Yes, it was. The Commodore 128, for example, was even capable of displaying extremely short (probably 30 frames or so) hardcore porn loops in what was likely MCGA or the equivalent. I can say this without consulting manuals or spec sheets or anything but being a horny wee geek and seeing my first penetration on my neighbor and fellow adolescent nerd's little TV screen, after waiting a half hour for it to load from a floppy drive (pun intended). We felt like sophisticates at the Playboy Mansion.
Also I think I had one monochrome low res boob pic on my Apple IIe, which I hid from my parents like a serial killer hides his special trophy room, at least until I found the box of VHS tapes with the labels torn off under my grandpa's bed. After that, green boobs at like 120x60 resolution or whatever it is wasn't very exciting anymore.
So, yes. Yes, it definitely was. :-D
My first contact with digitized smut happened around 1995 I think, when my friend showed me some porn game with short live-action clips on his Amiga (which is sadly not even mentioned in the article, even though its multimedia – and thus porn – capabilities were from another planet compared to PCs in the early 90s.)
Incidentally, I just recently wrote a PCX decoder for a retrographics project of mine (https://github.com/jdahlstrom/retrofire if anyone's interested).
I personally did a demo that I slipped onto the local computer stores machine that sat in high memory (reset resistant unless held down for few seconds more than a press) TSR kinda thing upon an Atari ST that had a selection of the finest artwork that would cycle thru the selection after a delay of a few minutes displaying a screen capture of a normal desktop. Few weeks later version two had an animated flying phallus sprite across the screen.
But for a generation that found amusement in 55378008 upon a calculator, then it was inevitable.
Alas, I was too young to cleverly find a way to purchase these without my parents finding out, and was never able to locate a BBS that hosted this type of content.
The scene at the end was a little bit better but not much.
Nintendo placed a lot of value in their family-friendly image and locked the Famicom/NES down so that to get your cartridges manufactured you had to go through Nintendo's approval process. Nintendo of America was quite notorious for what they didn't allow, going to some Comics Code Authority-levels of censorship.
Here's Angry Video Game Nerd's video about several of the controversial games on the Atari 2600: https://youtu.be/uLOVemRanhw
Hence I'm still shit at poker...
I think I'm actually pretty good at (video) poker now because of years of playing through these in their different incarnations.
The big difference on the 8-bit micros is no Internet, so you would have to find someone physically selling the disc, which was very hard to find. Plus digital scanners were extremely expensive professional gear and digital cameras basically didn't exist. Production was seriously bottlenecked. Still, like life, porn finds a way.
The catch: this was way before smartphones. The Nokia 3310, a typical device at the time, had a 84x84 black and white (really more black and olive) display, considerably worse than the CP/M 256×192 panned in the article -- and still people watched porn on it.
If this was an intentional pun over the recently-acquired other meaning of "WAP", my compliments, it was perfectly executed.
The Japanese had i.mode which was much more powerful. They tried to introduce it in Europe but by then the smartphone was already coming.
Apparently I've now lost that game.
The term (as a word, not an acronym) is also used to refer to self-indulgence, generally among males. That and earlier references suggesting various modes of beat being laid down are what I was referencing with my etymology link above.
Wonder if that word is where 'fap' comes from (meaning 'to masturbate')
If there is one thing that really educated me about kink, it's that comic
In terms of more conventional erotic literature (not branching narrative) that takes off more with widespread access to the Internet because it connects writers and audience. Today authors can gently shade over, from giving away fan-fiction on AO3 to producing cheap Amazon e-Books that make you enough to buy a coffee once in a while, to getting paid professionally to churn out stories for an outfit like Harlequin that can afford actual editors (even if you read two Romances a day like my mother, the fact Jim got taller and grew a beard in the course of a single chapter jumps out, not to mention the fact his older brother's name changed, and so she can tell if she's reading a story that a professional gave the once over before it was published). The Internet also caused readers to explore more, instead of buying a box of a dozen Edwardian-era Romantic fiction novels at a time, knowing that's more of something you like, when it's one click away why not find out whether you're into werewolves, or gay relationships, or the Wild West, or whatever? If you hate it you can click away and be reading yet more stories from the early 20th century British Empire in seconds.
I picture is worth a thoughsand words.
