Octogenarian artist still codes her creations on a 30-year-old Amiga 1000

I recently came across this documentary about 81-year-old digital artist Samia Halaby. She first encountered the Amiga 1000 back in 1985 and has used it since to create her kinetic art pieces. She codes her art pieces in Basic and C (which she learned on her own).

Samia’s pieces have been on display at The Guggenheim Museum, The British Museum,  the Arab World Institute, the Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art and other prestigious venues around the world.

(featured image was obtained from boingboing.net)

Why using Comic Sans makes me angry and makes you look stupid

While Comic Sans offers me a great tool to troll Font Nazis with, it can also drive me to conniptions. Basically, when I see Comic Sans, I get angry and judgemental.

For me, this is especially the case when it is being used on a PowerPoint presentation by HR. When I see the CS and a PowerPoint default theme, my brain screams “don’t tell me how to better do my job when you obviously have a cognitive deficiency! you’re insulting me with your font choice that implies that you think that I might feel more laid-back, casual or even EXCITED about your new buzz-word shit fad that will inevitably get in the way of my productivity – YOU ARE A SIMPLETON! YOU KNOW NOTHING!!!!”.

Throw in a couple of animated gifs and stock images of white and black people in suits shaking hands and you’ll need to put two fingers down my throat to stop me from swallowing my tongue.

So I may be neurotic, but even for those of us not obsessed with kerning, fonts have a powerful impact. They can scare you, project an aura of authority, make you scared of Nazis, crave Japanese food or in Comic Sans’ case, rightly make you look like an idiot.  And it doesn’t stop there. The linked article from Wired explains how fonts may be even fueling the culture wars in our Western Democracies.

(Image of CS currency obtained from funnyjunk.com)


When everything looked both shit and awesome; a look back at pre-Windows screensavers

My first exposure to screensavers came hand-in-hand with my first home computer experience; Windows 3.1. And just like the neuro-plasticizing desktop wallpapers on offer, the star field simulation screensaver blew my 15-year-old mind.

An excellent Youtube video by Nostalgia Nerd focuses on pre-Windows DOS screen savers and celebrates the fact that “Screensavers [have been] saving our CRT screens from phosphor burns since the dark ages”.

Looking back at 1989’s  mesmerising “Bug Fry” to the virgin-identifying Matrix screen saver, I realise that I could probably have coded half of this shit in QBasic in under half-an-hour. Still, they were great for their time, and it’s an reminder of how far computer graphics have come.

(After Dark “flying toasters” screensaver featured image obtained from https://winworldpc.com/)


Long Live MS Paint

I love MS Paint. I love it so much that I have a virtual machine dedicated to it running on my Mac. I love it so much that I spit on paint.net. And thanks to the love of its dedicated fanbase, my favourite quick image editing (and sometimes creation) tool has narrowly missed being killed-off in a Windows 10 future update.

From CNBC:

“[Microsoft] recently released a list which labeled Paint “deprecated”, meaning it was considering removing the app when the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update gets released later this year … Fans on social media decried the potential death of Paint, which has been in existence for 32 years.

But [Megan Saunders of] Microsoft released a blog post shortly after to clarify that Paint would not be completely removed, but instead made available via the Windows Store for free: “Today, we’ve seen an incredible outpouring of support and nostalgia around MS Paint. If there’s anything we learned, it’s that after 32 years, MS Paint has a lot of fans. It’s been amazing to see so much love for our trusty old app”.

Even though you’ll now need a Windows ID to download it, it’s great to see that this 32-year old masterpiece is not yet ready for the Recycle Bin.