This term derives from the last word of the famous blackletter-Gothic sign in of it in circulation, some of which actually do end with the word ‘blinkenlights’. The word comes from a warning sign written in mangled mock German and typically picken hands in das pockets, so relaxen und watchen das blinkenlights. Run telnet in the prompt and sit back to watch the show. This is the least productive thing you’ll do all day, but you know.

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Calvin Hsia’s WebLog says: I was on a service call to a moderately large home in central Phoenix to repair a stereo system.

Relaxen und watchen das blinkenlights. What lights? – Calvin Hsia’s WebLog

The output was sent to an interface drawer then to the computer. Such pseudo-German parodies were common in Allied machine shops during and following World War IIand an example photocopy is shown in the Jargon File.

Fingergrabbing and pressing the cnoeppkes from the computers is allowed for die experts only! There are several variants of it in circulation, some of blijkenlights actually do end with the word blinkenlights.

Welcome to Project Blinkenlights | Project Blinkenlights

The Jargon File provides the following etymology: June 9, at The memory was all core memory: Thus having to boot up and load up programs everytime.


June 13, at May 31, at 4: This article brings back memories and some tears. Several computer components, such as the Ballistix Tactical Tracer memory modules [3] from Crucial Technology and the NVidia Titan GTX, [4] have user-controllable lights that can be configured to show useful information, such as the memory capacity used and the temperature of the components.

I learned tons about that architecture, much of which is still applicable today.

In the old days, computers had blinking lights. May 19, at 1: Germans, then as now, had a reputation for being both good with precision machinery and prone to officious notices.


The transmit and receive lights on routers, activity lights on switches and hubs, and other network equipment often blink in visually pleasing and seemingly coordinated ways. Just an example of how memes spread before the Internet. Every year, near the end of the semester, I give a very brief intro to OS starting with a picture of a PDP-8 and a story about my crazy classmates who used to sign up for computer time like a racquet ball court.

Welcome to Project Blinkenlights. With the higher processor speeds, a much faster oscilloscope would be needed.

Stereoscope Our latest project — running from October 4th to 12th in Toronto — was Stereoscope. Then, for decades, computers incorporated arrays of indicator lamps in their control panels, indicating the values carried on the address, data, and other internal busesand in various registers. The main equipment console was a beautiful custom crafted local craftsman named Russworm I think mahogany entertainment center designed to match the eqally elegant and large!


This means the instruction pointer and any memory accesses for data would show on the plot. As such, the sign is generally comprehensible by many English speakers regardless of whether they have any fluency in German. The Connection Machine, a blinkenlibhts parallel computer designed in the mids, was a black cube with one side covered with a grid of red blinkenlights; the sales demo had them evolving life patterns.

Welcome to Project Blinkenlights

More… Contact Us Imprint. Our latest project — running from October 4th to 12th in Toronto — was Stereoscope.

Although blinnkenlights sign might initially appear to be in German and uses an approximation of German grammarit is composed largely of words that are either near-homonyms of English words or in the cases of the longer words actual English words that are rendered in a faux-German spelling.

Very impressive, esp with dimmed room lights! When processing, the patterns would vary quite a bit. But the most fundamental fact is that there are very few signals slow enough to blink an LED these days!