Monday, February 1, 2010

ASCII Images (or What a Long Way We've Come!)

Written 1 February, 2010

ASCII Images (or What a Long Way We've Come!)

When I was in my late teens I met a computer engineer employed by the Murray Ohio company; he was moonlighting at Shoney's Big Boy restaurant, where I worked too.

Late one night, after the restaurant closed, he took me and several of my co-workers down the street to the Murray Ohio plant where he worked.

The computer room was hermetically sealed, air conditioned and with modular floors with removable panels. He removed one of the panels so we could see the wrist-thick bundles of cables that snaked about everywhere.

The computer wasn't quite ENIAC,


but it wasn't all that far removed, either. The following photo matches my memory.


All those cables impressed me, but what my new friend was most excited about was his ability to print images composed of ASCII images. He ran us off an image of Snoopy from the Peanuts cartoon-- not the one that follows, but one pretty much like it.


For 1968, old Snoopy was pretty much state of the art for computer graphics. We've come a long way!

Here's a still from the Avatar computer game:


So anyway, the point of this blog is...

... video graphics have come all the way from this:


To this:


No comments: