Offbeat Internet
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DOS era graphics

Design Tip: Cross-stich patterns found in old sewing books are an excellent resource when creating Icons and other graphics built-up from individual pixels.


ASCII Graphics

At the very dawn of the DOS era there were decorative ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interexchange) graphics, possibly copied over by you from your CP/M computer. ASCII graphics are Text files, and the artwork is created using fixed-width fonts. Before DOS, they were extremely common on micro-computers. Graphics visually identical to ASCII graphics even predate the ASCII character encoding standard. Earlier Text art was created by HAM radio operators on their teletype machines, and encoded onto paper tape for later retrieval. Even before that, office workers were using their typewriters to make visually identical artwork on letter paper.

During the DOS era, ASCII graphics were the dominant decorative art form found on Bulletin Board Systems (BBS), before the rise of color ANSI artwork (if you can properly view this picture, your software understands ANSI codes). ASCII graphics are still popular as decoration in Usenet newsgroups, and as signets on email messages. Below are several examples of ASCII artwork that you can study. Please note that many of these examples are banners, which were intended to first be printed onto continuous-feed paper before viewing. People from all walks of life have made ASCII artwork, so it isn't all "cheesecake". This link takes you to a simple tutorial on how to create your own ASCII art, and this link takes you to a large archive of ASCII graphics.

Various Outline-Technique ASCII Art Pictures

Cat .txt
DRAGON .txt
EAGLE .txt
FRY .txt
GANDALF .txt
MICKEY .txt
PANTHER .txt
PEACE .txt
PHOENIX .txt
Pig .txt
ROSE .txt
SANTA8 .txt
SCHROEDR .txt
SQUIRREL .txt
STARGATE .txt
TWEETY .txt

Various Shading-Technique ASCII Art Pictures

ALFRED .txt
Apple .txt
BARDOT .txt
CLOWN .txt
KIRK .txt
LORETTA .txt
MONA .txt
MOTHER .txt
PHANTOM .txt
PONY .txt
SHUTTLE .txt
TREBBLE .txt

ASCII Art Pinups

ACNUDE4 .txt
ACNUDE5 .txt
BATCHICK .txt
BETTY .txt
CINDY .txt
DRU .txt
ELLEN .txt
FRAN .txt
GIRL .txt
HONEY .txt
JANE .txt
MARIA .txt
PINUP .txt
ROXANN .txt
SUNNY .txt
SUSAN .txt
SYLVIA .txt

Examples of how to design ASCII Art for Lettering and Signage

Letters .txt
Signs .txt

Examples of how ASCII Art can illuminate a document

Jokes

hell .txt
train .txt

Poems

no-diff .txt
owl .txt

Stories

boy .txt
teach .txt

Calendars

1984 .txt
1986 .txt

GIF Images

For much of the DOS era, the Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) file was the reigning king for still images. It was so popular in fact that when the Gopher Protocol was defined, they reserved one Item-Type just for GIF files, and another for lumping every other form of graphic. Hundreds of thousands of GIF files were created. A lot of it was titillating and adult imagery (naturally, since that is what young computer geeks especially enjoyed secretly viewing and trading with their friends). GIF files also have the ability to display simple animations (e.g. a stored set of differing images presented sequentially), so of course some adult animations were also created.

Example of a clever G-rated animated ASCII Graphic
Example of a X-rated animated Adult Scene

GIF was patented software, and after it became popular, the patent owner suddenly decided to begin charging software developers a license fee. As what usually happens in the personal computer world when a post-product-release licence fee is greedily imposed, developers immediately turned their backs on the technology. This licensing fiasco opened the door for the Joint Planning Group (JPG) graphic format to become the dominant still image format. At first there was some purist push-back though, as DOS era computers had severe storage limitations, and JPG files took far more space than GIFs. Being a lossy format, JPG file size could be reduced by increasing compression, but many old-school graphics artists were sensitive to the pixilation (a similar situation occurred for old-school WAV file creators when they faced the lossy MP3 format). The illustrious mantra during the DOS era had been quality over quantity, which was exhibited by creating uncompressed image files, creating uncompressed sound files, and by writing elegant compact program code.

