Sat Nov 18 [08:04]


The original Spew, where Peter Fagan runs a random binary file through his text editor in an attempt to identify it. The red coloring comes from a rogue <A character, which fooled the editor into thinking it had an HTML file on its hands.

<thetaProg> sometimes, when i get or find strange things in my computer, I
            feed them to my text editor to see if I can read their entrails. I
            have no idea what that was but it looked nice in my text editor,
            because a random <a tricked it in to thinking it was all an
            HTML anchor tag and it colored it red, waiting for a > that never
            arrived. So I took a screenshot and snipped it into a tile, like
            anyone would ;-)
<marchhair> Oh, well, now it all makes sense.
<thetaProg> i recommend setting it to be your wallpaper, if you don't mind the
            unwanted agressive outbursts it'll probably trigger
<marchhair> You have too much time on your hands.
<DoctorWho> Thete: Now just where did that crap all come from?
<thetaProg> i just said, nate
<thetaProg> from some binary file that i fed to my text editor
<DoctorWho> Where did said file come from?
<thetaProg> can't recall. i don't recommend OCRing the GIF and slapping an
            EXE on the result and runnig it ;-)
<thetaProg> even though I know it's really annoying you not knowing what 
            the code is
<thetaProg> :-)
<DoctorWho> LOL
<DoctorWho> Obviously it's a Mac file, so slapping it into an EXE won't do me
          much good %)
<thetaProg> no, what you see is a mac text editor's mac characterset
            impression of the binary code. it could have been an attachment
            from a spam
<marchhair> And now a crowd pleasing favorite 'impression of binary code'... 
            one the trickiest bits in the impressionists bag of tricks
<thetaProg> of course, you could feed that GIF into YOUR text editor and have a
            whole new piece of art!

Pete made the suggestion that I run the .GIF file (as seen in Spew) through the same procedure. That is, to run it through my text editor and create "a whole new work of art." Naturally I take him up on it.

<thetaProg> snap!
<thetaProg> that's unix?
<DoctorWho> Yeah
<thetaProg> :-)
 * thetaProg sees Zeu$ in Nate's GIF.... very mysterious....
<DoctorWho> LOL
<thetaProg> about ten lines down and 20 odd characters in
<thetaProg> ;-)
<thetaProg> hey, there's ROX
<thetaProg> and K9
<marchhair> Look for Hamlet's big 'To be or not to be...' speech
<thetaProg> I found it, but 'nobler' has an asterisk in the middle so it
            doesn't count

SpewFinity, where I create a Perl script that simulates the output of Spew, but more colorful. Basically, it takes the text you feed it (in this case, random garbage from /dev/urandom), cuts out control characters, randomly colors it blue, red, and black, and dumps it to a terminal.

<thetaProg> Satan is going to remind me what an utter waste of time i
            perpetrated and spawned as he admits me to Hell

SpewFinitySquared, where I 'enhance' SpewFinity to use more colors, and color the background cell of each character.

<thetaProg> Satan can't wait for me, Nate. I hope you're happy
<thetaProg> which is thetaspeak for "nothing but useless code! useless code 
            gone mad!"
<thetaProg> in programming terms, this would be cancer.
<thetaProg> cancer is useless dna code spewing new, useless 
            cells out of control
<thetaProg> the difference between a waste of time and spraying time with
            an UZI while you're holding it down with your boot

SpewFinityBeyond, where I feed real text into SpewFinity

<DoctorWho> Ok, one that'll REALLY drive you bonkers
<thetaProg> dear god
<Alden> Nate: stop it, or we will have to call in the men in white coats
<DoctorWho> What, you haven't already?
<thetaProg> YOU BASTARD! there's legible text in that spew!
<thetaProg> and i can't follow it for more than a few words!
<}-raven-{> nate: you are one sick puppy
<thetaProg> entrails? whining? Ronald Reagan? God? what the fuck WAS that, 
<Alden> the QF?
<thetaProg> Nathan I am but a journeyman to your artistry here. There
            is a place at MOMA for this
<DoctorWho> MOMA?
<thetaProg> museaum of modern art
<thetaProg> One CRT for the image, one rather large sized blank wall
            for the explanation ;-)

UnSpew, where I write a program to eliminate the colors from SpewFinityBeyond, and (theoretically) make the text readable again

<Shel> so, why are you awake?
<thetaProg> telecommuting
<Shel> work at this hour on a sunday?
<thetaProg> i'm updating presidential vote counting for work
<thetaProg> also, i made a GIF out of some random text characters, and Nate
            turned out to be the Master of the art
<thetaProg> his latest URL makes legible some pretty avant-garde text creations

The actual text, taken from Fortune(6). UnSpew didn't quite work as well as I had hoped (some of the text was lost owing to SpewFinity selecting the same foreground and background colors for some characters) but it was enough for me to identify each quotation, at least enough to Grep(1) my fortune files for it.

 * DoctorWho suddenly gets the insane idea to use spew.jpg on a CD
<DoctorWho> Help me!  I'm insane!
<Alden> we knew that
<DoctorWho> Oh, then that's OK

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