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

  twirling baton
   n.
  
      [PLATO] The overstrike sequence -/|\-/|\- which produces an animated
      twirling baton. If you output it with a single backspace between
      characters, the baton spins in place. If you output the sequence BS SP
      between characters, the baton spins from left to right. If you output BS SP
      BS BS between characters, the baton spins from right to left. This is also
      occasionally called a twiddle prompt.
  
      The twirling baton was a popular component of animated signature files on
      the pioneering PLATO educational timesharing system. The archie Internet
      service is perhaps the best-known baton program today; it uses the twirling
      baton as an idler indicating that the program is working on a query. The
      twirling baton is also used as a boot progress indicator on several BSD
      variants of Unix; if it stops, you're probably going to have a long and
      trying day.
  

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

  twirling baton
  
      The overstrike sequence -/|\-/|\- which produces an
     animated twirling baton.  If you output it with a single
     backspace between characters, the baton spins in place.  If
     you output the sequence BS SP between characters, the baton
     spins from left to right.  If you output BS SP BS BS between
     characters, the batton spins from right to left.
  
     The twirling baton was a popular component of animated
     signature files on the pioneering PLATO educational
     time-sharing+system.++The+"{archie">time-sharing system.  The "{archie" Internet service is
     perhaps the best-known baton program today; it uses the
     twirling baton as an idler indicating that the program is
     working on a query.
  
     [{Jargon File]
  
     (1995-02-23)
  

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