Thursday, September 13, 2007

new feature release: Still Studio

I just finished off the first version of the still making studio. It will let you upload images and render them as text. Check it out here:

Granted, "studio" is a slightly grandiose term, but it's a solid 1.0 release. I'm not gonna get into creating help docs any time soon, so you're on your own, but the work flow is straight forward.

I'm considering releasing the api behind this app as both a web service and a source code download. If there's any interest, I'd even be interested in posting to sourceforge and exposing a REST api as well. So lemme know!

If you have any comments or suggestions, post them here

Sunday, September 9, 2007

new feeds ready when you are

just added a feed for ascii stills ... only in Atom format for now though. so if the mood strikes you for the hottest in ascii art rendering, go here and subscribe:

matrix goggles

These would definitely make an afternoon stroll around the capitol mall more interesting:

I'd like to point out a few things though. Strictly speaking, the "code view" scenes in the Matrix used a lot of characters outside standard ASCII. Actually there were characters I didn't recognize ... maybe runes, maybe just some wacky shit they made up.

Also, these goggles are creating a 1-to-1 transform of incoming image pixels to ASCII text. Ok well, actually, I image he's sampling groups of pixels and mapping them to single ASCII characters. But the effect is basically the same, just less character-dense (because a single character is bigger than one pixel). Maybe the guy will tweak the filter some, but the matrix code view was a lot more sophisticated than that.

Whatever though, those goggles are a lot cooler than anything I could make ... in goggle form anyway. And since they promote ASCII awareness ... I'm all about it. HUZZAH!!!

So what's up with that one wachowski brother becoming a woman? I'm too lazy to verify myself ... on the one hand, wow ... and then on the other, I really don't give a fuck.

atom feeds on

So I'm in the initial steps of building the site and one of the things I definitely want to include is a blog. Couple different ways to go about that of course, but early on I thought it would be good to host the blog here on blogger and then syndicate to (with links back to blogger, of course). Here was the thought process:

- I don't wanna deal with writing my own blog software
- I don't wanna deal with integrating someone else's blog software
- Something with (presumably) priority indexing on google would be nice
- I already have a swell RSS API I wrote for .Net 2.0 based on the RSS 2.0 spec

Earlier today I set up the asciiFx blog here on blogger and right away saw I had a problem ... apparently blogger doesn't support RSS. I don't know the reasons ... some research confirmed that Google actively evangelizes Atom over RSS. While I'm surprised they'd be hard asses when it comes to syndicating blogs ... so be it, they can basically do whatever they want, those wily, evil bitches.

Well, I've been meaning to learn Atom for sometime, so I looked for an open source .Net Atom API and came up with Atom.Net. A word of advice: It hasn't been updated in years, and in my case turned out to be a complete waste of my fuckin time.

Such is the life of developers ... so I wrote my own API in C# using the System.Xml.Serialization namespace. The 2.0 xml serialization namespace is one of those little-known, gnarly-in-a-good-way APIs that easily goes misunderstood or gets altogether ignored by the wider programming republic. If you haven't used it when dealing with xml, chances are you could be doing what you're doing better, much better.

My new Atom API works great so far ... and wasn't too much code, but it's definitely a work in progress. For example, I haven't taken the time to read through the entire spec (RFC 4287) ... and I'm sure my implementation only covers the basics. But, if anyone wants to take a look, I'll get around to posting it when I get set up in subversion ... of course, if you want something sooner, lemme know and I'll be glad to email it to you.

so, long story short ... up and atom fuckers!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

greetings from

greetings ... thought i'd drop blog here to say hey. thanks for checking out the site and the blog. anyway, for more about the site, check out the about page.

- tanks mucho -