ASCII Art

Long ago before the World Wide Web came to be, I, like many others, became fascinated with the fact that I could use my computer to communicate with people from across the country and around the world by participating in a BBS.  Using a dial-up connection, I would connect to a BBS System here in Knoxville and login to one of its SIGs (Special Interest Groups) called ILink Writers.  This particular SIG was populated by a diverse and talented group of people who enjoyed the act of writing about an almost unlimited number of subjects.  It was during this time that the writing of one Paul Moor, who has since that time become a dear friend for about 15 years now, first caught my eye.  Not all the writers in that group were professionals (after all, I was one of them), but all of them were quite skilled at their craft, and I derived hours of enjoyment getting to know them and having the chance to interact with them. 

During those years, given the limitations of the computer systems of the time, people would attempt to create “pictures” in their messages and postings by just using ASCII characters.  This became known as ASCII art.  A very specialized version of ASCII art was animated ASCII Art.  Following that last link will illustrate a very basic example of that ingenious type of creativity. 

This morning I came across this link at the URLgreyhot blog to a much more elaborate example of animated ASCII art that recreates Star Wars Episode IV in ASCII.  I can’t begin to guess how many hours this person (Simon Jansen) spent in producing this amazing feat of creativity.  George Lucas it isn’t, but it is mind-blowing nonetheless. 

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