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And by that I mean any piece of code, or an idea/algorithm presented in pseudo code, something which is very important and is almost art now. I intend to put up a few paintings and work on paper around my office which depict engineering, rather celebrate engineering. I want them to be not so commonplace like e=mc2 or anything too geeky, like 42. They be special, they be important and have earned the position of being almost sacred owing to their contribution to their field. So I want a representation of computer programing as well. Thanks for your time.

EDIT:After seeing a few initial responses I would like to mention that I am not looking for things which go on a t-shirt or mug, but huge framing on a wall. So anything funny/wicked/clever is not only not suitable, but I want it to be inspiring/celebrating. Not to say that I don't love the funny, but this time I want to focus on things serious.

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@ixtmixilix noted. –  kumar Oct 20 '10 at 7:19
1  
As do other similar questions, this one doesn't meet the guidelines outlined in the FAQ for being a good subjective question about software development. –  Anna Lear Feb 23 '11 at 15:15

30 Answers 30

printf("Hello World!")

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a map of the Internet (obviously out of date even before it finished rendering)

alt text

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I hung this on my neighbors partition because I was tired of having it sit in the box: Delphi VCL

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The 5 Rules of Data Normalization

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How about recursion posters?

Monalisa recursion City recursion Hand recursion

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The earliest computers had fixed programs. The von Neumann architecture was the first model of a stored-program computer. Without it, you'd be a computer engineer, rather than a software engineer. Here's a picture of its schematic, excerpted from Wikipedia.

alt text

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Neat question! Off the top of my head, what about a flowchart? Those are extremely important in programming as well as engineering.


Well! I have dug up a veritable treasure trove! And here they are:

Finally, the SANS (SysAdmin, Audit, Network, Security) Institute has five dense, high-resolution posters available here. Each has two pages:

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alt text

I had this on my cubical wall for a few months, until I changed companies. Twas a good icebreaker :)

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GoF Design Patterns printed poster or free PDF.

GoF Design Patterns

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Cellular automata art. Every cellular automaton is a little program. And there's more here.

The image shown here is by Michael Trott.

alt text

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I wrote something like this in 2008 in my blog mixing some languages...

#define injustice int32

var hope, perseverance: int64;

bool freedom = false;

Public faith As Variant = Empty

Sub Live()

  injustice = int.parse(rnd * (2 ^ 32 - 1))

  While (injustice > 0)

    Begin

      freedom := Fight(perseverance, hope);

      If freedom Then

        Live()

      Else

        If (hope == 0) 
        {
          faith++;
        }

      for each moment in life do:
        the_best_of_you().
      end.

    End; 

End Sub
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I like projects graphically represented through their evolution (being a Version Control administrator, I "connect" with that kind of "art" ;) )

History flow (and its gallery):

Evolution on Wikipedia
(History flow of the article "Evolution" on Wikipedia: evolution of Evolution, how meta)

Gource ( a software version control visualization tool, see its screenshots)

How about hanging on your wall a snapshot of a flurry of development on the Linux project?

alt text (As Linux is a huge C language project, the files being worked on are predominately a mix of .c (shown in green) and .h header files (in red).)

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It would have to be a pretty big poster, turing machine implemented in Conway's Game of Life: alt text

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You could do the fast inverse square root, found in the Doom source code;

float InvSqrt(float x)
{
    union {
        float f;
        int i;
    } tmp;
    tmp.f = x;
    tmp.i = 0x5f3759df - (tmp.i >> 1);  // Seriously?? Magic numbers!
    float y = tmp.f;
    return y * (1.5f - 0.5f * x * y * y);
}
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A blueprint of the enigma machine?

Or better yet, the Turing Bombe.

Or A Turing Machinealt text

The First Computer Program from Ada Lovelace: alt text

Code for Grace Hopper's First Compiler A-0

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"The First Computer Program from Ada Lovelace" is totally it and is getting printed regardless of all else. Thanks and great work. –  kumar Sep 28 '10 at 18:16

I really like pictures of CPUs. Here is a CC licensed AMD Phenom die

AMD Phenom

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I took the 486 Chip out of the first computer I ever owned in my life and framed it, along with my first Pentium CPU I even owned.

They are important to me because they are the machines on which my career began. Maybe you have some piece of hardware that is near to your heart, you could frame a piece of it similarly.

I should take a picture of it and post it when I get a chance. I used some old ODE RAM to outline the edges of the frame.

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Surely you want Agile art! - A frame around a collection of sticky notes and stories that you can assign story points, prioritize, and move tasks through each step until done. Bonus points if you include a Sharpie on a string for ad hoc editing.

e.g.

alt text

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A Quine, perhaps? There are some really elegant ones around; I'm particularly impressed by how short they can be.

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This is awfully simplistic, but how about the evolution of the increment operation, in a timeline of the major low and high level languages? For many people starting out learning a programming language, grokking the classic semantic of n = n + 1 is a big step forward. You could lay it out much like that well known image of the evolution of man, from earliest known to current day homo erectus. inc a, a = a + 1, a++ etc.

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The .NET Framework posters that are supplied by Microsoft are my favorite (for .NET development).

A quick search like this will often get you what you want. Poster PDFs and images can then be taken to Kinkos or some other printing store to get an awesome-sized poster to hang up!

These help you to make better design decisions as you can see at a glance if something is already implemented in the framework for you, or if you need to do it yourself/find another library.

alt text

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A classic Mandelbrot set would be nice. Maybe you could overlay it with the relevant source code or pseudocode in some way.

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We have the programming language history on the wall. This way you can see where all the ideas and concepts have evolved from. To me it's like looking at my family tree.

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the tall office building artistically considered is a link I want to add to the discussion as it is an essay which captures the thoughts and ideas of the man, Louis H. Sullivan, who coined the phrase, "Form follows function". I find it to be very relevant and specially the thoughts in it about halfway through the essay are a must read for any engineer. Thoughts which are true even hundred years since the essay, thoughts like,

The man who designs in the spirit and with the sense of responsibility to the generation he lives in must be no coward, no denier, no bookworm, no dilettante. He must live of his life and for his life in the fullest, most consummate sense. He must realize at once and with the grasp of inspiration that the problem of the tall office building is one of the most stupendous, one of the most magnificent opportunities that the Lord of Nature in His beneficence has ever offered to the proud spirit of man.

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Not to be taken as is, but maybe a source of inspiration: Éric Lévénez's Unix history has already been used as a work of art.

Another possibility would be Apollo 11 source code.

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+1 for Apollo 11 source code. Absolutely does it. The Unix history is too huge and a lot of information than can be processed or explained in a gaze. Thanks a lot. –  kumar Sep 28 '10 at 9:42

I don't have a good link but how about the "linux kernel map" (here or this one)?

Or a nice piece of naked CPU? (is that CPU pr0n?)

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I would look to 2 sources - XKCD and The Oatmeal

Both have some really funny posters you could use and are definitely relevant to programming.

The other one would be 27slashB, but you can only buy t-shirts and tops on that site. Which is a real shame - a poster of a 7-legged spider would be killer.

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Some poster that prints Hello World in a gazillion of different programming languages (source)

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Load a picture of yourself in IE6. Print screen and frame it. Give it to your grandkids to remind them that, no matter how difficult things get, they've got it easy compared to what you had to deal with.

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My very first thought: DeCSS. People have done some really nice artistic things that are, at the same time, pointed social commentary. That might be a political bombshell for Americans, I suppose?

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