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HasciiCam :: ASCII art for the masses

Introduction

HasciiCam makes it possible to have live ascii video on the web. It captures video from a tv card and renders it into ascii letters, formatting the output into an html page with a refresh tag, or in a live ascii window, or in a simple text file. It gives the possiblity to anybody that has a bttv card, a unix box and a cheap modem line to show live (h)ascii video can be viewed without any need for extra applications, plugins, java etc.

Long live ASCII art (now even in HTML!)

Documentation

Features

  • low bandwidth live cam “streaming”
  • command line settings
  • customizable refresh rate
  • amazing live mode
  • gives you the coolest .plan you ever had
  • draws nifty symbols on your face

Requirements

To run this software you need to have installed a working Free GNU/Linux system, like for instance dyne:bolic.

You can compile HasciiCam from sourcecode or you can look into the list of packages for your GNU/Linux distribution if a compiled version is allready there. You also need to install AA-lib on your system, it is an excellent library used to convert video in ascii letters.

As hardware you need to have a webcam or a videocard supported by “video 4 linux”, most of the gear you can buy around should work well.

Internals

Hasciicam is written in plain C and is operated via command line, comes with a comfortable help ( -h option ) and a manual page.

Hasciicam grabs video using Video4Linux2 api: grabs YUV420 and uses the luminance component to obtain a grayscale frame, then renders each frame into (h)ascii using the AA-lib engine, armoring it in an html with a refresh tag.

HasciiCam is written in C and should be portable to various operating systems besides GNU/Linux, still you are strongly advised (is good for your karma) to use it on free GNU systems – and smoke a spliff sometimes.

Download

HasciiCam’s source code stable releases are made available on our FTP at ftp.dyne.org/hasciicam

Many GNU/Linux distributions have packaged hasciicam ready to install.

If you use Debian or Ubuntu, try just apt-get install hasciicam

Development

Hasciicam is an early RASTASOFT creation, JAH BLESS

The (new) code repository is on github.com/jaromil/hasciicam.

Credits

Hasciicam.c has been originally written by Jaromil

Jan Hubicka is the creator of AA-Lib,the library used to render video in ASCII

Diego “Rapid” Torres contributed security patches

Matteo “Blended” Scassa contributed support of webcams

Dan Stowell contributed V4L2 support

A vast number of people and organisations have used hasciicam in various installations, scenography, concerts and even televised videos. The Project Polascii ported hasciicam to work even for polaroid photo cameras :^)

Thanks go to:

  • Gerd Knorr – for video4linux
  • Thomas Pfau – for the ftp library
  • Josto “Mathop” Chinelli – help on css with style
  • August Black – io buzz hacking
  • Boffh – usb cams hacking
  • Martin guy – karma to avoid buffer overflows
  • Erich “rat” Berger – for the text dump
  • Pbm & Megabug – watching ascii horizons
  • Alessandro Preite Martinez – Irix/SGI ports

 

 

 

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