ASCII art and its precursors


I damn well deserve an award for this headline.


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Here’s Keira Rathbone on a BBC news video about making typewriter art, including typer-sketching at an exhibition:

It’s been covered by Boing Boing before, but here is Andrew Macrae’s typewriter art, done on a real typewriter.

It would seem there are two varieties of ASCII art: those that act as line drawings, and those that emulate continuous tone photos.


ASCII art was maybe my favorite part of the BBS scene.

And then there’s this, “Out Of Character”, which I did in 1997: It’s line art, photo art, lines of text that are background, lines of text that are dialog. It has an unfinished feel, but, at least it has a feel!
Note: the actual comic is in three text files, which some browsers like to wrap. Yes, I could make a webpage and put them in "<pre>"s, but I won’t because of this comic’s origin as a Gopher “page”.

In the days of punch card programming it took real effort to satisfy an addiction to online porn.

Let’s not forget about the moment machines learned to do it. In realtime.

(Okay, bad writeup, but a nice video nonetheless.)

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In the days of doing Playboy Playmates on a line printer, there was a lot of over-printing. Various grey-scale values would map to a certain combination of over-printed characters.

Also Mona Lisa and various other images.

It required a skill set that is mostly obsolete these days.

Or this:

sudo apt-get -y install libaa-bin && aafire

Jason Scott did a bit on this a few years bck as part of his BBS Documentery (Creative Commons licensed so if you can’t buy a copy it’s downloadable… and he encourages this. Bless you Jason for being Awesome.)

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