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

  display hack
   n.
  
      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 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 esthetic value of the
      images times the cleverness of the algorithm divided by the size of the
      code. Syn. psychedelicware.
  

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

  display hack
  
      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.
  
     [{Jargon File]
  
     (1995-05-10)
  

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