Mind Grenade Fifty Years On
In 1969, Harry amazed everybody with a little electronic gadget he’d built which, using the primitive digital integrated circuits of the time, generated random music, played it through a speaker, and flashed lights on its front panel. It was precisely what people expected computers to do, based upon portrayals in the movies and on television, and yet it could be held in your hand and was, internally, very simple. He explained how it worked, and I immediately knew I had to have one. Digital electronics was in a great state of flux at the time, with each manufacturer launching their own line of integrated circuits, most incompatible with one another, so there was no point in slavishly reproducing Harry’s design. Starting from the concept, I designed my own gadget from scratch, using Signetics Utilogic diode-transistor small scale integration integrated circuits which were popular at the time but shortly thereafter made obsolete by 7400 series transistor-transistor logic (TTL). The architecture was identical to Harry’s device, but I opted for more with-it and less power-hungry light-emitting diodes (LEDs) for the display instead of the incandescent bulbs he used. I built the electronics assembly on a sheet of perforated board using wire-wrap fabrication (some people look down their noses at wire-wrap today, but it was good enough for the Apollo Guidance Computer and almost every mainframe backplane of the 1960s, and my wire-wrapped electronics works perfectly fifty years later.)
Why some GitHub labels are illegible
essentially the text of the label will be colored white if perceived-lightness<0.453 and black otherwise. However, when the perceived-lightness is very close to the threshold, we don’t trigger the min or max and actually get some sort of grey color for the label.
TVA Multifunctional Computer
How I experience the web today
An interactive experience!
How Does Perspective Work in Pictures?
Theories of perception and photography often tend to be all-or-nothing. Either linear perspective and cameras are correct, and cameras don’t lie. Or, there is no objective reality and everything is made-up. The reality is clearly far more complex. Our artwork employs all sorts of complex nonlinear structures, and our brains are able to understand and interpret them. Even more confusing, there’s some evidence that people with very different cultural backgrounds may vary in perspective perception in some cases. Understanding how and why perspective works is a hard problem (and one that I’m working on), as is developing new software tools to make images to easily convey what we want to convey.
In Defense of Interactive Graphics
Knowing that the majority of readers doesn’t click buttons does not mean you shouldn’t use any buttons. Knowing that many many people will ignore your tooltips doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use any tooltips. All it means is that you should not hide important content behind interactions. If some information is crucial, don’t make the user click or hover to see it (unless you really want to). But not everything is crucial and 15% of readers isn’t nobody. So there is a lot we can do with interaction, and I am going to point out three examples below.
Uniwidth typefaces for interface design
Uniwidth typefaces, on the other hand, are proportionally-spaced typefaces, but every character occupies the same space across different cuts or weights. What this means in practice is that no matter which weight you set your text in, it will never change its length or cause text to reflow.
Modern Retro Computer Terminals
The goal for this project is to design, 3D-print and assemble the enclosures for several small desktop computers.
On the bonkers color palette of Garfield comics
One thing Garfield doesn’t get enough recognition for is truly bonkers, impressionistic color choices. This sidewalk is pink and yellow. Jon wears purple pants. Every panel is like an Easter basket.
Consistently zany. Sometimes.
Ten modern layouts in one line of CSS
This post highlights a few powerful lines of CSS that do some serious heavy lifting and help you build robust modern layouts.
How to Put More “Character” Into Your NPCs
There’s something about the term “NPC” (Non-Player Character) that sounds hollow to me. Maybe it’s the ambiguousness of acronyms, or how the term literally sounds like “empty.” As a narrative designer, my philosophy is to think of NPCs less like assets on a spreadsheet, and more like my cast. There are big and small parts, but I believe designers can give any character soul. (Even a character whose soul was stolen by an evil wizard of some sort!) A bit more effort can make a minor NPC more human, and a game’s world more alive.
WSJ Jigsaw Puzzle
Play our game and also read more about these famous faces, quirky news subjects and other images in the stipple style
I appreciate that it works on phones.
'Soviet Space Graphics' takes you inside the cosmic visions of the USSR
One new book transports readers back to the early days of Soviet spaceflight with an unbelievable collection of stunning, colorful and nostalgic images. “Soviet Space Graphics: Cosmic Visions from the USSR,” (Phaidon, 2020), released April 1, is a masterful compendium of images showcasing space design ideas from the then Soviet Union from the 1920s through the 1980s. It highlights the beauty of early space design in imaginative, colorful artworks.
Pixel Art In GIMP
I’ve always been an admirer of pixel art, because of it’s simplicity and it’s resemblance to bitmap font design. Recently, I decided to take the dive and make some art of my own. I used GIMP because I am fairly familiar with it. Aseprite seems to be the editor of choice for animated pixel art though.
Videogame Doesn’t Infringe Tattoo Copyright By Depicting Basketball Players
This case deals with a venerable and vexing copyright law problem: if a person doesn’t own the copyright to his/her tattoos, do other people infringe by accurately depicting the person? The answer surely has to be “no.” Otherwise, ordinary daily activities, such as photos and videos in public, become an unnavigable thicket of potential liability. Fortunately, this case decisively reaches the right result. However, it’s unclear how much it predicts future cases.
Remaking Iconic Cuts From Spider-Verse Trailer
Hand drawn animation.
The universe's biggest gear reduction
Today at 14:52 I will be exactly 1 billion seconds old. To celebrate I build this machine that visualizes the number googol. That’s a 1 with a hundred zeros. A number that’s bigger than the atoms in the known universe. This machine has a gear reduction of 1 to 10 a hundred times. In order to get the last gear to turn once you’ll need to spin the first one a google amount around. Or better said you’ll need more energy than the entire known universe has to do that. That boggles my mind.
Another developer font. With a fancy web site to explain the design.
2019 Illusion of the Year Finalists
10 short optical illusion videos.