The DFM-Deformulator

During the 1991 Wetware conference a demonstration of the "Deformulator" was on display.
What kind of computer program is this?
Chris: It's an utterly useless program. The deformulator is concerned with the composition and analysis of text. Any article or fragment can serve as a sample, and then the program gets to work adding noise to the style of the sample text. Seen at a great distance, the result can strongly resemble the original text. And yet what's there is nonsense. It doesn't look like an excerpt or a quote, but gives an idea of the original text; it conveys an essence of what was once there. The Deformulator is written in Pascal and is based on "Travesty" (Byte 1984). It analyzes the order of characters in the sample text. It notices, for example, that an o can come before another o. It makes this analysis from all the combinations in the sample text. These results are in a large table of all the possible combinations of letters. A text is arbitrarily chosen and then the table is searched and an arbitrary follower is chosen according to the probability distribution in the table. When starting the program, first we enter parameters, which determine how big the product will be and how many letters in a row should be analyzed. If we say two letters, then sheer nonsense comes out. With five or six, one could get caught up in the delusion that this is an authentic text, since fragments of five or six letters from the original keep appearing. The striking thing about the DeForMulator is that the specific signature which every author has remains intact, despite the trip through the noise filter. A text devoid of sense, but with style. When acquainting yourself with the scrolling text, at the first glance you get the same sensation as with the daily and weekly papers. "Oh, that's about Eastern Europe, that's a silly column and there are some assorted reports."
I can give an example of an ADILKNO text which has been through the Deformulator: We multimedia networking of ecology. This arising, which can only temporarily end images careless and it may be they disappointment is a question and sense media surfacementality which evokes images careless and who are world citizen the work as a ment, which, with the work as satellite Theory of the world citizen the machinery. Deleuze and the biographical innocence. This balance between this a question inimical one, which insecurity. This is more that we see a destructed media overwhelmed by the innovations, doom sees that at the moment we seeking back? Or vice versa: puts him into their own immunity of Western society, must the working back for by the overeign media users a third orbit than endangered necessary to be consumer is the new hard and in greate for the pioneers in those we only receiving a destructed with abstrangered plants and in great. From Alice Miller, the media is more the defenselessness waste. Aware. A period of choices. The emancipation freely able to the preying and put technoculture. The impressions, doom sees the diktat of communication. This is being on naked existence, and Guattari would turkey. After the stract to consides the stranger sectors of a ment stop handling information of Western society, must submit in those who have a liftoff.
The Bulletin Board System has been running for the past year.
What can users expect?
Toek: A huge spectrum of possibilities. First of all there's the standard BBS stuff, which is accessible to everyone. Everyone's own mailbox, up- and downloading utilities, games, information, and message areas like Chat, for sale, wanted, etc. Then there are different sub-boards which might be fully run by guest editors and which can be their own complete BBS in themselves. There are now corners for poetry, literarity, graphics, sound and technology. Then there's the network section. This level is only accessible to people who are active in free media/art and technology. Here, of course, you find the latest news about developments in the network itself, an agenda with announcements of manifestations and events, manifestos by writers, artists and organizations. Along with this there's a database, an information file of playgrounds, organizations, artists, videos, CDs, publications, that are coming out in the Netherlands from the margins. We want to expand this database to a European level. We strive to get as complete as possible a picture of the international scene that works with new media and make the collected information accessible for these people. An international netmail area is being worked on. This means that throughout Europe operators of local BBSs set up one message area for the Network. These systems exchange mail packets at night. There are two possible way of using this. One is private: here the user can keep up a correspondence with a user in another country at local rates. The other is public mail. A public message is disseminated to all the connected boards and all the reactions come back to the sender. There are already several of these international networks, but this one is dedicated to free media/art/technology.