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.