You could however send and receive graphical SMS on Nokia 3310 - a whooping 72x28 monochrome image sent over three SMSes :)
On the computer lab computers, 8086's, it would take several seconds if not minutes to render on the screen, one line at a time. That gave everyone plenty of time to escape out in case a teacher or someone else walked by. And there was only sky and trees and stuff mostly on the screen at that point.
Later on, a year or so later, the typing teacher got a 6 new computers, 386s. The first kid to try them out to look at the bathing suit pictures found that the images rendered instantly and completely. He was so stunned by seeing the entire image way sooner than he expected, but also, I guess, seeing the entire image itself. He let out a "Oh shit!" which caused the teacher to turn around and see the contraband on the screen.
Student had his disk confiscated and was banned from using the school's computers for the rest of the year.
Times were simpler then.
This was a lot of fun :)
There was also xblaster or xblast or something that would turn the victim's mouse pointer into a crosshair and when clicked would shoot holes into their windows which would not disappear. You could actually see the windows underneath them.
They implemented xauth pretty quickly though and that was the end of that. Thanks "MIT Magic Cookie". Never found out why it was called that.
Add the corrupted JPEG here and there ... "right above the important area" of course. and you know, porn was also there.
I remember my mom showing me an ASCII print from a drum-roll printer (Mainframe) of a nude lady. So everything was possible ... (o)(o)
They told the actor what to say: they were a silent cue, a prompt or reminder.
Part of the work is also identifying and blacklisting spam results, which means I have to do a lot of searches for casinos, hotels, drugs, porn, locksmiths, cryptocurrencies, escorts etc. This site cropped up during such an inventory.
The Thunderscan scanner, which allowed for (slow) five-bit grayscale scanning from a Mac or Apple II (https://www.folklore.org/StoryView.py?project=Macintosh&stor...) is from 1984.
MacPlaymate (https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/found-hidden-and-charm...) is from 1986.
I'm not sure why? A basic Altair certainly seemed primitive from all appearances, but it supported S-100 expansion cards. This includes video such as the Cromemco Dazzler, which supported:
> while the highest resolution used a 2 kB buffer in X4 mode to produce a 128 by 128 pixel image.
And the later Super Dazzler:
> The Super Dazzler Interface (SDI) had 756 x 484 pixel resolution with the ability to display up to 4096 colors, a capability that had previously only been available in much more expensive systems.
You can see the Super Dazzler in action on YouTube. And while it was generally equipped on much more capable machines, it theoretically could be used on the 8800 to display a static image.
1 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cromemco_Dazzler
2 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3EmCf1fw4s
1 - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:S-100_graphics_card...
2 - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/MicroAngelo
For the original question - i think we humans had always been making it possible using whatever tech is available at the time, for example i think that is "nude pictures" too https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_figurine
...is the all time classic. Every time I logged onto a new mainframe/DEC-VAX system, it'd be sitting in a folder somewhere.
I even had a personal copy printed out on several sheets of paper that has now alas, been lost to time.
Digital porn was around even before graphics were common.
Same thing with movies, there's an ASCII art animated star wars somewhere, too.
So I remembered showing this picture to some friend, to brague about my computer capabilities, when my conservative grandma entered the room and saw the pictures. She was shocked and started lecturing us on love and sex.
I think something's wrong here :)
Plays right in the browser!
One thing the Mac had above all else available in 1986 was solid digitized sound, and this was no exception, so make sure to turn on sound and, uh, be somewhere private I guess...
Needless to say, NSFW!
A few years later, maybe '85, I remember coming across a zine on Usenet that had an ascii-art nudie that I had to stare at and convince myself contained spicy content, but honestly could have been anything. I think it came from an underexposed photo, and low contrast, dark source makes a nasty, and not in the good way, ascii-art.
Manually strip the mail headers and paste the uue files together, run them through uudecode, and get a nifty file in Spectrum512 or Targa format that you can ogle on the screen of your Atari ST.
I think of those days every time I use `git am`. I doubt it's a coincidence.
I vividly remember downloading my first nude picture (I hesitate to call it porn, it was pretty tasteful compared to what you can find these days). It was pre-JPEG so think it was an uncompressed bitmap, I waited at least an hour for it to download 1 line at a time. It was tortuous, but ultimately satisfying.
As a 13 year old boy this helped cement my love of computers.
As a pragmatist, it gave me the courage to buy a magazine so not to have to wait 1 hr / picture.
Our compiter room at school was populated with BBC model B machines and a couple of BBC Master systems.
