Input: Fonts for Code

Input is a typeface for code, designed by David Jonathan Ross and released by Font Bureau.

Source: Input: Fonts for Code

Why do we use fonts not designed for readers? Fancy fonts are nice for creating images with text or using as titles and headers. Think about the fonts book publishers have been using for generations of books and people.

It seems a better reading font is required.

Mashable: Why your Email Font is Ruining your Life

Fast Co: There’s Finally a Modern Typeface for Programmers

I’m hoping this brings back the ASCII art fonts, or better versions of them. My favourite is still FixedSys partly because I know how it will work and partly because it shows up bold rather than thin and faded.

What is an Archivist?

I’ve been interested in keeping old content and what happens to content once the source is gone, for a long time. In particular, web content, since the days I was an editor with the Open Directory Project. I liked finding sites which disappeared. Often I could find them again, on their own domain or from their own domain to a free service like Blogger. I liked tracking them down. It was an adventure and something I could feel pleased about. Not every site could be found again. Often, they were abandoned too. Content still there but no one maintaining it.

There are so many other issues when it comes to preserving online/ web content. Consider the web host the site is on. When payments to the host stop it isn’t long before the domain expires and the site will go missing. What happens to your own sites, social media and whatever else you’ve got, if you die? I think about that too. Mine would all just be gone and not all that missed. But, I’ve written it mostly for myself and my own satisfaction, something new to learn.

I’ve got archives of ASCII art. Loads of it but all a mess, not organized. I try to sort it but soon decide my methods are not working well and no one will actually find anything. Plus, there is the problem of how to display it. ASCII art works in plain text files but does not show up on an HTML site (very well or easily) that way. I’ve had people bitch, complaining that it isn’t really ASCII art if it’s shown in an image file versus plain text. Well, whine on, but you don’t have the headache of trying to make it work.

Anyway, so much for keeping on point…

I’d like to know more about how web content is being archived and what people are doing with the content they save. How is it being stored? Is it viewable by anyone? What about copyrights? So many questions… 

via- The Association of Canadian Archivists

I Like Making ASCII Art

This post was originally posted to Squidoo while I was writing there.
Maybe you have seen ASCII art and didn’t know what it was.

I make pictures using my computer keyboard – the characters of the keyboard, the text letters, punctuation marks and the numbers too. I enjoy ASCII art. Working with text to make a picture instead of words is like a puzzle, trying to fit the pieces into the right places and finding which text characters work best in which spaces.

I always thought I couldn’t draw so ASCII art became my outlet to put images from my mind into something I could show in print. (Because no one else can see all the stuff in your head).

My Experience as an ASCII Artist

1996 to Current

For me, ASCII art began in 1996 when I was new online and noticed amazing work done in keyboard text and used as signatures in email and online forums. I had to search to find the actual name, ASCII art. Those were the pre-Google days. I actually found it by asking someone on a website which was a one man project. I wish I still had the link so I could give credit to him. But, I don’t even know if the site is still active, or even still online.

My first ASCII art was a house with a tree and other touches added in. It wasn’t any house in particular so I had the freedom to create it however I liked. It did not turn out as well as I hoped. I was glad to have completed something in ASCII art myself but it wasn’t something I was going to show off.

In 1998 I found a group of ASCII artists on the newsgroups. You can still find those newsgroups, they were eventually taken over (and the archives kept) by Google. Take a look at Google Groups, search for ASCII art and you will find two groups in the alt and rec sections. There are actually even more ASCII art groups if you look for those in German and other European languages. Now and then I use a translator online because there is some really great ASCII art in those groups too.

I met several artists in 1998. My early attempts were given fair critics, some suggestions and only a little snickering behind the computer screens where I couldn’t see it. Joan Stark became famous for her ASCII art in those days. But, there were so many others who had wonderful ASCII art too. Joan was the most prolific and later, the most broken hearted as more and more of her ASCII art was stolen – credit for the work ripped off or claimed by someone else.

For a few years in between the late 1990′s and about 2010 I dropped out of making ASCII art myself. Most of the people from the group were also winding down. Our newsgroup was plagued with spam, our art was being stolen, some was taken to be coloured by people using IRC (Internet Relay Chat) but they also took the credit for our work off and claimed it was their work because they had changed it so much. Another problem was someone who took the art and perverted it into obnoxious jokes and then posted it to the group just to aggravate everyone. Myself, I was disheartened when a set of jack-o-lanterns I created was ripped off – a woman in Australia claimed them as her own. She even posted them to the ASCII art newsgroup and asked everyone what they thought of her great ASCII work.

At the end of 2010 something sparked in me and I once again took up ASCII art, just for myself. I had enjoyed it so much when I was just creating something for myself and then showing and getting feedback, tips and encouragement in the group. Almost no one was left from the group and I have only tracked down a few of them since 2010. But, I found it didn’t matter. My skill had somehow improved over the years, even though I had done almost nothing.

I began making ASCII art for holidays, like Christmas and Halloween and some which had very little (to none) ASCII art – like Groundhog Day. It became fun again and I didn’t mind working alone.

Lately I have been getting requests for ASCII art. I didn’t put my name out there so it was nice to be asked for something special. I have made ASCII art for a print literary magazine. They offered to pay but never did, so I won’t be mentioning their name. The rest has been freebie work and at least it’s honest freebie work. I have created ASCII art for a text based game and have a ‘contract’ to work on larger images for another game which wants ASCII art backgrounds. I’ve also created ASCII art for family events like a friend’s wedding, the birth of my sister’s first baby and my nephew, Zack, who started living on his own while attending his first year of university.

Doing More With ASCII Art

ASCII art in itself is nice but you can do things with the ASCII art you create. I’ve got a list of things you may not have thought of.

ASCII Art in HTML Source Code
Now and then if you look at the source code (the HTML code) of websites you can find ASCII art. Its like a secret surprise for those who dig a little deeper.

ASCII Art as Image Tags
If you know what the alt image tags are (and where they are) you could give this a try.

Passwords in ASCII Art
One line ASCII art can be used as a unique password.

Word Play with ASCII Art
Rebus Puzzles, also known as Wordies can be created with ASCII art.

Places to Find ASCII Art Online

Text art pictures created with basic keyboard characters in fixed width fonts.

Scoop.it: ASCII Art – An ASCII art feed from a variety of online sources and things I find myself and pick for the feed.

ASCII Art Universe – Very large (and still active) collection of ASCII art.

Chris’s ASCII Art Collection – Still actively maintained but a more selective collection of ASCII art.

ASCII Art Dictionary – My favourite ASCII art collection, the easiest to search, but not as actively maintained.

ASCII Art Groups

These are places to find other artists, as well as more ASCII art.

ASCII Art on Google Groups – Sharing and discussing the world of textmode art.

ASCII Art on Flickr – Post all your ASCII art pictures, artwork, or other multimedia illustrating the use of ASCII characters as artwork.

ASCII and Text Art on Facebook  For the expressive artist inside all of us.

ASCII Art on Facebook – Community page for ASCII art.

ASCII Art on Deviant Art – A place to add ASCII art.

ASCII Art Wiki – ASCII art galleries, resources and ideas. Focusing on ASCII text art but will include typewriter art and other typographic text based art.

These were comments from the original post on Squidoo. I couldn’t find a good way to import them but didn’t want to leave them behind. Right now the links to the images and profiles will work. I expect that will change when the entire site is due to be pulled offline in October, 2014.

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