Monthly Archives: June 2018

Amstrad BASIC that approximates the tiling schemes that a local council might have used for a municipal building in the 1970s

A post from Rob Manuel:

I like to doodle around with code and I found myself spending two days of my life fiddling with Amstrad BASIC – a platform that’s been obsolete since about 1988.

The output looks like council tiles or bus fabric designs doesn’t it? Well I think so.

Pretty sure I’ve sat on this

Certain I’ve seen this in the town hall in Wolverhampton

Which tube line is this?

Truth be told I didn’t start from the point of trying to make stuff that looks like bus fabric / council tiles but from thinking about how old computers with limited palettes used to mix colour by placing alternate coloured pixels next to each other.

This was prompted by thinking about Jill Clifford‘s work – a pixel artist who came to minor public fame in the mid 80s where her work was featured in Amstrad Computer User and then she was invited onto Blue Peter.

Incredibly she only uses four colours, as that’s what the computer could display in 320×200 but her choice of palette and colour mixing gave the illusion of many more.

So I wrote some code to mix colours and did it on an Amstrad emulator because that had a certain purity about it and this was the result:

But then whilst fiddling I started sending it different characters than simply the hash one and quite liked the results.

It also produces stuff that reminds me of swimming pool tiles:

Anyway – here’s the type-in if you want to have a play. And yeah it’s a type-in because I think offering a type-in is amusing in 2018, and partly because my head has been filled with this stuff through running @yorecomputer.

And finally – let’s just show some more output shall we?

I love generative stuff. Ordered randomness. It’s what the bots are, it’s what this is. I like nothing better than plonking a few rules together and pressing GO and seeing what comes out.