A few weeks ago I stumbled across a web page that converted images into ASCII art. It’s probably been 15 years since I changed a photo into ASCII art so I inserted it into my email signature. So did Bambi.
We laughed so hard we cried. A few alert Mac360 readers asked where it came from. Looking back, that web site actually had other useless utilities you must try. Really.
If you’ve seen my recent email signature, then you know what I mean. It’s huge and silly and sooooo 1990. Or earlier. I seem to remember creating something like that using an Apple ImageWriter and a ThunderScan scanner.
Regardless, ASCII Art (using the term ‘art’ is stretching the meaning a bit) is created by scanning an image, and converting the color or gray scale to ASCII characters in the form of an image (example below).
Don’t ask how I stumbled across the site with the converter. It was probably a link on DIGG that caught my eye (see the dangers of RSS?).
The site in question belongs to Steven DeGraeve. He’s collected a bunch of, let me be kind, ‘utilities’ that work in a web browser, so most function well in Safari or Firefox.
The utilitiy that first caught my eye is called IMG2TXT which converts an image to ASCII text.
If you’re not excited about reverting to your computer childhood of 15 or 20 years ago, then you’ll be less than thrilled with some of the other utilities on Steven’s site.
Assuming you’re only interested in fully useful utilities regardless of how worthless (gawd, I love the English language; there’s so much you can do), then go with Color Palette Generator.
Enter the link of an image on a web page, and the generator creates a palette of web colors to match the image. Useful? Maybe. Worthless? Totally.
One of my favorite utilities on Steve’s page is the Crapola Translator. Basically, the CT takes a phrase and changes it to become a Pig Latin phrase, or a Valley Girl phrase, or something Yoda (Star Wars) would say. You can also add a Canadian or Boston accent. Or Martian or Smurf.
For example, the phrase, “I just love Tera’s hair, her smile, and the way she says all those cool things” becomes “IYAY ustjay ovelay Eratay’s airhay, erhay ilesmay, andyay ethay ayway eshay ayssay allyay osethay oolcay ingsthay” in Pig Latin.
Another cute utility is Invent A Word. Worthless? One man’s hamburger is another man’s steak.
I entered ‘Tera’ and came away with a huge list of words, including: teradicate, teradicating, teradication, terased, teraser, and so on. Worthless? Uh, yeah.
There’s a Dashboard Widget in the form of the old Magic 8 Ball. The original ball could answer most any yes or no question. So does Steve’s Magic Eight Ball.
For example, I entered the question, “Is Bambi really a hot woman?” The Magic 8 Ball answered, “Very doubtful.” See? Web page technology that works.
The list of utilities to churn through will take up most of your lunch and I pretty much guarantee that you won’t find anything useful, though some might turn out to be interesting, and one or two could pass as entertainment.
One of the more interesting utilities you won’t find a use for is the Word Association. Enter a word, and a database is searched and yields related words.
I entered ‘President’ and the first response was ‘Leader.’ The second response was ‘[censored].’ See? Technology can be cool and accurate. Entering ‘Bill Gates’ resulted in the word ‘money.’ This stuff works.
At this point, I know what you’re thinking. ‘Tera, you’ve got too much time on your hands.’ You’re probably right. I’m sure you have more things to do today than check out all these utilities.
So, you’ll have to resist clicking on this Link to try them yourself. Resistance is futiile.
Tera, you’ve got waaaaay too much time on your hands. Really. Are you taking your medicine?
Carol Mary Miller
Tera, when were you born? I need the date so I can check out your horoscope. Maybe there’s a clue to why this is happening to you.
Jack D. Miller
I just checked my BioRythm. I am, like, you know, totally in sync. With something.
You’re kidding me, right? You got a whole article out of those utilities? I scour the web and try out dozens of applications for something really, truly useful, and you come up with this? Gimme a break.