1K Competition: Seagate ships billionth drive, and we’ve got one for you

new_seagate_logo.png

1 kilobyte. 1 kibibyte. 1 kilobit. 1,000 ASCII characters. Source code, file size, tile size, the number of letters in a short story: you decide. Use your imagination. Give us a thousand of whatever you want. A 1,000 byte JPG, MP3 or textfile. Need a little extra? 1,024 will do, we’re not religious. We’re cool. Just make it 1K of awesome, k?

Thanks to Seagate Technologies, which just shipped its billionth drive, one of you will get enough space to store your work a billion times over: a Terabyte hard drive.

If every drive it ever sold was put together, Seagate says, there’d be enough space to store 79 million terabytes (75 exabytes). It took three decades to do so, but thinks it will double that number in less than 5 years.

Making the most of limited space is the theme of the competition, however. It’s no good giving us 1k of actionscript glued to assets that mock the metric. If you write us a short story, 1,000 letters will trump 1,000 words.

On the other hand, if your 1K of source code ends up as a 3MB executable thanks to unavoidable embedded runtimes, worry not. So long as your rationale is clear, we won’t be sticklers.

The one rule is that whatever you do should be under a license that permits us to use your work at BBG without issue. GPL or Creative Commons licenses are suggested. (This is in lieu of the traditional option, where you submit this sort of stuff to a contest and then lose all rights to it.)

Link to your entry from the comments (or even just post it there!) and fire off an email to beschizza#gmail.com. We’ll cycle back in a week and start picking the winners.

(P.S. The Seagate logo up top? Too big. It’s 1,025 bytes!)

Update: Gabriel McGovern reminds that you can slim down PNGs very easily. Note that we’re OK with using zip files or other “containers” to crunch something down, but will be more impressed by those who use cleverer compression methods like McGovern’s

About Rob Beschizza

Rob Beschizza is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing. He's @beschizza on Twitter and can be found on Facebook too. Try your luck at besc...@gmail.com

 

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41 Responses to 1K Competition: Seagate ships billionth drive, and we’ve got one for you

  1. andvaranaut says:

    By the way, very cool entries everyone. I specially liked Bardfinn’s short story and W000T’s entry (very funny :))

  2. Camillo Miller says:

    Hey Rob ? Is the contest open to the Eurodorks like I am? Or we have to struggle along with our subterabytian retrofuturistic drives we bought with our very money?

  3. DeWynken says:

    Of course a HD maker would encourage the concept of bloatware!

    My first drive was a Western Digital 40 meg and I thought it’d be all the room I *ever* needed.

  4. Rob Beschizza says:

    Camillo, Seagate didn’t place any conditions at all on shipping (and if they do, I’ll ask them to ship it our way and we’ll forward to Europe)

  5. stubbe says:

    Hi everybody

    Here is my contribution: http://daimi.au.dk/~stubbe/tbc/tracie.exe

    It is a two minute procedural animation with music. The visuals are made using a pixelshader 3.0 shader and the music is just some midi notes. Everything squeezed into this self-contained executable using my own cruncher :)

    To run this you will obviously need a pixelshader 3.0 capable graphics card. You will also need a fairly recent version of the directx runtime (more recent than febuary 2005). Note that it is not distributed using windowsupdate, but if you have any of the more recent games installed you probably already have it. If not, here is the download link: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=2da43d38-db71-4c1b-bc6a-9b6652cd92a3&displaylang=en

    If everything else fails, here is a video for people with legacy hardware: http://www.daimi.au.dk/~stubbe/tbc/tbc_-_tracie.avi

  6. wastrel says:

    Loving these entries, more please.

    I propose an annual 1K competition. Perhaps on October 24th? (1024 in the US at least.)

  7. wastrel says:

    Showing less artistic talent than Gabriel M., but more pandering to the judges, here’s my entry.

    “aBBGecedary”

    http://img259.imageshack.us/img259/4416/wastrel1kkf9.gif

    1024 bytes
    32×32 = 1024 pixels
    gif comment: 1024
    runtime 512 * 2 = 1024 hundredths of a second (10.24 seconds)

    I loved the “Word TV” feature on word.com back in the early days of the web. This is my small homage to the pioneering GIF artists who braved the wild Internet of that era.

  8. romulusnr says:

    Thaddeus, I found 11.

  9. w000t says:

    0100111101100100011001010010000001101111011011100010000001100001
    0010000001010100011001010111001001100001011000100111100101110100
    0110010100101110000010100100000100100000011101000110000101110011
    0111010001100101001000000110111101100110001000000110010101100001
    0111001001110100011010000010000001110100011000010111010101101110
    0111010001110011000010100110000101101110011001000010000001110100
    0110000101101001011011100111010001110011001000000111010001101000
    0110010100100000011101000110111101101110011001110111010101100101
    0000101001100001001000000111010001110010011010010110110001101100
    0110100101101111011011100010000001110100011010010110110101100101
    0111001100100000011011110111011001100101011100100010111000001010
    0101000001101001011000110110000100100000011001100110000101101110
    0111010001100001011100110110100101100101011100110010000001101011
    0110100101101100011011110110010101100100000010100110000100100000
    0110110101100101011001110110000100100000011101000110100101101101
    0110010101110011001000000110111101110110011001010111001000101110

  10. romulusnr says:

    Make that 12.

