Search for:

The Genesis of Computer Art-FORTRAN (Backus) a Computer Art Medium Creates a Mosaic Mona Lisa

Where did computer art, computer graphics and computer animation begin?

Written communication became sharable and pervasive once stone etchings were replaced with the mobility of paper and ink. Similarly once computer languages ​​advanced from machine or assembly code to third generation computer languages, only then did computer output advance from simple alphanumerical (maybe mosaic) printouts to graphics and images with smooth curves and realism.

Computer graphical output got its humble start when alphanumeric characters hammered on TTY and line printers to represent XY graphs and even mosaic images. It was crude, but allowed for a more effective analysis of mathematical and scientific solutions. Computer programming languages ​​like FORTRAN and BASIC made it easier to develop and program printers, plotters and CRT screens to display and print graphics and ultimately images.

The FORTRAN programming language – a personal and historic short review.

FORTRAN programming as an Art Medium?

So it was possible to create an alphanumeric printout picture of the famous Mona Lisa using FORTRAN print statements. This image of the Mona Lisa was done by printing and over-printing standard alphanumeric characters creating a mosaic art piece to form an image of that famous Leonardo da Vinci painting. Step back from this computer printout and you viewed a simple replica of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

Accomplishing this rudimentary computer art would be hours and days of tedious work involving the following steps:

1) You would need to take a copy of the original image and a grid (mapping to the 133 character width of a standard computer printout page) on a piece of transparency.

2) Place the grid transparency on top of the image and then fill in the grid cells over the image with alphanumeric characters that will depict a mosaic of the original image.

3) Highlight those grid cells that will be overprinted (bold type) to create shade and texture matching the original image.

4) Now you take each line of the grid and code it using FORTRAN print statements.

5) Like a brush to canvas the computer printout image of Mona Lisa will take form after many days of coding.

For a completed version of this process and a resulting computer mosaic of the Mona Lisa check out the Pisaca Web Albums images at:

The search has begun for access to an 80 column punch card reader.

The FORTRAN code for the Mona Lisa Mosaic is on original 90-column punch cards. Getting access to an 80-column card reader could facilitate moving the Mona Lisa FORTRAN code from its analog state to a digital version. Using an online editor, I could once again deploy the power of FORTRAN to print copies of the ‘computer mosaic’ Mona Lisa. Then ‘Mosaic Mona’ would be available for the world to enjoy.

My infatuation with FORTRAN programming might have stemmed from the fact that both FORTRAN and I were coincidentally created in 1954. Thank you John Backus for FORTRAN.… Read More

The Light Of The Body Is The Eye: LASIK Gives You Back the Natural Vision

It’s adieu to the irritation caused by the contact lenses or the cumbersome glasses which keep falling off your face in a busy crowd! Millions of individuals across the globe have adopted LASIK surgery to get back their natural vision.

LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis and is a refractive surgery procedure that permanently changes the shape of the cornea, the clear covering of the front of the eye (also known as the lens of the eye), using an excimer laser. During the procedure, computer-generated pulses vaporize a portion of the stroma, the middle-section of the cornea. The precise surgical process on the corneal tissue can cure any imperfections of the human eye, myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and/or astimagtism (an image distortion on the retina caused by faults in the cornea).

Photorefractive Keratectomy or PRK was the first surgical procedure using laser to fix imperfections of the human eye. Over the years, LASIK has gained popularity as the operating procedure of choice for ophthalmologists. The major difference between the two procedures revolves around how the laser is used to sculpt the eye. In PRK, the topmost layer of the cornea is scraped to operate on the stroma. In LASIK, laser is used to cause an incision in the stroma and reshape the corneal tissue. Since LASIK treats the inner tissue of the cornea, there is lesser area to heal, lower risk of scarring and corneal haze, lesser post-operative pain and normal vision is revived within a small time period.

The LASIK procedure has become more popular as an effective cosmetic surgery option to get rid of the cumbersome glasses or contact lenses. Vocational reasons, such as for professionals in various sports, army, navy or pilots, acting or modeling, have also increased the popularity of this refractive procedure. This procedure also relieves individuals who are allergic to using contact lenses, resulting in watering and redness of the eyes. The simple LASIK procedure enables you to walk-in and out within a couple of hours from the surgical centre. Patients can resume normal life within 2 to 3 days of the refractive surgery.

There are however certain caveats to be considered before you go for your LASIK procedure. It is a big NO-NO for you if you are under the age of 18. Consider discussing any additional risks with your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, suffering from diseases due to hormonal fluctuations, refractive instability and participate regularly in contact sports which cause regular blows to the face / eyes. Also, if you are on medications which might linger wound healing, such as immunodeficiency states (eg, HIV), give it a second-thought by discussing with your physician. Make an informed decision before proceeding for LASIK, considering that a minimum percentage of patients have suffered from unforeseen complications after the surgery.

Dr. RP Center for Opthalmic Sciences, AIIMS, New Delhi, was the first Government Institution in India to conduct excimer laser surgery in the country. Specialist LASIK surgery centers have sprouted in the … Read More

Different Types of Engineering Jobs

The engineering profession can be broken down into a number of subject areas. For most of these areas, each is its own bachelor’s degree. Civil engineering is the design of civil architecture. This includes the design of buildings, roads, drainage, landscaping, and other architecture. It is also concerned with the design of waterways and bridges. Civil engineers frequently receive basic training in surveying; surveying certifications can be earned as an associate’s degree or certificate program under civil engineering.

