ASCII by Jason Scott

Jason Scott's Weblog

Artifacts —

Seems I can’t go too long before adding ANOTHER sub-site to textfiles.com. But this was was a logical conclusion and has been on the back-burner for about 5 years (according to the file modification dates I have around).

http://artifacts.textfiles.com

ARTIFACTS covers a problem I’ve had for years and years. People send me collections of files from their BBSes, or which they got off of BBSes, and with the main textfiles.com sites, I basically cut these up and sort them into directories. The files from a BBS might end up in 10 places, held up as examples of a certain subject matter or type of artwork, next to hundreds of items from other BBSes. That’s great on one level, allowing you to get a sense for the sorts of things that were on various BBSes, but it’s pretty bad if, for example, you’re tracking the history of ExecPC, or your favorite local AE line.

So, this allows me to clump together items from a specific BBS, add other bits of information from the collections I have, and start to build up a picture of a specific place. I just linked it to bbslist.textfiles.com so that if there’s an entry in artifacts, it’ll be flagged on the BBS list. Right now, obviously, it’s a tad sparse. Out of 103,000 BBSes, I have a whole 450 or so with artifacts. But expect that to change rapidly as I jam through my collections, especially those of artifacts I had sitting on my hard drives with no obvious place to put them. Now I have one.

My hope is that this will inspire a whole new pile of collecting, as people see an obvious place for the photos, archives, and information they have on various BBSes. We can hope, huh.

And yes, this is starting to encroach on territory currently held by BBSMATES.COM. Sorry, Aron ol’ bean, you knew it was just a matter of time!

Speaking of Jason doing stuff and not telling you about it for the last few weeks, I put a copy of digitize.textfiles.com on Flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/54568729@N00/sets/72157594265759470/

Why? Why not. They have space and it’s not hurting anybody, and it makes a lot of old cool information join the world again. At 647 images and counting! Of course, digitize.textfiles.com will continue to get stuff AND provide the TIFFs that Flickr does not.

Related to the whole bit of work being done with artifacts, I’ve gotten my hands on ANSILOVE which is an absolutely spot-on ANSI converter that makes a .PNG out of an ANSI drawing. Previously, the ANSI section of artscene.textfiles.com had “preview” shots, but they all basically sucked because the converter I used was poor. The new one is absolutely spot on. The only thing it doesn’t do is make animated GIFs of animated ANSIs, but I think we can all suck it up. Sitting in the inbox, I have… yes, wait for it… 3,000 ANSI images ready to be sorted. It’s going to go very quickly.

cd.textfiles.com has had a bunch more CDs dropped on it; I was so proud when I broke 1 million files and already I’m at 1,415,000. I’m also going through those files next and integrating them into ARTIFACTS. Isn’t that just how it goes? I’ve been adding GIFs of BBS ads, login screens and so on from these files.

While nobody was looking pdf.textfiles.com has grown to 10,000 files and is 13 gigabytes (some aren’t quite browsable yet but will be shortly). But that’s actually inaccurate. In a short while that is going to increase 5-fold. Watch for it.

Did I mention I’m making a couple of movies, too?


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4 Comments

  1. Jason: Keep up the good work! I just wanted to say that your pdf.textfiles.com site inspired me a while ago to build http://plucker.madphilosopher.ca/, my collection of eBooks in the Plucker format, offered to the world.

    I welcome you to visit, and feel free to sick your robots on my RSS feed. :) Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Anonymous says:

    hmmm, the artifacts site doesn’t seem to play well with safari (works OK with firefox). I just get empty pages under each phone # page…

  3. Lazlo says:

    Nothing for 505? I need to see if I can remedy that.

  4. Jason Scott says:

    I’ll see about why it’s not rendering right. Firefox is many times more forgiving about poor HTML than others and that sometimes catches me out.

    Lazlo: As I do more “bombing runs” through my archives, I guarantee we’ll see a ton. Including, of course, yours. :)