Judy Malloy
Implementing YOU.BAS on Windows 7


YOU! is an interactively created, computer program generated data structure that simulates an intimate relationship between two people.

Participants were asked to "think about someone you might be in love with, are in love with or are no longer in love with. Write a *short* sentence addressed to that person."

Contributions were immediately sorted by a computer program, written in BASIC -- YOU.BAS c 1991 Judy Malloy - for IBM compatible computers -- which made judgments about the length and the content of the sentences and inserted them into an array. The program placed short sentences that it "thought" were indicative of the first flowering of a relationship at the beginning. It considered all long sentences to be indicative of the full communication that takes place in an established relationship and placed them in the middle. Short sentences that it thought indicated disintegration of the relationship were placed at the bottom of the structure. The program also contained a Jesse Helms filter which generated word substitutions.

After each new entry, the program printed the array on the computer screen with the new sentence included. If the author of the new sentence chose to be credited, the computer also added his or her name to the array.

Historical Context

Encouraging text-friendly authoring that incorporated commented code, BASIC was important in the early stages of development of new media writing. It was used by Gregory Yob to create Hunt the Wumpus and by Scott Adams to create the "adventure virtual machine" for a series of early "Adventure Games", as well as by bpNichol to create First Screening. I used BASIC to create the Apple II and IBM PC versions of Uncle Roger. (which I also programmed online with UNIX shell scripts)

The creation of interactive generative text works harkens back to Christopher Strachey's 1952 love letter generator to which YOU! makes reference in its subject matter. Interactively created collaborative works -- such as Sonya Rapoport's Shoe-Field and works created by the group of artists and writers associated with Art Com Electronic Network [1] -- were a part of the environment in which I was working in the eighties and early 90's. In the more arduous process of creating hypertext literature, the fun of interactive collaborative text creation was a welcome co-project with the more difficult hypertext literature, The Yellow Bowl, and narrative data structure, Wasting Time, I was writing in the early 1990's.

You! is a classic work of late BASIC-era interactive generative text which was very effective in gallery situations because viewers could add their own sentence and immediately see their words placed in the array, their name in the credits, and also in some cases receive a printout of the array that contained their sentence.

Because it was exhibited at the Sao Paolo Biennial, there are quite few sentences in Portuguese. Although in the online version, this disrupts the flow of the work for English speakers, I felt that it was important to allow people to participate in their own language. This was an Internet issue at the time this work was created because of the dominance of English.

The final YOU! is multilingual and works best as a printed text art array. However, in 1991, the screen version was also visually effective because of the full screen and the glowing yellow or green text on black screen. Speed of text display could be controlled with the "SPEED=" command.

Preparing the Program and Files

  1. create a directory, such as gwbasic
  2. using wordpad or notepad, cut and paste the program at http://www.well.com/user/jmalloy/you/you_basic.html and save it as a text file named YOU.BAS in the directory gwbasic. (or whatever you called it)
  3. make the following changes to the program

    _at each "FILE$ =" statement
    add the .txt extension to the filename
    ie FILE$ = "you1"
    should be FILE$ = "you1.txt"
    This is because Windows now automatically adds .txt to files saved as .txt files. If you have access to DOS on your system, it is also possible to use "copy" to create files without the .txt extention. (copy intro1.txt intro1) If you do this, you do not need to add ".txt" to the FILE$ statements in the program.

    _If you want to activate the program's Jesse Helms Filter, replace the data statements that have been "filtered" in lines 310 - 316 with words of your own choosing. These are the words that will be replaced, if they are entered in the program. Replace the word "filter" in lines 329 - 339 with words that the program will choose at random to substitute for the Jesse Helms filtered words.

    _make any other changes you would like to make (such as calling the sound routine less often)

    _save the program as YOU.BAS

  4. Page down to the files, make a separate text file for each file on the page, and put these files in the same directory as GWBASIC and YOU.BAS

    _If you prefer to start with a blank YOU!, you can make a blank file and add your own sentences at the prompt. But it will best to create a blank .txt file for each file that the program calls.

    _Note that the information in the current files was entered by usenet users and gallery participants, and because the work was shown at the Sao Paulo Biennial, some of the sentences are in Portuguese.

    _By the time the work had been shown in three exhibitions, it was quite long. The current (original) program first displays each sentence individually and then displays the whole array. The part of the program that displays each individual entry by itself can be eliminated if you wish to speed up the display.

    _Originally, it was possible to turn the printer on within GWBASIC and in some gallery situations, each participant received a printout of the array.