Mechanical engineering is often called general engineering. This degree includes an overview of statics and dynamics, material science, load analysis, and machinery design. When civil engineers design bridges, they may rely on mechanical engineers to design the trusses and supports, they also design heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, a specialty called HVAC.

Architectural engineers are a subset of civil engineers, designing buildings in accordance with building codes and safety standards. Environmental engineers, who design environmental systems or organic interfaces like living marshes, are a subset of civil engineering. Electrical engineers design circuits that carry electricity. This extends to power networks, electronic circuits, and microchips. Those engineers who design software for electronics and computers are called computer engineers. However they can also include programmers and those who write machine languages.

Industrial engineers are efficiency experts. Their training also covers probability, system modeling, system analysis, manufacturing plant design, and ergonomics. Industrial engineers are typified as the person with the stop watch measuring the cycle time of machinery operators working. However, industrial engineers are also trained in eliminating wasted time, effort and energy from any type of process. Before six sigma was a process improvement methodology, it was a quality standard for industrial engineers.

Drafting and Computer Aided Design has traditionally been a specialization within the profession. This is taught to most students, but those seeking to work as drafters can receive an associate’s degree in drafting and CAD from most engineering schools.

Biomedical engineering is the design of life saving devices and technologies. From the design of artificial joints to artificial organs, tissue graft methodologies to new laboratory equipment, this is the merging of medicine and mechanical design. Biomedical engineering degrees are typically earned with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with a master’s degree in biomedical design or an additional one to two years of medical courses.

Chemical engineers design manufacturing processes and equipment to support those processes. This includes the design of chemical manufacturing plants and recycling methods. Petroleum engineers are a specialization of chemical engineers with training in oil and gas equipment design and support.… Read More

Sister Corner Computer Desks

Sauder is one of many manufacturers of corner computer desks. They’ve been in the business of producing quality furniture for over 70 years and are one of the most prominent manufacturers of furniture within the United States. Needless to say, as one of the largest furniture companies they have a variety of corner desks to choose from.

Sauder corner computer desks come in all shapes and sizes, from the most compact to accommodate apartment living to larger scale models designed for businesses and home offices. The Sauder furniture company leaves almost nothing to be desired as it traverses the land or desks and thrives to feed the needs of both the masses and the minorities.

The prices of Sauder corner computer desks vary just as much as the different sizes. For the most part, even the larger desks are budget conscious. This may be due in part to the fact that Sauder corner desks typically do no come pre-assembled. This is a double win for the buyer.

Another great feature of Sauder desks is the variety of styles that they come in. Some have a contemporary styling while others have a more traditional feel. With the Sauder brand, it’s easy to pick out a desk that will blend in with your home decor. Needless to say, Sauder offers something for everyone.

Sauder might not be the only fish in the desk manufacturing sea but it certainly is one of the bigger fish. They offer a wide variety of styles, sizes, and price ranges to please just about any type of shopper in any situation.… Read More

Playing Chess Against A Computer Vs Playing Chess Against Humans

Playing chess against a computer is a new wrinkle to the game; for over 1500 years, chess has been a game played and enjoyed by royalty and commoners alike. The rules of chess are basic, and mostly simple, but the complexities of the game make it difficult to master. Now that we’re in the information age, we’ve used the computer to great effect in enhancing our knowledge of and our skills at chess. Both computers and humans can be great opponents, and both have their advantages and disadvantages. Let’s explore playing chess against a computer, and compare that experience to playing another human being.

Today, when we play chess against a computer, it’s usually a computer chess engine available online. One immediate advantage to playing chess against a computer on the internet is that computers are always available and running. We’ll never have a problem finding a computer with sufficient skill to play against. When computers play chess, they reason through brute force — they consider every possible move, from the next move to several moves out. While that means that computers are intelligent players, they aren’t intuitive — sometimes, it takes a human to foresee a genuinely innovative or unique path to victory. When you play chess against a computer online, you can use its ability to analyze on your own behalf: enter a position that gives you trouble, and ask the computer to analyze and produce the best options. All in all, playing chess against computers on the internet can be a challenging and a learning experience, but it lacks the thrill of matching wits against an opponent.

Playing Chess against Computers Isn’t the Best Way to Play

There’s a sense of anticipation when you sit across the board from another person. Either one of you can make a critical mistake that a computer would never make. Your play could be so imbalanced that, in his confusion, your opponent makes critical errors. And when you play in person, there are psychological effects: looking him in the eye, reading his body language, and the like. When you play against another person online, these aspects are missing, even though you’ll be able to start up a game at any time, night or day.

When you play against a computer, your improvement comes through sheer analysis: maybe you should have moved a different piece on move 34. With a human opponent, a broader, deeper discussion is possible. What were we thinking, and how could we think and act differently in order to improve our strategic approach? How could we have avoided a tactical misstep?

Finally, there are the tactile sensations involved with holding the pieces and feeling them slide across the board. Playing on a beautiful chess set with well-crafted pieces is an experience a computer opponent can’t match. And so while there are certain benefits to playing chess against computer opponents on the internet, the richest and most rewarding chess experiences are against humans, face to face.… Read More