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2 definitions found
 for plan file
From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) :

  plan file
   n.
  
      [Unix] On systems that support finger, the .plan file in a user's home
      directory is displayed when the user is fingered. This feature was
      originally intended to be used to keep potential fingerers apprised of
      one's location and near-future plans, but has been turned almost
      universally to humorous and self-expressive purposes (like a sig block).
      See also Hacking X for Y.
  
      A recent innovation in plan files has been the introduction of ?scrolling
      plan files? which are one-dimensional animations made using only the
      printable ASCII character set, carriage return and line feed, avoiding
      terminal specific escape sequences, since the finger command will (for
      security reasons; see letterbomb) not pass the escape character.
  
      Scrolling .plan files have become art forms in miniature, and some sites
      have started competitions to find who can create the longest running,
      funniest, and most original animations. Various animation characters
      include:
  
      +-------------------------------+
      |Centipede:              |mmmmme|
      |------------------------+------|
      |Lorry/Truck:            |oo-oP |
      |------------------------+------|
      |Andalusian Video Snail: |_@/   |
      +-------------------------------+
  
      and a compiler (ASP) is available on Usenet for producing them. See also {
      twirling baton.
  

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) :

  plan file
  .plan
  
      On Unix systems that support finger,
     the ".plan" file in a user's home directory is displayed
     when the user is fingered.  This feature was originally
     intended to be used to keep potential fingerers apprised of
     one's location and near-future plans, but has been turned
     almost universally to humorous and self-expressive purposes
     (like a sig block).  See also Hacking X for Y.
  
     A later innovation in plan files was the introduction of
     "scrolling plan files" which are one-dimensional animations
     made using only the printable ASCII character set, carriage
     return and line feed, avoiding terminal specific escape
     sequences, since the finger command will (for security
     reasons; see letterbomb) not pass the escape character.
  
     Scrolling .plan files have become art forms in miniature, and
     some sites have started competitions to find who can create
     the longest running, funniest, and most original animations.
     A compiler (ASP) is available on Usenet for producing them.
     Typical animation components include:
  
      Centipede:		 mmmmme
      Lorry/Truck:		 oo-oP
      Andalusian Video Snail: _@/
  
     In the mid-1990s WWW home pages largely supplanted .plan
     files, providing a much richer forum for the publication of
     personal minutiae and digital creativity.
  
     See also twirling baton.
  
     [{Jargon File]
  
     (1998-01-16)
  

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