This document is available on the Internet at: http://urbanmainframe.com/folders/distractions/ascii_alien/
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In the early days of the computer era, when the machine's output was entirely text based, the engineers and scientists that used them found that they could create images using the printable characters of the standard ASCII character set (like the bird above).
Even the most basic of today's computers sport graphics systems that are capable of displaying photo-realistic imagery, so the proliferation of ASCII art slowed somewhat. However, a few computer users, gifted with creative flair and a fair degree of imagination, continue to create such images. They often showcase their work on websites dedicated to ASCII art and in their email signatures.
The image we present here illustrates the sophistication that can be achieved using nothing more than ASCII characters. The creator (unknown) has used HTML to colourise the image, to create an awesome effect. Looking at the image, it's difficult to believe that it consists entirely of text.
If you have any doubts about the authenticity of this claim, feel free to view the page's source code - or highlight some of the text and copy-and-paste it into a text editor...
Addendum: An ambitious New Zealander, Simon Jansen, is currently working on a project that takes ASCII art to a whole new level... Simon, who obviously has way too much spare time on his hands, is converting that cinematic classic, Star Wars, into an animated ASCII movie (or ASCIIMATION, as Simon calls it). Check out the results to date.