Even though the news is only a few hours old, some are already starting to wonder if the big WikiLeaks release of CIA hacking documents revealed anything "technically surprising". Well, how about this: CIA hackers are obscenely well-versed in Japanese one-line ASCII art.
Tagged With ascii
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.
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.
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.
Dear internet, please give up on April Fools' jokes. YouTube's is untoppable: A "text-only mode" that renders videos as coloured ASCII art. Clever, gorgeous, perverse.
I have no idea how this works, but I do know that it's one of the strangest, coolest things I've seen in a while. Search for any Vimeo video on ASCIImeo, and it'll play back to you as text.
Before the internet, there were typewriters. And before typewriters, there were movies. And before movies, there was chewing gum. And before chewing gum, there were only paleolithic caveman. Is this dude a Neanderthal chewing gum in a typewriter movie? Maaaybe.
Before there were ASCII portraits of Dwight , there was this: "Keyboard Art," from Popular Mechanics, October 1948.