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Definition: computer portrait

A portrait printed as text on a computer. Such computer portraits were popular in the 1970s when software was created to turn a photo into text characters. Typically promoted by sidewalk vendors at carnivals and fairs, people were fascinated to think an image printed as text characters could look so realistic.

A Computer Portrait
Promoted by the Computer Place in Atlanta, Georgia, portraits such as this sold for $3 back in the 1970s. A portion of the man's eyeglasses (top) are magnified to show the text. (Image courtesy of Lynn Thompson.)