Tagged With ascii

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The oldest torrent that is currently still active is a fan-made ASCII render of The Matrix, and it was shared with the internet through BitTorrent on December 20, 2003. For more than 12 years, the same 4.3 gigabyte file has been downloaded by thousands of users, but a recent upswing in shares means that it's not disappearing any time soon.

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The incredibly lifelike computer simulations of snow and water seen in effects-heavy Hollywood blockbusters — and even video games — require a significant amount of computing power. It's not uncommon for a single frame of a movie to require days to render, and these days visual effect studios have more computing power than NASA. But Yusuke Endoh has created a slightly cruder text-based fluid simulation that requires far less hardware.

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Until internet speeds were fast enough to make it feasible to share jpegs or GIFs, ASCII art — images created from text — served as a decent substitute. And while they seem antiquated now, the folks at Teehan+Lax Labs have breathed new life into the artform with this wonderful real-time display that uses simple segmented displays like you'll find in any alarm clock.

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If you thought the novelty photobooth idea was just a recent trend, think again. Back in 1976 — the year before Atari released its ground-breaking 2600 console — the company was hawking these fantastic Compugraph Foto booths that created retroriffic ASCII portraits of people.

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My nerd dream came true: 1) Open your Terminal in Mac OS X or Windows or Linux or whatever the hell you are running your toaster on. 2) Type telnet miku.acm.uiuc.edu. 3. Enjoy an endless nyancat loop in glorious ASCII.

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And so a timeless truth is revealed: If you put enough nerds in front of a set of lettered keys, one of them will produce awkward art, eventually.

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ASCII has been doing the rounds online since the first acoustic coupler connected to a BBS. But what about going seriously old school? Melbournian Andrew MacRae has been creating ASCII art 60s style with a couple of typewriters: 1965 Olympia SG3 and a 1968 Hermes 3000.

It's a great blog of his work from over the past year and a half, and you can see the complexity develop over that time. Nods to Star Wars, and even one for the hoons, makes this a must link for mine.

See his art in this blog, and his Live Journal is over here. -Seamus Byrne