Recently, I wanted to convey to a non-technical friend how easy it is to build file transfer tools. I remembered Ed Felten’s TinyP2P from 2004 (!!), small enough that it could be printed on a single piece of paper or a T-shirt.
I’m looking for other useful tools that are similarly small: something that could fit on an artistically-arranged poster or a T-shirt, effectively turning that thing into a way to show how little code it can take to write something impactful and useful, even if a little obtuse and user-unfriendly.
My next target is to find an audio codec that is similarly succinct. The input would probably be PCM audio ripped straight from a CD or recorded from the airwaves using software-defined radio with a goal of achieving a highest compression possible with the smallest code size. The goal would be to use only what’s included in the standard distribution of a language - no network connectivity allowed, just like TinyP2P. I think enough languages’ standard library ships with zlib that it might be enough but maybe there are techniques achievable compress audio better than zlib.