Running the Work

  1. download GWBASIC which is available from several sources on the Internet

  2. create a directory for DOSBOX, such as dosbox download DOSBOX at http://www.dosbox.com
    and put it in a this directory.
    Create a desktop icon for DOSBOX

  3. click on the DOSBOX icon
    when you see the Z: prompt,
    type mount c c:\gwbasic
    or sometimes mount c c:gwbasic will work

  4. type C:
    type dir to make sure you are in gwbasic
    type gwbasic
    at the prompt in gwbasic
    type run "YOU.BAS"
    you will need to include the quotes

  5. You! displays better if you expand the DOSBOX screen to full screen
    This is done by pressing alt and return
    The same action returns the screen to its smaller size.

The Files for YOU!

Note that originally the program started with blank files, (except for "intro1") and each file gathered data as the work traveled to different venues. Thus to make a new array, it would be necessary to create blank files with the same names as the files here and then enter new sentences.

165 file$ = "intro1" 

This is an introductory file.
The original read something like this:


                    conceived and programmed by 
                          Judy Malloy
YOU! is an interactively created data structure that simulates an
intimate relationship between two people.  To participate
        Think about someone you might be in love with, 
        are in love with or are no longer in love with.  
        Write a *short* sentence addressed to that person. 

840 CLS: FILE$ = "you1"


900 CLS: FILE$ = "you2"
                         You have nice eyes.  
                         May I kiss you?  
                         I love you.  
                         Where are you?  
                         I want you with me. 
                         See you soon. 
                         eu amo a arte 
                         Sound good?
970 FILE$ = "you3"
                    May I touch your hair? 
                    I like you like that.
                    Do you like stock car racing? 
                    You light up my life.
                    You will be going away today.
                    That's a great line you have.
                    Did you ever name your cat?
                    WOW! Does that feel good!
                    Done Done Suki-ni Natchaune
                    Why d't you listen to me? 
                    I like you! Do I like you?
                    Thanks for the time...
                    Please wear that pink shirt.
                    Simplicity is beautiful
                    ok, voc^ \ venceu milk shake.
                     (kitchen table)  you

1060 FILE$ = "you4"
               Thank you for the parmesan cheese.  
               I like your pea-green corduroy pants.  
               I see your eyes at night in dreams.  
               Last night, your car was in my driveway.  
               What is your religious affiliation?  
               I miss you more than you can ever know. 
               I really have a fun time with you 
               You are an endless source of amusement. 
               Gracias por tenerme tanta paciencia.  
               Did you make it back to Paris? 
               I wish you would answer my letters. 
               I love you, but you talk too much! 
               You're my conduit to the great unknown! 
               I wanna sail on my LIBERA VITA! 
               ACONTECEU...CARINHO, SONHO....TESAO.... 
               Life has no meaning without you  
               You are the only reason of my life.

1170 FILE$ = "you5"
          I love the doppler sound you make when you swim. 
          You touch lightly, lightly each day in peace.  
          I love waking up feeling your body against mine. 
          I would go tonight, if I knew you would be there. 
          maybe we'll have sex next week, Lady Remington. 
          People say my face changes when I say your name  
          Would you like to come and see my etchings? 
          Sometimes, you make me feel like crying. 
          I really love you!  Do I really love you?  
          Your face on Sundays on Cal Football highlights. 
          You are the muse who inspires our allucinations. 
          We will be happy while we stay together.  
          Do you to drink a guarana champagne with me?  
          Que me desculpe a ousadia de um bem querer. 
          So'  te  esqueerei  quando  o  sol  apagar. 
          I am sitting by the phone waiting for your ring. 
          i love you. i love you, but you love me?

1190 FILE$ = "you5a"
     I adore the way you move your body when you dance.
     Your big, long, penetrating (pony) stays on my mind.
     I don't want to escape the grasp of your smoldering eyes.
     Hey, maybe we should quit fooling around and ahhhhhhh.... 
     Take me for a LONG ride in your Honda, I'm tired of short trips.
     Your body writhes to the rhythm of immanent pleasure. 
     No matter where you put your shoes, I always trip over them.
     An ocean away, where the sun's not set, you're having lunch.
     No matter where you put your shoes, I always trip over them.
     Art is the biggest manifestation of this feeling - love.
     To perceive the divine self is to go beyond logic.
     Your shirt was unbuttoned at the top when I stood behind you.
     You are Spring and I am Fall,  even so I want you all.
     Every loved person is a bright star in our universe.
     It was warm in the back seat of your older brother's car.

