Passwords in ASCII Art

I haven’t thought about ASCII art text images being used for passwords in a long time. I remembered the idea when I read a post written by hackers who were trying to create software which would crack ASCII art passwords based on repeated characters.

ASCII art as a password is pretty unique still. Don’t worry too much about hackers cracking your password. Just make your ASCII art a bit more complicated, using more variety in the characters you choose and include numbers and letters too.  Of course, the ASCII has to be one line.

Think of it as a good reason to work on creating new one line ASCII art.

Addendum – I found a link which generates an ASCII password, randomly. It’s not ASCII art but if you wandered into this post expecting something else, this could help.

Visual Poetry: Concrete Poetry and Calligrams

Concrete poetry is a form of text art, like ASCII art and typewriter art. It’s also poetry, the genre known as visual poetry. Concrete poetry uses words and drawings to illustrate a poem. The words are in the image. The text itself forms a visible picture on the page, like a silhouette.

Calligram seems to be another word for concrete poetry. If there is a distinction between them I’m not sure what it is. Maybe calligrams are more about graphic art based visual poetry and concrete poetry is more text based. However they began the line between the two has become blurred.

You know concrete poetry when you see it because the word has become the art, the illustration and the picture holds the words inside it.
Sometimes the poem is written in a shape which can be read in different ways but still make sense. For example, a circle which can be read in any direction.

Concrete poets use use typography: fonts, shape, texture, colour, and sometimes animation to form text art into prose.

Visual Poetry: Concrete Poetry and Calligrams

Concrete Poetry/ Calligram History

Simmias of Rhodes, a 4th century scholar and poet, created poems written in shapes relevant to the subject.
In the Middle Ages when Monks used concrete poetry to illuminate their written text.
Guillaume Apollinaire (Picasso’s friend) composed several calligrams.

How to Critique of Calligrams/ Concrete Poetry

Is it easy to identify the picture with the text?
Is the image relevant to the poem?
Does the image add something (humour, deeper meaning, comprehension) to the poem?
Can the poem stand on it’s own as just a poem?
Does the text help form the image, does the text actually add something to the image?
Are there alternative ways of reading the poem?

Try Creating your own Concrete Poem

Get a general idea of something you could write about. Pick a topic or idea which creates images and thoughts in your mind right away.

Draw a sketch (like an outline) of the idea. Even if you want to work with ASCII art or typewriter art you still need a basic sketch to start with). Imagine yourself as a cartoonist who just has one panel, one image, to tell the story or explain the idea.

Write your poem, get the words at the end of each line to rhyme. Keep it short and keep it simple for your first try visual poetry work. Aim for a total of four rhyming lines.

Take your poem and fit it into your sketch. How do the words add to the sketch? Once you get this far you might change your mind about the sketch and draw it differently or start all over fresh, with a different vision for the image you use with your words.

Go from there and turn your sketch into text art and then type in your words. This adds another challenge as you will have limits imposed by the typewriter or word processing text itself. A hand drawn concrete poem can be moved in any way your hand chooses to draw it. If you create ASCII art, you will (hopefully) enjoy the challenge of concrete poetry and ASCII art.

Concrete Poetry: Artists and Links

How Do you Make Emoticons and Text ASCII Smileys?

How Do you Make Emoticons and Text ASCII Smileys?Emoticons, are also known as smileys/ smilies. Emoticons are used to show or explain emotion in the context of your writing. They are a great way to use text, and show emotion, in an otherwise flat email. Emoticons can make communication clear when you are teasing versus being serious. I’ve also used them to make sure someone understands what I have written was not meant to be taken overly seriously when I am sending a message about something important.

Making emoticons is as simple as typing on your keyboard. Look down there at your fingers, find the characters, press and release. Creating emoticons  is simple, once you know which emoticon means which emotion.

Some emoticons, like the basic smile face, have developed several different versions over the years. Some have a nose and some are shortened to a two character smiley, no nose included. (The nose has become optional).

Using Emoticons for Online Chat

Online chat uses text emoticons and turns them into image files/ graphics. Often people are not actually talking about making emoticons, but these graphics when they ask about how to make emoticons.

Based on the original text emoticons these images are displayed as image files. Each chat (Yahoo, MSN, etc.) uses different emoticons and graphics. However, the basic smiley is still a smiley.

Sources for More Text-Based Emoticons

:-) Smiley face
:-( Frown face
B-) Cool
|-O Yawn
:-D Laughing
=D Laughing out loud
:-/ Perplexed
:-& Tongue tied
:-J Tongue in cheek
:-" Whistling
:-O Eek
:`( Crying face
>-( Annoyed
X-( Angry
:-> Grin
X-P Joking
:-| Neutral
:-* Kiss
:-P Sticking out tongue
;-) Winking
=) Happy face
%-) Confused
:-} Embarrassed
8-O Shocked
%%- Good luck