  11. gabrielm says:

    Thanks for the nod, Rob.

    Here is my real entry: Tiny Mona

    I decided to create an image – a 1K reproduction of the famous Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci.

    * Image Size: 25×40 = 1000 pixles
    * File Size: Exactly 1000 Bytes

    And yes, I used PngSlim for maximum compression. It actually took a lot of trial-and-error to get exactly 1K.

  12. umrain says:

    I hope this doesn’t somehow post twice, but here is my entry:

    A 1,000 byte javascript Mini-Robot-Factory that produces 1,000 tiny ASCII robots. (Inspired by Tomy Pocket Games Robot Factory.)

    There are two versions, both each 1,000 bytes.

    Version 1: Randomly produces a single robot out of 1,000 possibilities. Keep refreshing the page for nigh endless fun.

    Version 2: Generates all 1,000 robots on a single page. Not as fun, but it makes up for it in volume.

    A slightly more detailed (and whimsical) write-up can be found here.

  13. cha0tic says:

    Bloody Hell! That’s around 2 years of music according to the capacity indicator on their Website.

  14. cayton says:

    Pi to one thousand digits (that is counting the first 3):

    3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510
    58209749445923078164062862089986280348253421170679
    82148086513282306647093844609550582231725359408128
    48111745028410270193852110555964462294895493038196
    44288109756659334461284756482337867831652712019091
    45648566923460348610454326648213393607260249141273
    72458700660631558817488152092096282925409171536436
    78925903600113305305488204665213841469519415116094
    33057270365759591953092186117381932611793105118548
    07446237996274956735188575272489122793818301194912
    98336733624406566430860213949463952247371907021798
    60943702770539217176293176752384674818467669405132
    00056812714526356082778577134275778960917363717872
    14684409012249534301465495853710507922796892589235
    42019956112129021960864034418159813629774771309960
    51870721134999999837297804995105973173281609631859
    50244594553469083026425223082533446850352619311881
    71010003137838752886587533208381420617177669147303
    59825349042875546873115956286388235378759375195778
    1857780532171226806613001927876611195909216420198

    digits courtesy of:
    http://zenwerx.com/pi.php
    (no affiliation)

  15. cayton says:

    crap, here is an easier method:
    http://www.angio.net/pi/bigpi.cgi

  16. Comedian says:

    A tiny illusion file I made years ago.
    Works best when a browser resizes it, but here it is native.

    http://216.92.151.22/images/weblog/inline/TinyIllusion.png

  17. iq says:

    hi, this is my little contribution. It’s a self-contained Windows executable showing an animated tunnel effect. It’s written in C, it can be downloaded from

    http://www.inspire-demoscene.org/iq/rgba_tunnel.zip

    You just need a pixel shader 2.0 capable graphics card (any one form ATI or nVidia no older than 4 years should do it).

    Enjot!

  18. Rob Beschizza says:

    Thank you all again for your entries. We’re astonished by the quality and ingenuity that’s gone into them. It’ll be hard to pick the best out tomorrow: I might do a poll, in fact.

  19. Rob Beschizza says:

    Airship — So send in 200 words! (keep it under 1025 characters :) )

  20. bademailname says:

    “Today on the NewYou.com hour our guest is scientist, author – and until a recent press release, recluse – Doctor Joeseph Veriton. Thank you for coming on our show.”

    “I’m delighted to be here, thank you for having me.”

    “Doctor Veriton, how did you manage to encode an entire human genome into a single kilobyte?”

    “The short answer is compression. The long answer is I didn’t; the DNA did.”

    “Could you describe for us the theory behind it?”

    “Sure. DNA has four ingredients, and those ingredients are mapped in a series in order to create the infamous double helix. What happens is: incredibly complex patterns begin to emerge, so complex that we can’t see them — but protein-based computers can, because they contain many if not all the same patterns, but in a different order. We don’t encode the genome, we encode the patterns. The protein can ‘unzip’ the pattern, using itself as a sort of template.”

    “And what is your proof, doctor?”

    With a nod, three more Doctors Veriton walked on, stage right.

    This work by Michael W. Hyde is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

    Link to entry

  21. andvaranaut says:

    Very nice idea!

    I have finally written the explanation page for my (rather convoluted) entry, you can see it here.

  22. airship says:

    The old adage says “A picture’s worth a thousand words.” Since the average word length in English is 5.1 letters (http://blogamundo.net/lab/wordlengths/), that means a 1024-byte picture is worth approximately 200 words. So show me a 1024-byte image that conveys as much information as 200 well-chosen words.

    Yes, I’m a writer, not an artist. :)

  23. Aubrey says:

    I’ve implemented a pretty functional paint program in exactly 1000 bytes of HTML, CSS and JavaScript. It’s happy in FF and Safari. IE probably won’t parse it though.

