____ _ ____ _ ____ ____ / ___|___ __| | ___ _ __| _ \ ___ (_) ___ | _ \ / ___| | | / _ \ / _` |/ _ \ '__| | | |/ _ \| |/ _ \| | | | | | |__| (_) | (_| | __/ | | |_| | (_) | | (_) | |_| | |___ \____\___/ \__,_|\___|_| |____/ \___// |\___/|____/ \____| |__/ _ ____ ____ ___ ___ _ _ / \ / ___| / ___|_ _|_ _| / \ _ __| |_ / _ \ \___ \| | | | | | / _ \ | '__| __| / ___ \ ___) | |___ | | | | / ___ \| | | |_ /_/ \_\____/ \____|___|___| /_/ \_\_| \__|
At our next meting (Sunday 11/23, signup and full details on Meetup), in addition to our usual tables for Scratch, Minecraft/Scriptcraft, Interactive Fiction with Twine, and Arduinos, we be starting up the Python interest group again with an activity on creating ASCII Art in Python. What is ASCII art? The short answer is that it is a way of creating pictures or art using only the typographical characters on your keyboard. One common modern equivalent would be the emoticons you may have seen in emails or text messages, like this smiley face :-). Another example is the figlet banner above. There were even arcade games created exclusively with typewriter characters (my personal favorite was one called Ladder, which was very similar to Donkey Kong, but with platforms made from equals signs, and barrels made from lowercase letter ‘o’s. Some additional examples were posted by mentors Dave K. and Frank H. on the mailing list (if you are not a subscriber, we invite you to check it out!). In short, ASCII art was a way of expressing visual creativity before computers had much in the way of graphics capabilities, and even today it can still be a lot of fun.
If you wish to participate in the Python ASCII Art table, please try to install Python on your laptop before the meeting. The latest version of Python 3 is best, but any Python will work. If you have a Mac or Linux machine, you almost certainly have Python already, but if you have Windows you’ll need to install it. If you run into difficulties, there will be mentors who can help at the meeting.