20 September 2005
The JPEG compression algorithm and who knew Al Gore had rhythm? is, according to Sean Gleeson's students, not cool.
Maybe I've been fortunate enough to hang on to bits and pieces of Young and Impressionable, but I think it's pretty swift.
Obligatory story: Many of you once owned the Commodore 64
One day someone handed me a 170k floppy, most of its 664 blocks filled with a mere two files: some sort of graphics-rendering tool, and a GIF. (Choosy dweebs choose GIF.) "Two hundred fifty-six colors," he said, and warned: "This will take a while."
Indeed, it took almost all night for the computer to crunch all those numbers actually, it sort of just brushed against them and fool the video display into producing sixteen times as many colors. (Gripe if you want about your slow machine: we were running at a breakneck 1.02 MHz.) But the results were simply incredible. I hate to think how long a C-64 would have to labor to cough up a JPEG (though it can be done), but I assure you, I have an appreciation for how these everyday things work; after all, I got to see them before they were everyday things.
Let me know when this stops being cool.Posted at 6:23 AM to PEBKAC