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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Employees had 24 hr access to all the machines, with no sign-up sheets!

Blinkenlights – Wikipedia

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.

Check our extensive information on how you still can participate and enjoy the installation in real time all over the world. I could use various colors to show various kinds of memory: May 19, at 1: That set up the Launcher Test Simulator.

This article brings back memories and some tears. This page was last edited on 6 Decemberat 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.

March 12, at 9: Just an example of how memes spread before the Internet.

The tape ran on a teletype machine with a reader. Despite this, a couple of relatively recent computer designs of note have featured programmable blinkenlights that were added just because they looked cool. Once successful there, blinkenlighst test tape was ran and loaded. The venture capitalist’s insistance on avoiding the term computer was based on the stereotype that computers were big and expensive, needing a computer center sin a large staff; by using the term Programmable Data Processor, or PDP, DEC avoided this stereotype.


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?

Offline meant using one of the 2 other standalone teletypes to punch a program onto a paper tape. The obvious reasons cost of wiring, cost of front-panel cutouts, almost nobody needs or wants to interpret machine-register states on the fly anymore are only part of the story. The Jargon File also mentions that Blinkenlkghts hackers have developed their own versions of the blinkenlights poster, in fractured English: Old-time hackers sometimes get nostalgic for blinkenlights because they were so much more fun to look at than a blank panel.

A highlight of my junior high years was a visit to the old mill at DEC headquarters in MaynardMass. Patriot Test Language was written in octal. Pennsylvania Folklore Society Otherwise you will be out thrown and kicked anderswhere!

With the higher processor speeds, a much faster oscilloscope would be needed. 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.

Welcome to Project Blinkenlights

Anything in the top part of the picture meant that the OS was executing code. Low meant the BIOS: September 20, at Preston recites the gem as being posted above photocopiers in offices as a warning not to mess with the machine in the first print reference from More… Contact Us Imprint. Calvin Hsia’s WebLog says: It has been seen on many artifacts of modern office machinery as well, most notably photocopiers.


Das machine ist nicht fer gerfingerpoken und mittengraben…. Blinkenlights is blinmenlights neologism for blinkenights lights usually on the front panels on old mainframe computersminicomputersmany early microcomputersand modern network hardware.

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

In the old days, computers had blinking lights. The main equipment console was a beautiful custom crafted local craftsman named Russworm I think mahogany entertainment center hlinkenlights to match the eqally elegant and large! This term derives from the last word of the famous blackletter -Gothic sign in mangled mock German that once graced many computer rooms in the English-speaking world.

January 28, at 6: The Connection Machine, a 65,processor parallel computer designed in the mids, was a black cube with one side blinkdnlights with a grid of red blinkenlights; the sales demo had them evolving life patterns. Mine was like one of the tall racks, and my teletype looked the same as the one in the picture. The ferrite cores were in a matrix….

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