It’s been about a month since I mentioned the aa libraries, and the nifty aafire as a possible screensaver option.
Of course, what aa does for monochrome graphics, the caca libraries do for color.
Install the libraries and depending on your distribution, you’ll get a few nifty tools that do quite a bit.
Speaking for Arch Linux, the cacademo gives a nifty animated showcase, a la some of the scene demos from the late 80s and early 90s. That you can see in the two leftmost screenshots.
The third and fourth are cacaview, which works as an image viewer for the console: Feed it an image, and it will convert it to a colorized ASCII version. There are some rudimentary controls to adjust gamma or dithering, if it makes a difference for you.
The last one is cacafire, the obvious analogue to the aforementioned aafire.
Only one of those screenshots comes from the Solo; as you might imagine, caca is very taxing on video systems, and running the demo, for example, hung the system for a good 30 seconds before I could kill it.
Before this is done, there’s one more thing I should mention.
One thing I didn’t show here is img2txt, which is basically the underpinning for cacaview. Give it an image, it gives you back a chunky text version.
img2txt was the core component in the MyPhotos script from late 2010. Not my finest hour, but it has held up over time.
Which is kind of the way most of these things work: They’re just silly tools until you can apply them to something greater. :)