phosphor man page on DigitalUNIX
phosphor - simulates an old terminal with long-sustain phosphor
phosphor [-display host:display.screen] [-window] [-root] [-install]
[-visual visual] [-font font] [-scale int] [-ticks int] [-delay usecs]
The phosphor program draws text on the screen in a very large pixel‐
lated font that looks like an old low resolution dumb tty. The pixels
flare and fade out as if the phosphor was very long-sustain.
phosphor accepts the following options:
-window Draw on a newly-created window. This is the default.
-root Draw on the root window.
Install a private colormap for the window.
Specify which visual to use. Legal values are the name of a
visual class, or the id number (decimal or hex) of a specific
The X font to use. Phosphor can take any font and scale it up
to pixellate it. The default is fixed.
How much to scale the font up: in other words, the size in real
pixels of the simulated pixels. Default 6.
The number of colors to use when fading to black. Default 20.
The speed of the terminal: how long to wait between drawing
each character. Default 50000, or about 1/20th second.
The command to run to generate the text to display. This
option may be any string acceptable to /bin/sh. The program
will be run at the end of a pipe, and any characters that it
prints to stdout will be printed on phosphor's window. The
characters will be printed artificially slowly, as per the
-delay option above. If the program exits, it will be launched
again after 5 seconds.
Note that phosphor is not a terminal emulator: programs that
try to directly address the screen will not do what you might
expect. Phosphor merely draws the characters on the screen
left to right, top to bottom. Lines wrap when they reach the
right edge, and the screen scrolls when characters reach the
In other words, programs like fortune(1) will work, but pro‐
grams like top(1) won't.
Here's a good trick, to get phosphor to display recent web
phosphor -program \
'wget -qO- http://webcrawler.com/cgi-bin/SearchTicker'
DISPLAY to get the default host and display number.
to get the name of a resource file that overrides the global
resources stored in the RESOURCE_MANAGER property.
wget(1), X(1), xscreensaver(1)
Copyright © 1999 by Jamie Zawinski. Permission to use, copy, modify,
distribute, and sell this software and its documentation for any pur‐
pose is hereby granted without fee, provided that the above copyright
notice appear in all copies and that both that copyright notice and
this permission notice appear in supporting documentation. No repre‐
sentations are made about the suitability of this software for any pur‐
pose. It is provided "as is" without express or implied warranty.
Jamie Zawinski <email@example.com>, 27-Apr-99.
X Version 11 30-Oct-99 XScreenSaver(1)
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