1300 FILE$ = "middle"

Souvent en ce moment, memoire du Lac Tahoe, cotton blanc contre ton
ventre, rocher sous nos fesses et puis....
As I drifted into the deep volcanic fires of your eyes, my soul was
absorbed by your hunger.
The note that you taped to the refrigerator door fell on the floor, and
I stepped on it by mistake.
You have relieved my soul of guilt and opened my heart to freedom.
Have you noticed that dogs dream? Have you noticed dogs' dreams?  Would
you like to be a dog's dream? Would you like to be a dream dog? 
my kinky twinky's black & blue, and fits in the handcuff and the
handbag for you.
The blood, broken glass, and cardboard faded away, and there you were.
You were unforgettable soft white magic, magical beginning and
mysterious breaking.
I wished you would throw away those cheap smelly bracelets, now I miss
them as much as licking the cream from your face at night.
Your short black hair reminds me of her short black hair, but the
differences outweigh....I'm so happy when you're here!
Kiss me, Hold me, Touch me  It is no use crying over split tty driver
Estou morrendo de saudades.  Nao vejo a hora de estarmos juntos aqui.
You can leave your clothes in the middle of the room and your underwear
on the ceiling fan, I'll still care.
Ggod dddamn I wish I'd kissed kissed you-- though bbeing held was enough
I'm in love with you (instant LOVE!!!!) and your PROJECT!!!...  and this
is serious.
Who can see the invisible can get the impossible.....Believe, you will
get it.
I love all my friends.  Those that have helped in the most difficult
times of my life.  And they keep helping me.
The love I have for all of you is stronger than the love I have to
my own family.
I love you very much.  Is that dog going to get in bed with us every
How short can be the distance between us, and how far at the same
time?  Like a computer communication!
A mysterious connection of love links people and things, and decreases
distances and makes people surpass fronteirs and get here. This is a
human feeling.  Peace for you.
Last night as I lay under the warm blankets, you climbed in beside me,
and I felt your cold foot on my thigh.
o prescrutar de nossas falanges usurpou a intimidade de nossa poesia,   
mesmo que provida do mesmo afeto.
They have painted the sky, they have painted the sea, but they never
could paint the shining of your eyes.
If by chance you aren't fall in love by me no problem I have been fall in
love by you in the same manner.
Ya better know that!!!  I'm heading for Germany on Sat................
te  amo  muito  meu  amor ,    eu nao  posso  ficar  sem  voce,
voce  faz  parte da  minha  vida .
I'll never forget the words you said when you walked into my kitchen and
saw the dirty dishes piled beside the sink.
na verdade, nem te li direito, mas gostei.   o acaso me coloca sob teus
olhos. e vice-versa.    n~ao acredito na gratuidade do acaso e atribuo
a ele uma intencionalidade. mas a mensagem eh outra. veja:   se voce tem
um parafuso a menos, nao se defenda.   te apertarei com minha chave... de
fenda.   tiago araripe, sao paulo
Everytime I want talk with you, you are in the basement with your
Sou um com voce. Nao nos vemos, mas ja estamos intimamente ligados
I like your diamond earring and your lopsided smile when you look at me.
por supoesto el amor intercambiado / es la forma de passion platonica
onde / la verbalizacion non debe existir como / forma de un tiempo
imprescindibel para / el refluxo emocional ponerse en tierra /
firme  e que posammos mirar las personas / amadas como a nos miesmos.
I can read empty words and I can write them too, but I know you are there
behind, behind me.
claudia b, claudia b, claudia b    qualche giorno io ti vedro', tu mi 
vedrai   juntos com Paolo e Rebeca    without any further scaring dream
alguem muito especial    e me sinto presa por essa limitaXa~o do amor; 
gostaria como disse STING de conhecer todas as pessoas do mundo
- e acrescentando amar - amar voce tambem.
I'll never forget that moment in the rest room in San Jose when I first
saw your (potted plant).
Oh Age Of Aquarius ! I wonder what Love will bring along.  Will Thou be
the Universal Remedy?!
When I got home from work, I couldn't believe that you had forgotten to
take out the garbage again.
You are shapeless and complete in your possibilities as you belong to
the whole. Be part of it...
pode nao parecer, mas essa ainda e' uma boa base para se comec,ar 
tudo outra vez
Have you ever considered whether or not you wish to have children, and
if so how many do you want?
You are the finest example of intelligence combined with gentleness that
I have ever experienced.
At first I liked your University of California Marching Band Centenial
Recording, but as time went on, I was surprised that you played it so
Na tentativa louca/ de tentar dominar/ o mundo/ o homem/ tamben/ se
destro/ i.
Antes a du'vida / de que me ama / Do que a certeza / que me odeia.
I want to tatoo your name on my biceps.  Or my name on your biceps.
What the hell am I going to do with you, for you, against you, to you?
Kate, I'll always adore you and I know I can never hold you.

