Daily Create: BSOD

I’d been looking at The Daily Create and one exercise in particular stood out as something I might find fun. There used to be a lot of computer technical support involved in my job, so working on an ASCII art Blue Screen Of Death seemed like a natural. (And it’s Exercise 386 –  how propitious.)

So the idea was fresh in my mind, when it happened that I walked past a Hot Topic, with a Game of Thrones display in the window. Now the truth is I’m not a GoT fan – haven’t read the books, don’t have HBO, just haven’t gotten into it. But something about the bird and the swords and the Season 4 slogan struck me.

So the first thing I had to do was learn a little bit about ASCII art. I’m old enough to remember the days before the Web incorporated graphics, but I never actually learned to make the stuff. Fortunately, there are still good tutorials available online. (I used the one linked; other resources and examples on that site are good too.)

That brought me to tool choice, and after a bit of dinking around I realized that the best thing to produce a landscape-orientation piece of text art was, in fact, PowerPoint. The Wikipedia article on the BSOD was kind enough to give me the font, and so I started to draw.

Trying to draw the raven quickly proved tedious. So I remembered an old joke. There’s just two steps to carving a statue of an elephant. Step one, get a big block of marble. Step 2, cut away everything that doesn’t look like an elephant. Since this is a solid design anyway, I made a big block of H’s to represent feathers. The equal signs are designed to evoke the swords, and to open the space up a bit like the original does. Apparently it’s important that it’s a 3-eyed raven, so 3 zeros and a beak, and voila.

From there, on to the slogan. A fan page of High Valyrian vocabulary told me to keep “morghulis” for “must die”; I made up “proscar” for “all processes.”

And then another funny thing happened. I walked to the fridge, came back to my screen, and realized, from far away, that I’d almost made a different iconic flying animal…

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