Eyecandy: Turn your computer into an expensive lava lamp.


Initial Release Date
March 18, 1997
Color Palette
Max Resolution
License Status
Freeware © David Scruton
David Scruton


Stripsky by David Scruton fades between patterns generated by mirroring small tiles from an input TIFF file. It's output is quite simple, but can be interesting with appropriate input images. The input image is broken up into a grid of 16x16px sections, and one is selected at random for display. Stripsky will then read along a strip of sections, displaying the next seven sections to the right, restarting on the next row if the edge of the grid is reached. After eight sections have been displayed a new random section is selected and the process starts again. Stripsky is freeware, but add-on image packs were available for $10 a piece.

Stripsky started with Dave's interest in corrupted JPEG files...

I discovered that corrupted JPEG files (just edit one with a text editor and add a space or character) produce gorgeous color patterns in some of the errant 8x8 "cells". It only takes a couple of bytes of extra data to throw the rest of the picture into disarray. Much like the MPEG artifacts you see on cable TV if there are line problems.

I then took some of the more colorful patterns, and schlepped them all into a big RGB file (or TIFF on the PC). It is completely uncompressed, as far as I remember.

Stripsky then just goes from cell to cell and interpolates the weird colors it sees from each 8x8 cell, blowing them up to screen size.

...though it had been a while, so he seemed to forget Stripsky used 16x16px tiles, rather than 8x8px ones.

Although Stripsky runs in high resolution modes (1024x768), the patterns it outputs are rather low resolution, only 64x64 units. The 64x64 unit pattern is generated by sampling a random 16x16px tile from an input image, as seen in sample TIFF, and mirroring it in both directions twice.

Using the low resolution tiles enables Stripsky to use 24b input images, even though it only outputs in 8b video modes. The 16x16px tiles contain only 256 pixels, fitting exactly into the 256 palette entries provided by 8b video modes. Such also enabled Stripsky to easily fade from one tile to the next just by manipulating the palette, rather than re-drawing the full screen.


If no input image is specified, an image internal to the exe is used. Only uncompressed, 24b TIFF files are supported. Files must be named *.tif or *.tiff, or the internal image will be used instead. Various errors are provided for improper TIFF files, though their exact meaning is unclear some testing shows:

Pressing any key but escape will redisplay the opening logo.





External References


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