Monthly Archives: December 2012



/dev/random is my new comic. It updates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays: watch this space.

The creative core of the comic is a Python script that scrapes other websites for content and uses ImageMagick to munge them into a graphic. Sometimes the result is bizarre, sometimes it makes sense, and sometimes it’s genuinely funny.

Every online community has a distinct bouquet. Character 1 is generated by mining Thingiverse for a single sentence in a Thing’s print instructions. This text is usually earnest, if noncommittal and sometimes a little inside-baseball with regard to 3D printing technicalities.

Character 2’s responses are drawn from the 4chan Reddit, which like its namesake tends towards drivel, CAPS LOCK, and invective.

If you’ve never heard of 4chan, you might not want to click on that link.

This is classic Straight Man/Wise Guy juxtaposition. And if you do it enough times, even a computer can get it right.

The long-term idea is to shepherd the comic along, introducing new features that I hope will increase teh funny-to-crap ratio. I gots plans, mang.

For now, it’s two talking rectangles.

There is another comic out there called /dev/random, but it looks like that particular creative well ran dry in 2006. It’s too good a name to let bitrot, so I’m grabbing the ball and running with it.

About 75% of the generated cartoons are nonsense or script failures. I leave these on the cutting room floor.


By coincidence, some make sense as a conversation between two characters. Most of these aren’t funny.


Every now and then an unexpected result is smirkworthy.


Is the bar for entertainment set so low that even a bad programmer can use other people’s content to provide the world with a moment of autogenerated mirth?

I dearly hope so.

I will never match Jim Davis in creativity or distribution, but I’ll make up for it in VOLUME, yo. There’s no way that man can sustain generating one comic every 10 minutes. HE HAS TO SLEEP SOMETIME

/dev/random is distributed under an Attribution 3.0 Unported License. (CC BY 3.0) Enjoy.