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At some point two weeks ago, I wanted something to work on in my free time. Something to do with code. I was thinking about doing another art project like the ones on this site. That lead to thinking about how I could get the background colors of squares in a discrete grid to change in an interesting way.
At this point, the idea for RGB of Life hit me. The idea is to encompass Conway’s Game of Life in each bit of the 24 bit RGB color space. The text on the site sort of explains it, but basically, you only need a grid of 1 bit to play a game of life:
0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0
Where the “1” values are alive or “on” and the 0 values are dead. However, colors in CSS (the styling system of the web) are specified using 24 bits. So you can play 24 simultaneous “games of life”, one for each bit of the RGB color space.
Of course, the higher order bits contribute more to the overall color components of a square, with the left-most bits contributing half the value. So, starting with completely random colors, the grid seems to settle into shades of Cyan, Yellow and Magenta (close to R/G/B).
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the awesome contribution of my co-worker Sagar Mittal. He really took the idea and ran with it, expanding it to the full screen, using HTML 5 canvas, and generally making it fast and awesome.
The site was submitted to Hacker News on May 2, and made it to the front page. I saw it up to number 3 at one point. But of course the Hacker News algorithm is a fickle mistress and most of the boost was fro…read full entry