Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Earlier this semester I got on a glitch art kick (which explorations for I used in my final printmaking project) and finally got into some hex editing. At first I just messed with jpgs off of google but then I really wanted to see what data files would look like translated into images. I really wanted to use a dump from a computer's active RAM but based on my googlings around that looks nearly impossible at my current level of understanding. I then tried to look for log files to translate but couldn't find any that were conceptually suitable to my project. After some deliberation I decided on taking notepad.exe (from vista) and using that. If I remember correctly this was done as a 24 bit bitmap. All I did was right a header for the image and add some zeros at the end of the file to pad the spaces so it would display, everything in between is just the hex interpretation of the program's code dumped in. At first I made it 64px tall, which was cool, but I noticed what looked like some pattern stretching in the top (ultimately, I was really hoping to find interesting visual patterns generated from patterns in the data) so I rewrote it for a width of 64px and got this beauty out of it. It looks like an actual notepad in the file! The artifact repeats at different sizes throughout the file and very closely resembles the actual notepad.exe icon. I was not expecting to find this at all, very cool. I have no idea if this is an artifact of the file's information (If the information for the icon is included in the body of the file), if this was in any way intentional, or if it is a complete coincidental anomaly, but it sure is cool. I'm definitely going to be shoving some more files into bmp form this summer and will be posting a much more expansive and probably explicative version of this post later with some of the jpg I broke too.

...back to packing.

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