recursive alto


Ken Shirriff has been restoring a vintage Xerox Alto computer (the PC Steve Jobs "borrowed" his ideas from). Using the BCPL programming language, a precursor to C, he made this image of an Alto on an Alto on an Alto [etc]

Before Wikipedia such an image would have been called infinitely recursive and everyone would have known what you meant ("infinite" within the limits of screen resolution, of course). Now the Wikipedians are encouraging us to use the term Droste Effect, after an obscure cocoa package design. Thanks, I'll pass, but Redditnerds are all over it with an online festival of recursive computer screen images they're calling Droste Week. Here's a typical example (most of these aren't very infinite):


Earlier posts on Shirriff and the Alto restoration.