display hack


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display hack

(graphics)
A program with the same approximate purpose as a kaleidoscope: to make pretty pictures. Famous display hacks include munching squares, smoking clover, the BSD Unix "rain(6)" program, "worms(6)" on miscellaneous Unixes, and the X "kaleid(1)" program. Display hacks can also be implemented without programming by creating text files containing numerous escape sequences for interpretation by a video terminal; one notable example displayed, on any VT100, a Christmas tree with twinkling lights and a toy train circling its base. The hack value of a display hack is proportional to the aesthetic value of the images times the cleverness of the algorithm divided by the size of the code. Synonym psychedelicware.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)
References in periodicals archive ?
Supercade, published this fall by MIT Press, is essentially an encylopedic pictorial history of video games and the hardware behind them, but it treats its subject as an "art form." The text is laden with aesthetic evaluations of game graphics and packaging whose influence on contemporary artists, according to Burnham, is underappreciated: "especially." She notes, "when early computer games like 'display hacks' Bouncing Ball and the Minskytron and interactive games like Tennis for Two and Spacewar!