1320 FILE$ = "you6a"

     If you were only half the woman you pretended to be.
     You make my head swim like a 3 lb. fish in a 2 gallon tank.
     I'm burning in the passions of your frigid desire.
     I'm so miserable without you dear, it's just like having you here.
     Get out of New York!  It's eating you and I'm jealous!
     These days of separation from your eyes and lips can kill. 
     Now you are just a faint scream in my City of Forgetness.
     Por que as vezes e' ta~o dificil expressar seus sentimentos?... 
1450 FILE$ = "you6"

          Why did you buy a semi-automatic weapon?
          You never want to talk about conceptual art.
          I think that nothing is better than you.
          You're not the person I thought you were.
          Talking with you, I wish you were older.
          You don't love me, and I love you for it.
          Take your QUEEN IDA tapes and get out.

1620 FILE$ = "you7"

               Who was that man you were talking to? 
               Are you going to feed the cats?
               It's your turn to wear the handcuffs.
               Our hardware is not compatible.
               Don't    you    cry    two    night.

1810 FILE$ = "you8"
                    You forgot my birthday.
                    Your zipper is stuck.
                    Tu es un communist dactylo.
                    Are those your smelly socks?
                    You take the trash out!
                    Are you leaving town forever?
                    Texas where are you?
                    Where the HELL did you go? 

2020 FILE$ = "you9"
                         Where are you?
                         You're a user.
                         Why the torture?
                         You (potted plant)!

2250 CLS: FILE$ = "you10"

2690 FILE$ = "credits"
                    Judy Malloy, Producer 
                    Ray Chung
                    Roger Malina
                    Cliff Pickover
                    Fred Truck
                    Daniel Platt
                    Sonya Rapoport 
                    Steve Mann 
                    Sean Malloy
                    Andrew Garton
                    Anna Couey
                    David Gaw
                    Carl Loeffler
                    Sue Harris and Phillip Bannigan 
                    Cyber Encounters (ACEN at N.Y.U.)
                    The Normals
                    Ray Gallon
                    Jamie E. Vargas
                    Carolina Pinzon Cortes 
                    Michael McCool
                    Adele Ponty
                    Mark Hayes
                    Matt Wrbican 
                    Timothy Anderson 
                    James Kocher
                    Alex Zbyslaw
                    Jim Logue
                    Sally Sorrel
                    Jun Ebihara
                    Anna Couey 
                    Fabian Free 
                    Rick Innis 
                    Holly N. Kilheffer
                    Rohan Hawthorne
                    Doktor Pete
                    Artur Matuck
                    Jesse Cohn
                    REFLUX (at the Sao Paolo Bienal)
                    Sonia Nakano   
                    Celia Paiva   
                    Paolo Lyra  
                    Patricia G. da Silva  
                    Cristinia Marcello  
                    Theomaria Alves  
                    Nicole Reiss  
                    Natividad Pereira  
                    Fabiano de Oliveira Gomes  
                    Wagner Camargo Martinez  
                    Cid Luiz Bertelli Jr.  
                    Roberto de Oliveira Santos  "Bob"
                    Gracias Hermano
                    THE COMPUTER  
                    marina helena pimentel hodgkin  
                    doraci f. gonalves 
                    Beth Angelica 
                    roberto smeraldi
                    angela saboya 
                    Simone Menezes de Faria 
                    Sandra Jansen 
                    Silvana Jacques Ibrahim 
                    Christine Syrgiannis 
                    Denise Stela Bruni
                    Heloisa Stela Bruni
                    Jill McAllister
                    Kate McDonnell (Grenade)
                    Candice Cook
                    Aileen Cho
                    Peter Stevens
                    John Carlisle

1. To revisit work done on Art Com Electronic Network, the special issue of Leonardo -- Connectivity: Art and Interactive Telecommunications, Roy Ascott and Carl Eugene Loeffler, eds, Leonardo 24(2):195-202 -- is recommended.

Conceived and programmed by Judy Malloy, YOU! is a collaborately created, computer-generated data structure that simulates an intimate relationship between two people.

The You! Array