In the 1990s, when email ruled and graphics capabilities were limited, it was common to include a signature in your email that contained a graphic made of text, commonly called ASCII art. (ASCII is simply a character-encoding scheme.) Figure 6-1 shows a couple of examples. Although the Internet has made sharing images immeasurably easier, the humble text graphic isn’t quite dead yet.

ASCII art has its origins in typewriter art created in the late 1800s. In the 1960s, when computers had minimal graphics-processing hardware, ASCII was used to represent images. These days, ASCII art continues as a form of expression on the Internet, and ...

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