Aside from playing Firetrak, we had the pleasure of one kid bringing in three disks of his dad's with grainy as hell images that titivated the schoolboys.
Me being the class geek, I used the dual floppy Master system to "copy that floppy" as our American friends were urged not to do, and promptly secreted the copies in my bag.
I no longer have them, sadly.
Damn you 47 year old brain! Too soon for dementia, behave or I shall poke you with a Q-tip!
(works only on a CGA or monochrome card, use PCem or 86Box)
That time, when my parents entered the room and I quickly flipped the power switch, I also discovered the phosphor persistence of green screen monitors. And they did as well.
We plugged it in, booted it up, and poked around the hard disk. We found a directory with some files in it, one of which was named finger.com or exe. Upon running it a rather well drawn nude woman (line art) was rendered to screen in a revealing position. Then, a series of "frames" were rendered showing the woman fingering herself.
It was beyond crude and incredibly slow to draw each frame, something like 5 seconds each. the previous frames were not erased so there were numerous arms over lapping the original frame. I dont think we even watched the whole thing as it was taking minutes to render and we were worried his parents would see. At that point gif porn was already a thing and we were trading in school on 3.5's.
(I was later given the 6300 which I took apart as I didn't think it was worth anything back then...)
I'm always surprised I don't see more pervs reminiscing about these, but maybe I'm just an edge case (pun intended).
Some SFW(!) GRASP and FLICK examples on this Web1.0 page, but the GRASPRT.EXE in the juggler.zip is 16-bit and is looking like a journey to get running itself.
That was it. What do you expect in 128 bytes of RAM?
So you could print out "long" pictures.
Nowhere near enough lines at the terminal.
The character set was also extremely limited.
You had to view it from a bit of a distance.
For all of y'all mentioning Leisure Suit Larry, that wasn't really porn (more of a raunchy sex comedy) as there wasn't even uncensored nudity, and it was mostly a cartoon. The close-up images of women were more akin to Patrick Nagel paintings (albeit in nasty EGA colors).
But some kid left video porn on one of the classroom computers when I was in high school. It was grainy and choppy, but yeah, you could see she had it way deep in her mouth. Stuff like this was advertised all the time in the way, way back of PC Magazine. The editorship was even discussing banning it in the early 90s.
I would bet someone at Xerox and similar research institues playing with osciloscopes also had a go at it.
This in contrast with later PC users, who might have grown up with one in a bedroom, or early feature phone users, who would have been able to look at their phones under the covers in bed.
I have a feeling that nudes were the reason it was invented.
Pictures converted to ASCII and then printed out over multiple sheets of dot-matrix fanfold paper could be taped together and then you would have a poster of your photo.
I never saw this done for nudes, but I did see it done with a Star Trek photo. People were more pure back in those days.
Oddly, I think the Lenna example images, as nudity, in the article on vintage hardware may have actually held my interest more than the stuff did well into 1998 or 1999. Actually, the Lenna and other PG/PG-13 images in those technical styles may have interested me more than the nude images of better quality.
I've never understood, in explanations of run length encoding, why they always default to putting counts before literals. Isn't it sensible to know what a thing is before knowing how much of it there is?
Count-first also tends to waste encoding space, since it's not clear what a code ending on a count should mean. Literal-first makes it more intuitive to make the code bijective (all codes corresponding to exactly one decoding), and why wouldn't you want to?
See e.g. page 24/27 of
I don't think I've ever heard someone say "That'll be dollar 50" though? I they did, I'd assume they were talking about something that costs $1.50
Either way works ok. If you're doing RLE at the bit level, you only need counts and not values, but that's obscure.
If you do count first, you can use a zero count to indicate a run of single repeats. There are many other ways to do that, though.
I've never seen anyone come up with an encoding that was ambiguous to decode. Of course, there's usually many ways to encode something.
It makes a nice interview problem because compression is a real problem, but RLE needs almost zero previous knowledge, has many reasonable answers, doesn't have a gotcha solution, and most people haven't done it before. Lots of typically better compression algorithms out there, but I don't think any are suitable for general interview.
However, since you also want to be able to represent runs longer than 255 (if you're doing it on byte level), you can solve both problems. If you encounter repeated runs of the same literal, just combine them into a bigger number. So A2A2 should be read as "A times (0b00000010 00000010)" whereas A4 should be read as "A times (0b00000100)."
