (compared to the original C++ version). Still, things may take QUITE a while in expert mode. Please let me know of any bugs you find, features you want to see (first see list below) and games MAGOO beat.

Problems I currently know about:

Back To Top