Welcome, teletext fanatics! I'll just leave this here...

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

A few web links


Some screenshots of different interactive TV interfaces and designs from around the world. Includes information on programs and quizzes.

The site itself is an information archive for interactive TV and has some up to date content despite the slightly dated layout design.

"ASCII Art is dead", according to Bill Gates.

"Microsoft isn't impressed with ASCII art's popularity. ASCII Art is the most universal of computer graphics, albeit the most simple, and uses the least amount of bandwidth - all one needs is a fixed-width font, and all computers have that capability... A very common post on USENET's alt.ascii-art newsgroup comes from people who are having difficulty changing [Microsoft's] Outlook Explorer default settings so that they can use ASCII art. Instead of addressing the issue with the software - or telling people how to readjust the default settings, Microsoft has suggested that people simply not use the ASCII art. After all, if everyone purchased a Microsoft product, all could receive graphics and HTML codes in their mail programs."

Joan Stark - ASCII Artist

This quote is from 1998. The page pins down the exact week Gates's quote was made.

EDIT: Since I wrote this I read somewhere that Gates denies ever making this quote. Perhaps it was misattributed or Gates now regrets his claim.

Joan Stark's web page

I also dispute the claim that ASCII is dead - even in 2007, smileys and text art still appear in forums, chatrooms and personal websites all over the Internet. Maybe the 'MySpace Generation' has something to do with this. Like it or not ASCII is alive and well.

That may be one reason 'older' sites like Stark's still exist - people have a sense of nostalgia about the earlier days of the Internet and newer web users have accepted the fact ASCII is a part of the web. It would seem, however, that Gates hasn't.

There's some brief explanation on the history of ASCII art here and a gallery of smilies here.

As a side note, I really like the old style early site design with simple formatting and no complications that would increase loading times. Something to look into further, maybe.