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ASCII Art in 1939 (blog.modernmechanix.com)
106 points by O1111OOO 12 days ago | hide | past | web | 26 comments | favorite

Also from 1939, more traditional ‘ascii’ art (borders, large letters, etc): https://archive.org/details/Artyping

Thanks for this. It’s beautiful book, and I remember similar books laying around some old relative during my childhood.

This is amazing. (I wish the author could have seen figlet and aalib!)

Emoticons p22 !

I love MAD Magazine's Typewri-toons (1962, 1965), for playing with the characters themselves. I did similar things as a kid, first on typewriters then in online forums.


This is actually closer to ascii art than I expected. The characters retain their monospace grid alignment.

Here’s a later artist that doesn’t align the characters: https://www.wired.com/2011/07/ascii-art-typewriter/

For the pedantic, like me, "The first edition of the [ASCII] standard was published in 1963" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASCII

As long as he stuck to only characters that were later deemed to be ASCII it could still considered to be ASCII art.

RTTY art started in the 1920s, used to be stored on paper tape. Some of the images shared between operators during Xmas holidays were amazing. Here's a bunch stored in the .pix format: https://rtty.com/gallery/gallery.htm

What a bizarrely great site. Seems it was pretty active between late 2005 and 2013, but nothing since; a shame, and quite surprising it's still around - luck of the draw that they chose a free maintenance-less platform that stuck around (probably Wordpress) I suppose.

> What a bizarrely great site.

I was organizing a ton of old saved files (including saved webpages) from many years back (some over a decade old). One of the pages I had saved was "X-Ray Solves Secret of Life (Jun, 1939)" : http://blog.modernmechanix.com/x-ray-solves-secret-of-life/ (interesting read on what can happen with emerging tech).

I checked to see if the site still existed (lots of my old saved files point to dead domains or interestingly, domains that have been repurposed for completely different businesses unrelated to their original content). As I crawled around the site, my impressions were exactly like yours. Treasure trove of interesting historical info!

I came across the ASCII article and decided to post. I love ASCII art but also wanted to point HN users to the site.

> luck of the draw that they chose a free maintenance-less platform

I was curious about this too. Just checked and it's running Wordpress 5.2 (released 07may2019). Some of the other backend tech is a little dated...

side note: Years ago, I was always curious if I should have been saving webpages as MHT or MAFF files. Now that both of these containers are dead, it turned out that Mozilla's MAFF was the better solution. It's just a compressed format, easy to unzip and all the pages were as viewable as the originals. For MHT files, I needed Pale Moon running with an MHT extension (used this to resave pages as "html complete").

So, is there really no standard way to save a web page as a single page any more ? (Some browser extensions seem to be able to, but they feel kind of hacky...)

I swear, browsers have gone downhill since the days of Opera 12...

> So, is there really no standard way to save a web page as a single page any more?

I'm feeling pretty confident about the browser extension 'Singlefile'[0].

I had already tested saved files on a number of browsers (the usual modern browsers) including a few minimal ones like Dillo and elinks. The pages had no problems displaying.

Out of curiosity, I just finished testing with two old DOS browsers I had in DOSBox. The results are here: https://imgur.com/a/ScpJqaK

Also uploaded here:

Knots HTML Viewer: https://ibb.co/3Tf9VTk

Dillo for DOS: https://ibb.co/mqsF8kp

Knots was a simple HTML viewer released in 1996. I was surprised it loaded the page. From the image: it was unable to scroll past a certain point. Singlefile embeds all assets within the page (so I had to scroll past all the CSS). It stopped scrolling soon after the CSS.

This was a real (unfair) torture test of Singlefile and I think it passed with flying colors. Knots had trouble even with pages written in 1993 - it was useful for only the simplest of html tags.

The other image is of Dillo for DOS (released in 2011). Really nice job displaying the Singlefile page.

These were the only two DOS browsers I had on the system (for now...)

[0] https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/single-file/

> I swear, browsers have gone downhill since the days of Opera 12...

LOL. In 100% agreement:-)

I like the poster's username :-)

I also like how the artist is actually an industrial worker, in a mill - and this echoes how ASCII artists in later decades have some kind of technical day job too.

Ascii art is still active in the demo scene, check out: https://16colo.rs/

Are there any known example of pre-computer printer art — e.g. originally stored on paper tape for teletypes or card for accounting machines?

When I was a kid, my dad was a HAM and we used to spend hours printing TTY art and even making some now and then.

He'd get word that someone would be transmitting a picture at a certain time and frequency, then he'd set up the paper punch to record the transmission so we could replay and reprint at a later date. Local HAMs would also loan and copy the tape reels so others could have copies.

Playboy centerfolds seemed the most popular thing back then with HAMs.

See my other comment in this thread - that picture came out of a teleprinter.

Demoscene in 1939.

Wow what are these comments

> That guy looks like the most stereotypical hillbilly.

My favorite is the possum bone artist sibling.


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