File: bl.1

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.\" Copyright (c) 1994 - 1996 Greg Hankins <greg.hankins@cc.gatech.edu> 
.\" This program is distributed according to the Gnu General Public License.
.\" See the file COPYING in the source directory.
.\"
.\" Format with: tbl bl.1 | nroff -mandoc | col | more
.\"
.Dd February 17, 1996
.Dt BL 1
.Os Linux
.Sh NAME
.Nm bl
.Nd blinkenlights: blink keyboard LEDs 
.Sh SYNOPSIS
.Ar bl
.Op Fl rlbckNCS 
.Op -d delay 
.Ar device
.Sh DESCRIPTION
.Nm bl
blinks the keyboard LEDs: the Num Lock, the Caps Lock, and the Scroll Lock.
.Pp
The options are:
.Bl -tag -width flag
.It Fl l
lights blink from left to right.
.It Fl r
lights blink from right to left.
.It Fl b
lights bounce back and forth.  This is the default mode.
.It Fl c
lights converge to the center, ie blink the Num and Scroll Lock, then the Caps Lock.
.It Fl k
all LEDs blink randomly. 
.It Fl N
only Num Lock LED blinks.
.It Fl C
only Caps Lock LED blinks.
.It Fl S
only Scroll Lock LED blinks.
.It Fl d 
delay
between blinks.  The delay must be given in microseconds.  The default delay 
is 125000 microseconds.  Use this option to speed up, or slow down the blinking.
.It Ar device
device without the "/dev/" that you are logged in on.  These can only be 
virtual console devices.  If you are running X, use the virtual console
that the X server is running on as the device.   
.Sh EXAMPLE
bl -k -d 100000 tty3
.Pp
Run blinkenlights on tty3, with a delay of 100000 microseconds, and blink
the LEDs randomly.
.Sh HISTORY
(from the jargon file, available on ftp://prep.ai.mit.edu/pub/gnu)
.Pp
:blinkenlights: /blink'*n-li:tz/ n. Front-panel diagnostic lights
on a computer, esp. a {dinosaur}.  Derives from the last word
of the famous blackletter-Gothic sign in mangled pseudo-German that
once graced about half the computer rooms in the English-speaking
world.  One version ran in its entirety as follows:

              ACHTUNG!  ALLES LOOKENSPEEPERS!  Das computermachine
     ist nicht fuer gefingerpoken und mittengrabben.  Ist easy schnappen
     der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitzensparken.
     Ist nicht fuer gewerken bei das dumpkopfen.  Das rubbernecken
     sichtseeren keepen das cotten-pickenen hans in das pockets muss;
     relaxen und watchen das blinkenlichten.

This silliness dates back at least as far as 1959 at Stanford
University and had already gone international by the early 1960s,
when it was reported at London University's ATLAS computing site.
There are several variants of it in circulation, some of which
actually do end with the word `blinkenlights'.

In an amusing example of turnabout-is-fair-play, German hackers
have developed their own versions of the blinkenlights poster in
fractured English, one of which is reproduced here

                                ATTENTION
     This room is fullfilled mit special electronische equippment.
     Fingergrabbing and pressing the cnoeppkes from the computers is
     allowed for die experts only!  So all the "lefthanders" stay away
     and do not disturben the brainstorming von here working
     intelligencies.  Otherwise you will be out thrown and kicked
     anderswhere!  Also: please keep still and only watchen astaunished
     the blinkenlights.
.Sh BUGS
When run on virtual consoles under older kernel versions (1.1.64 and older), 
the state of the Caps Lock and Num Lock changes with the LED.
There is no problem if you are running X windows.
.Sh AUTHOR 
Greg Hankins <greg.hankins@cc.gatech.edu>
.Sh COPYRIGHT
Copyright (C) 1994 - 1996 Greg Hankins

bl is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public
License as published by the Free Software Foundation;
either version 2, or (at your option) any later version.

bl is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty
of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.
See the GNU General Public License for more
details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public
License along with bl; see the file COPYING.  If not,
write to the Free Software Foundation, 675 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.