    “Features” include selecting colors and even an eraser. I had brush sizing going too, but it wouldn’t make 1k.

    A slow click-and-drag makes for the clearest lines and a fast click-and-drag might be good for a little paint splatter action circa 1995.

    Hope you like.

    http://particlewebsite.com/1k_paint.html
    http://particlewebsite.com/images/1kpaint_robot.png

  24. Anonymous says:

    effect with Actionscript, 1,013bytes:
    http://mrdoob.com/lab/effects/1k/rotoboobler.swf

    source code:
    http://mrdoob.com/lab/effects/1k/rotoboobler.txt

    seems to work only on Windows tho…

  25. wastrel says:

    Ah, license and attribution for “aBBGecedary”.

    Modified from the Boing Boing Gadgets logo you see at the top of the page. License is http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

    Also, I forgot the basic description: it’s an animated GIF, with 1 repeat. Reload to re-start the cycle.

  26. Thaddeus Smith says:

    good to see that someone doesn’t always stop when they’re told to :D

  27. Anonymous says:

    Is that 2^30 = 1073741824 drives, 1000000000 drives, or 938271838 drives after formatting?

  28. technogeek says:

    Bad-joke warning:

    Use the original (reflection) version of my toy to draw a pair of adjacent half-ovals, Decorate appropriately. Watch the color changes ripple through it.

    Caption:

    “This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?”

  29. bardfinn says:

    Frink was breathless: “It happened while I was testing a batch of the new Giant MagnetoResistive tech; I’d initialised the platter with zeroes and then read it back to verify. The qual script flagged it as a write failure, but with an incredibly high failure perce-”

    Johnson interrupted: “Cut to the chase, man – you’re saying the run was contaminated.”

    “No – no sir, it’s not that at all. I dug through the log fil-”

    “So if it’s not contamination then it’s the test equipmen-”

    Frink spoke uncharacteristically louder: “NO, sir, let me finish: I checked the log files. It’s reading back the same values every. single. time. No matter /what/ we write to the platters.”

    “… So?”

    “At first, we thought it was random noise – but it turns out to be twenty-two digits from the deeply insignificant depths of Pi, sir, followed by seven others.”

    The room went really quiet.

    Terwilliger drew breath and said “Followed by one through ten, right?”

    “A thousand, sir. Binary counting.”

    Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – ShareAlike license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/

  30. Rob Beschizza says:

    Excellent work, everyone!

  31. gabrielm says:

    P.S. The Seagate logo up top? Too big. It’s 1,025 bytes!

    Well just hold on a minute Rob…

    Thats a PNG. Did you remember to crunch it? I bet that it is full of unnecessary metadata. Reordering the bits would probably help a little too!

    Thanks to a little program called PngSlim, that image is now only 799 bytes. Thats a loss of 226 bytes or 28%. All without changing a single pixel.

    You could now fit 275,954,704 more of them on that 1 Terabyte drive.

  32. technogeek says:

    Followup: Turns out that my applet is less responsive on Linux than on Windows. It does improve after you’ve played with it a bit (delayed JIT optimization?), but even so I have to admit it isn’t as pretty. May be tweakable; may be an artifact of the differences between PM and X. Investigating.

  33. Rob Beschizza says:

    Great work, everyone. I’ll be putting up a gallery of entries tomorrow and figuring out a winner.

  34. technogeek says:

    My entry can be found at http://www.lovesong.com/people/keshlam/1Kchallenge.html

    It’s a simple Java “mandala painting” applet, whose source code has been hammered down to 978 bytes. I still hope to get the executable below the 1K mark too, but I don’t think I’m going to achieve that before the deadline. Conversely, there are features which I’d like to add to make this even more addictive… but they’d push me over the 1K mark so I can’t include them in this version.

    I’ve done transfinite amounts of Java coding, but unlike most folks I’ve been using it as a traditional programming language rather than doing GUI stuff — most of my Java code has been back-end utilities. I think this is the first applet I’ve written in the past decade. Thanks for the excuse to play!

  35. andvaranaut says:

    This is so cool :)

    Here is my entry (direct link to the file)

    As of now, there is no explanation (there are some hints, though), so you can try your hand at determining what it is if you want a challenge. I will build a nice explanation page shortly (before the week expires, of course) and put it up for you to see.

    Cheers
    andvaranaut

  36. technogeek says:

    Am I allowed to submit two entries? If not, then my first entry remains the official one; I sent it in first. But…

    By moving just a few characters (same code size), it’s possible to configure my code to produce rotational symmetry rather then reflection symmetry. You can see the result at http://testwww.lovesong.com/people/keshlam/1Kalternate.html

    (Yeah, I know; I really ought to get both these effects into a single 1K block of code. Still working on that. I’ve got 22 bytes left; it certainly ought to be possible…)

  37. Rob Beschizza says:

    Thanks, recent entrants! It’s great to see coders getting in on it, too.

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