FAQ(tbh it's a NAQ as we never received a question before)
What is this?
You're looking at retro computer graphics gallery. We make legacy ANSI/ASCII art available for web display.
16colo.rs? are you affiliated with sixteencolors.net?
No, we're not. * But we recognize the legacy and the importance of the original ANSI/ASCII art archive. In the recent years there has been a (modest) revival of the art form. Sixteencolors.net certainly deserves its honourable place in history and should receive proper credit for everything it and its creators have achieved, despite the state of the site right now. But that also means there was a gap to fill. We just jumped in and the name chosen should be seen as a tribute to the original site.
* Since October 30 2018, the sixteencolors.net domain is pointing to 16colo.rs!
Ok, another site, why would this one be different to the previous/existing ones?
The following list are items we found important to be added or fixed:
- Aspect ratio: the DOS aspect ratio has often been overlooked when converting ASCII/ANSI to raster image formats such as PNG. Modern displays have square pixels as opposed to CRT screens in the nineties which used rectangular pixels. Conversion without taking into account the legacy aspect ratio will render a different result as what the artist perceived at the time of creation. The aspect ratio was only applied in text mode however, VGA views in editors or viewers offer a similar aspect ratio as used today. For this reason artwork and previews in the archive are generated in legacy aspect until 1995, artwork but not preview in legacy aspect until 2000 and no legacy aspect afterwards unless specifically configured in the SAUCE record.
- Letter spacing: a similar methodology applies to the letter spacing (8px or 9px font). as the 9px font what was perceived by the artist at the time of creation all artwork until 2000 has been generated using the 9px font rendering it exactly in the same way as it was created. Artwork after 2000 has been generated using the 8px font unless specified otherwise in the SAUCE record.
- We deliberately chose to convert all files in the packs and make exclusion afterwards. This means the highest amount of artwork is now visible despite how creative the original creator was with file extensions or even SAUCE records. This also means you eventually will run into files that should not have been converted for display (like an executable for example). For this reason we have a report feature, use it to report files that have display issues or should not be displayed at all, we will adjust for comfortable viewing. A good example are the file separators that existed in packs, they are not viewable when empty, but some of those had content and even artwork, we consider them as part of history and are thus viewable.
- Another deliberate choice was made to service static content, which means the entire archive is pre-converted to be served. We will not do conversions 'on the fly', so well have a smoother and faster browsing experience.. Who wants to wait for content to render anyway? The entire site has a minimalist approach to reduce overhead.
- We offer a self-publish mechanism. Depending on the size of your pack you can stage and publish a pack in minutes without any intervention from us. Our upload page describes the process in more detail. We hope that enabling people to publish will be an incentive to create and publish. We are aware of the risks of opening access and currently the only verification is an e-mail feedback loop. If this turns out to be abused, we will have no choice but to limit access or pre-register to publish.
- Our advanced search is very powerful; it will not only search textmode art content, but also filenames and SAUCE records. This opens up more possibilities and also adds non-textmode artwork to the search results. We've also added more filtering based on prefix, suffix and extension which gives other results than what we were used to. Different search options can be combined and/or keywords can be excluded. We've also added search within the boundaries of one pack. Try it you might be surprised with what you can uncover.
- swipe your way through packs on handheld devices. on desktop computer keyboard shortcuts were added for the package browser, including automatic scrolling for that extra retro touch.
- We intend to give back whatever content that is generated back to the community. Our converted archive and a nightly export of our FTS database which powers the search will be available for downloading/mirroring. A possible future addition for generating additional metadata on top of what already exists in the archive will also be published. We believe preservation of the medium is the work of many, we encourage anyone to mirror/reuse the data wherever he/she sees fit.
- The previous point also uncovers more plans exist, but we will not step in the trap of 'announcement'. We will unveil as soon as there is something tangible to be shown, which might be next week, or next year.
- The current site is currently administratively accessible by at least 2 persons in 2 different countries and we might look into adding more if needed for continuity. We don't believe in huge collective for the sake of preservation, but we're also convinced it should be more than 1 person holding super-powers to the nuclear warhead... eh archive!
Can I share, link, embed content from this site?
Yes, by all means, please do. We intend to keep our URL paths static or will put HTTP directs if the location will ever change.
Will you support displaying fileformat x in the future?
Quite likely not. Although a diverse amount of file formats was contained within artpacks over the course of time our intention is clearly to serve textmode art and this is our primary focus.
Who are you?
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NO CARRIER ;)