There are some subtleties still to make it a bijective code, related to end handling and how to represent variable length numbers uniquely, but it's perfectly possible, and once you get it right it isn't really larger than "regular" RLE.
It's an interesting challenge to write bijective encodings. I feel it's a bit like writing quines, you have to keep in mind a thing you usually don't. For quines, "what this does to the text you need to output", for bijective encodings, "what this does for the inverse function". Not saying you should give it as an interview question, though!
I don't understand how literal-first make all codes correspond to exactly one decoding. Do you have an example?
I just don't understand why they start with counts, that's all.
But we were more likely to get kicked out of the computer lab for playing unauthorized computer games than for porn. We were a weird bunch of kids.
At 132 columns of text on 17" wide fanfeed stock, decent-ish resolution is possible especially considering the vertical resolution is unlimited.
This is long enough ago that printing one of those off in a school or corporate setting would earn you a finger wagging at worst.
Of course PC porn totally exploded once VGA was released.
It seems like one of these things, where what used to be reasonably common technical knowledge has now largely been lost.
There were entire BBS areas devoted to porn before GIF or JPEG were even invented.
While not a NSFW, it goes like this:
MMMMMMMMMHMMHHHI' '::I HMMMMMI
MMMHMMMMMMMMMMHHI, ' HIHMMMMMM.
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MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMHHH IMM MH,
MMMMMMMHHMMMMMMMM IMMI.. IMMIHH:.
MMMMMHHMMHHMHI ,,MMMII:'::I:I. :I::
MMMMMMMMM::.::''' '':::IH:IM:: IM.
MMMMMMMMMMII:'' ' ''::I:: :MMMM.
MMMMMMMMMMMMMII::.. .:II: '::II:''.,:''''::..,
MMMMMMMMMMMMMMI:::.:I::.. .. ..:'' ,.:'''::, ':,
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IHIMMMMMMMMMMMMMHI::....::::: :' :: '.
'':HMMMMMMMMMMHHHHHI:..::::II::' .::::::III:,, ',
'IHMMMHHHHHHIHIIIIHHHH: ,'' ::, .::.. ',
'MMMHHHHHIIHHHHHHHII: .::: ::::::::...... ....:,
MMHHHHHHHIHIIHHIIII '...'''' '''H:IIHII... ...',
.MMHHHHHHHHHHIIIIII':' ..... .:::::II. 'HHH:.. .. ,
.MMMMMHHHHII::''' '' .. .....:HI:, II:.. ...::
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On the C64 we worked out to just rename the pics (last as first so you start naked)
Can't remember if it took us using the Action Replay or not.
Having 2 pictures super high res on PC was a big thing in the early 90's (for school kids)
I'd love to see them now... In my mind they were 4k...
Or maybe you mean popcorn, which, I agree, is a pox at the office with its smell!
It sounds like you have a specific, non-western culture in mind which finds it very easy to talk about about sex.
Which is it?
> Before starting the blackmail, KGB invited Sukarno in a small private movie theatre and showed him the pornographic video, in which he was playing the main part. KGB agents were expecting him to get really frightened, that he would agree to cooperate with them at once, but everything happened vice versa: Sukarno fondly decided that it was a gift from the Soviet government, so he asked for more copies to take them back to Indonesia and show them in movie theatres. Sukarno said to flabbergasted agents that the people of Indonesia would be very proud of him, if they could see him doing the nasty with Russian girls.
More details here (along with the KBG story):
Even though asian countries view sex as just another thing and not so much sex positive.
The referenced article in this thread mentions some of the history of the Lena image, but Wired did a good job finding the actual woman in question and talking about some of the social history. 
I was never on the Well, Fidonet, CompuServe, AOL, Prodigy or any other BBS systems, but from this article  you can see that low-res text-based block character "images" were possible. The minute you can make something display an image, someone is going to figure out how to put porn on it.
Apparently there was MacPlaymate, a 1-bit image depth interactive program (distributed on 3.5" floppies) from 1986. NSFW 
Usenet was definitely part of the early mass sharing of porn online, but as far as I can tell image binaries date (e.g. alt.sex.pictures.erotica.* or alt.sex.binaries.*) more to early 1990s, not 80s. Downloading low-res images over a 14.4 modem in multiple UUencoded text messages based only on a title (or perhaps a frequent, trusted poster) and re-constructing them into a GIF or JPG was very very slow, but where there's a will there's a way - or so I'm told...