Tag Archives: ebcdic


Frederick Hammersley, A Good Line is Hard to Beat, 1969, L. A. Louver, Venice, CA / Frederick Hammersley Foundation

ASCII art by Frederick Hammersley, 1969. Made on an IBM-computer (which used EBCDIC and not ASCII encoding), and:

The alphanumeric characters we could ‘draw’ with were: the alphabet, ten numerals and eleven symbols, such as periods, dashes, slashes, etc….

h/t: Robert Doerfler

A mandelbrot fractal calculated and printed as text on an IBM 1401 (1959) by Ken Shirriff. This computer does not use binary numbers and does not use bytes. It also does not use ASCII, but EBCDIC.

These are the keyboard layouts of the APL programming language. It is symbolical rather than lexical, ie: instead of words, you use symbols.

Based on EBCDIC, APL had its own set of symbols which in the 1960s was tricky for many screens, printers and platforms to deal with. Nowadays Unicode mostly supports it.


Here’s something different than all those ASCII-conversions… Made 41 years ago. Instead of just using single characters, Sam Harbison printed several text characters on top of eachother to increase the quality. So it sort of relates to those diacriticisms by Glitchr & Mammifero, PLATO emoticons & Goa Brudbilder.

And how about that process?

35mm camera -> film -> development -> densitometer -> 9-track magnetic tape -> FORTRAN & EBCDIC -> chain printer with overstriking -> strips of paper -> tape together -> success!

More here

This is not ASCII – it’s EBCDIC! Developed by IBM in the 1960s, it obviously lost the fight against ASCII, but is actually still in use. By, uhm, IBM.

By Paul Gamble, 2013 – more info

Hypothetical Surface 1 by David R Garson, 1969. Computer prints made with IBM-stuff. Not sure, but it looks like text.

Autopoem Nr. 1 by Gerhard Stickel. Generated with an IBM 7090 in 1965.