With the arrival of 14" VGA color monitors, computer retailers needed something to display on the screen so consumers could make side-by-side monitor comparisons. These below image files were popular known-point-of-reference choices for Silicon Valley in-store Demos (so much so that they were even pasted on the screens of monitors advertised in the local computer shopper newspapers).

[ DOS GIF/JPG image viewer: PictView (ver 1.94) ]

GIF Images

frog .gif
giftest1 .gif
zoe2 .gif

JPG Images

astronat .jpg

GL Animations

GRASP stands for "GRaphic Animation System for Professionals". The original GRASP toolkit allowed combining *.TXT script files, *.PIC (PC Paint) picture files, and *.FNT font files together into a single *.GL animation file, which could be displayed on a CGA monitor (and make sounds through the built-in computer speaker) when using the runtime viewer "GRASPRT.EXE". Unfortunately, not all animators took caching and faster computers into consideration, so some animations (like many DOS games) will run too fast on Pentium computers.

More flexible then animated GIF files, a *.GL file is a container that is more analogous to a customized Power Point presentation (one file can contain several separately launchable scripts, which will allow the file's contents to be presented in different manners). Over time the GRASP Toolkits supported EGA/VGA , and expanded the file types that could be wrapped into the *.GL file. The updated runtime viewers were fully backwards compatible (except when displaying a few ancient first generation CGA files). This ability made it at the time the most popular PC program for distributing animated amateur adult content. GRASP's heyday was the late 80's / early 90's, after which this primarily DOS program fell to the wayside.

A few contending animation programs using different file formats appeared late in the DOS era (although it should be noted that these programs were still less capable than those found on most other contemporary computer platforms), most notably those using the file extensions *.ANI and *.FLI. However although in the end the *.FLI extension surpassed the *.GL extension as the animators darling (thanks to the heavily promoted Autodesk Animator program), editing and viewing of actual video clips was by then becoming viable on PCs, and so for the typical home computer user (the overwhelmingly artistic Amiga computer users being the longest holdouts), composing animation of any type was soon sidelined.

[ DOS "Ancient" GL animation viewer: OLDGRASP (ver 1.10c) ]

"Ancient" GRASP Animations - (These require using the obsolete OLDGRASP to play properly)

ALLTOONS .GL
CITYLIFE .GL
GRAFX .GL
MTV2 .GL
PCL .GL
PITCH .GL
SPACEY .GL
TURKEY .GL

[ DOS GL animation viewer: GRASPRT (ver 3.20 beta) ]

GRASP Animations

3DROTAT1 .GL
AMDEK .GL
BANKVGA .GL
BATMAN .GL
BLUELAKE .GL
CGADEMO .GL
CGADOG .GL
DUCK .GL
FUNCTION .GL
GOBLET4 .GL
GULFWAR .GL
HDRIVE .GL
JOLT .GL
JUGGLER .GL
LNHARDY .GL
MANDEL3 .GL
MARBLE1 .GL
MELT .GL
PAINTDMO .GL
PHILLY .GL
ROBOCOP .GL
V7VGA .GL
VGAPICS .GL
WILTROUT .GL
XMASCARD .GL
Z1 .GL

Quite a number of amateur produced adult GRASP files were created during the DOS era. Creating these files is not as simple as shoving a stack of photos into a scanner's document feeder. Most computer animation at the time was created on the artist friendly Commodore Amiga computer, and DOS *.GL files required both a lot of fiddling and the more expensive PC to produce. The payoff was good for Sysops (owners/managers) of Bulletin Board Systems though, as having DOS adult animation for downloading attracted new subscribers who had recently acquired cast-off business PCs. Some animations were reformatted as free traffic-driving BBS advertisements, and released into wide circulation (multiple examples of which have been gathered below).

Sex was in the forefront of the minds of young computer geeks, and even watching brief low resolution adult animations was alluring (file size had to be kept small due to existing PC disk capacity and modem speed limitations). The only practical alternative at the time was to rent a blurry adult videotape from a video rental store (seriously, many local video rental stores featured a special "adult" section), at which it was always a possibility that you could embarrassingly run into your boss or mother. These GRASP animations could be download in private at any hour from a BBS, and then kept for as long as you wanted without having to worry about any late return fees (Be Kind... Rewind).

