Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- This article is about the hacker term. For other uses, see Blinkenlights (disambiguation).
- "This term 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.
- ALLES TURISTEN UND NONTEKNISCHEN LOOKENPEEPERS!
- DAS KOMPUTERMASCHINE IST NICHT FÜR DER GEFINGERPOKEN UND MITTENGRABEN! ODERWISE IST EASY TO SCHNAPPEN DER SPRINGENWERK, BLOWENFUSEN UND POPPENCORKEN MIT SPITZENSPARKSEN.
- DER MASCHINE IST DIGGEN BEI EXPERTEN ONLY!
- IST NICHT FÜR GEWERKEN BEI DUMMKOPFEN. DER RUBBERNECKEN SIGHTSEEREN KEEPEN DAS COTTONPICKEN HÄNDER IN DAS POCKETS MUSS.
- ZO RELAXEN UND WATSCHEN DER BLINKENLICHTEN.
- This silliness dates back to least as far as 1955 at IBM 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".
The quoted text is neither correct German nor English, though a German speaker might find it easier to glean some sense from these convoluted words. The entire humorous point about these signs was their incorrect language. For a roughly equivalent pseudo-English text often found in German computer rooms, see Germish.
The sign is also reported to have been seen on an Electron microscope at the Cavendish Laboratory in the 1950s. Such pseudo-German parodies were common in Allied machine shops during and following WWII.
This word gave its name to several projects, including screen savers, hardware gadgets, and other nostalgic things. Some notable enterprises include Project Blinkenlights and the Blinkenlights Archaeological Institute.
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