ASCIIs and Whatnot

       / / o  -|       .--. 
______/ _\   w |_     / /\ \
XXXXX(___ `````\ \___/ /  \ \
      || \      ) )  _/____\ \
      ||  \____/ />_________uuu>

          | \__________
          |            |
          | $> cat cat |
          |            |

I used to keep all my ASCII art on this page - now I've just kept the monologue and the catman. As I continue to make more in my spare time, it makes sense to keep them on Git. Have a look.

ASCII art involves the effort of creating images with just the 128 (7-bit - 2^7) range of characters as defined in the ASCII standard. Although, I think this does vary from country to country, and as time has gone on 'ASCII art' has become a looser and looser definition anyway. You may have also see similar art made with Japanese characters, in places like text boards and 2chan - this is Shift_JIS art, referring to the Japanese Industrial Standards character set, and a fairly similar concept. I like Shift_JIS, but ASCII is much more universal.

ASCII art was more common in the past, where GUIs were hardly universal on operating systems, and the standard of computing communication was BBS (bulletin board systems) and Usenet. Creating ASCII art (particularly for substantial pieces) takes much trial and error, and time: which seems unreasonable in the present era when images are readily available, and 'ASCII art converters' (boring) exist. Thankfully I'm just the right type of person to foster a pointless obsession.

You can use ASCIIs in your /etc/issue or /etc/motd (before login - useful for showing system information, and after login, respectively). 'motd' refers to 'message of the day', a relic of system administrators giving their server's users messages in a more convenient format than via e-mail, for example to declare rules, and is executed before the login shell.

Or, just use it however and wherever you like. It is text after all.