Adult GRASP Animations

1DILDO .GL
1ON2 .GL
ALBUM2 .GL
AMBER .GL
ANALRIDE .GL
ANGEL-1 .GL
ANGEL-2 .GL
ANGEL-3 .GL
BABYPLAY .GL
BANANA .GL
BAO .GL
BEACHBAL .GL
BEAST01 .GL
BLOW .GL
BLUE1 .GL
BLUE5 .GL
BONK .GL
BOTTLE .GL
BUFU .GL
BUTT4 .GL
CATHY05 .GL
CINDY1 .GL
COWBOY .GL
CUMFACE9 .GL
CUMHOLE .GL
CUMSHOT .GL
CUMSHOT2 .GL
DARE .GL
DAVECUM .GL
DBLDILD2 .GL
DBLTAKE .GL
DBLTYME1 .GL
DEB .GL
DEEPDEMO .GL
DELIGHT .GL
DILDO .GL
DOIT .GL
DONTGAG .GL
DOUBLE2 .GL
DRIVINHM .GL
EAST .GL
EATCUM2 .GL
EPSAMPL1 .GL
EPSAMPL3 .GL
FAO .GL
FELLESN2 .GL
FF1 .GL
FF2 .GL
FIRSTRY .GL
FRIGGIT .GL
FUCKIN .GL
GINGER01 .GL
GINLYNN .GL
GIRLS .GL
GLBJ .GL
GO-DOWN .GL
GOODSHOT .GL
HAIRLESS .GL
HEADJOB1 .GL
HOLMS .GL
HOT .GL
HOTDOG2S .GL
HOTSAUCM .GL
HYAPAT2 .GL
INOUT .GL
INS .GL
JEAN .GL
KASCHA .GL
KATHOUSE .GL
KEYHOLE1 .GL
KINKY .GL
KOKO .GL
KRISTAB .GL
LADIES .GL
LIK4GIFT .GL
LINDA .GL
LINDALV .GL
M .GL
MAID .GL
MANDY-1 .GL
MANDY-2 .GL
MAXIHEAD .GL
MGICFNGR .GL
MILKIT .GL
MIRRORS .GL
MOREHEAD .GL
MX-SPIN1 .GL
MX-SPIN2 .GL
NANCY .GL
NASTY .GL
NASTY2 .GL
NEWT .GL
NEWWEDS .GL
NIKKI .GL
NOLD .GL
ONTOP .GL
ORALANNI .GL
PECORINA .GL
P-GIRL .GL
PLUNGE .GL
POKECUNT .GL
POKER .GL
POKRNITE .GL
PPDA0042 .GL
PRACTICE .GL
REALTHNG .GL
ROTATE1 .GL
SARAH .GL
SEEMORE .GL
SHAREGOO .GL
SHEBLOWS .GL
SHESUX .GL
SLIDER1S .GL
SLIP .GL
SLOWRIDE .GL
SLURP .GL
SLURPIE .GL
SNAPSHOT .GL
SPATTER .GL
TANK1 .GL
TANK4 .GL
TECHBJ .GL
TITSHAKE .GL
TRACY .GL
TWOHEADS .GL
TWOTIMER .GL
UP&DOWN .GL
UP .GL
VEG .GL
VGA0002 .GL
VGAR0003 .GL
VGAX0000 .GL
VGAX0001 .GL
VGAX0002 .GL
VGAX0005 .GL
VGAX0006 .GL
VIRGIN1 .GL
WHISTLER .GL
WHORES .GL
WILDSEX .GL
WILDWEST .GL

The below adult animation is an example of a GRASP file that includes multiple scripts. Use the command " GRASPRT ORGASM BLIND " to run one script, and " GRASPRT ORGASM DILDO " to run another.

ORGASM .GL

GRASP files do not have to be passive experiences. The below adult animations are examples of how the interactive capability of GRASP files can be used to create an electronic magazine.

EPGAZ01 .GL
EPGAZ02 .GL
EPGAZ03 .GL