Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 22nd Nov 2008 23:05 UTC
In the News When you're diving into the history of computing and its concepts, you rarely have to look much further back in time than the Second World War. It happens sometimes, but not that often. However, there are exceptions - and this is one that really boggles the mind: the pixel? One of those little dots on your screen? It's well over 400 years old.
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No surprise there
by asgard on Sun 23rd Nov 2008 12:53 UTC
asgard
Member since:
2008-06-07

This is not surprising to me at all. Digital technologies were there for hundreds of years - just look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacquard_loom">Jacquard .

Reply Score: 1

RE: No surprise there
by dpeterc on Sun 23rd Nov 2008 17:39 in reply to "No surprise there"
dpeterc Member since:
2007-09-08

To be even more precise, J.M. Jacquard "only" automated the pattern transfer into the fabric by using a mechanical device with punched cards.
Manual creation of such fabrics existed for over two thousand years. To make any such fabric, a sketch is necessary, since it is impossible for a weaver to make complex designs out of his/her head.
The "pixels" in textile sketch are rectangular, to reflect the density of weaving. So pixels can also be square, but more often they are not.
Weaving of carpets also requires the same kind of pixel-based sketch.
Check the wikipedia entry on tapestry
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tapestry
for some pictures of old tapestries.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: No surprise there
by sbergman27 on Sun 23rd Nov 2008 18:09 in reply to "RE: No surprise there"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Weaving of carpets also requires the same kind of pixel-based sketch.

As does needlepoint. A friend of mine got me into needlepoint (briefly) some years back, claiming that it was "relaxing". Unfortunately, I did not find it so. It's essentially turtle graphics. Invariably, during a session, I would make a mistake, and then do about a hundred more stitches before I noticed... at which point I would have to tediously back the "turtle" up 100 stitches to correct the error and then redo them all correctly. If I wasn't in an aggravated state at the start of the session, I was surely so by the end.

Latch-hook rug making might be more to my liking. I had not considered it before, thinking it similar to needlepoint. But rug making is essentially raster graphics with random access to individual points. Maybe I should try it out?

Edited 2008-11-23 18:11 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: No surprise there
by diskinetic on Sun 23rd Nov 2008 19:28 in reply to "No surprise there"
diskinetic Member since:
2005-12-09

It sort of reminds me of the article I read once about the Egyptians somehow "using" Pi to construct their pyramids. Turned out that they didn't have direct abstract knowledge of Pi, but were rather using measuring wheels to set the massive construction dimensions. The wheels then forced Pi's relationships into the pyramids. Here you have a craftsman faced with the challenge of making an image from interconnected yet discrete pieces. He does the (repeatedly) logical thing, and bam! You have "pixels".

I wonder if he thought, "Wow! This would look great on a properly-designed OLED screen!"

Nihil nova sub sola.

Reply Parent Score: 3