Reject JS 2015

From a textile loom, to a teletype terminal, to a desktop computer, to the web; the stitches in your garment and the letters on your screen are both the result of operations executed on data. When I first learned to code websites, I took it for granted that displayed an image because it is a “digital photo.” When I learned Node.js, saying “use Buffer” and “create a Stream” became routine. But I never really understood what a “chunk of data” looked like. Then I started a craft project to convert digital graphics into knit patterns for an electric knitting machine. Little did I know, I was researching the origins of computing, data storage and digital communication: textile looms operated by punch cards. By knitting fabric, I learned to give instructions to a machine with just 2 signals. I discovered what a ‘bit’ really is, in my scarf! This physical, tactile experience with binary made everything in my JavaScript work much clearer. I’d like to share my discovery process, and through some hacks and textiles give a friendly explanation about the “world of bits”.

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