munching squares
A display hack dating back to the PDP1 (ca. 1962, reportedly discovered by
Jackson Wright), which employs a trivial computation (repeatedly plotting the
graph Y = X XOR T for successive values of T  see HAKMEM items 146148) to
produce an impressive display of moving and growing squares that devour the
screen. The initial value of T is treated as a parameter, which, when
wellchosen, can produce amazing effects. Some of these, later (re)discovered on
the LISP Machine, have been christened "munching triangles" (try AND for XOR and
toggling points instead of plotting them), "munching w's", and "munching mazes".
More generally, suppose a graphics program produces an impressive and
everchanging display of some basic form, foo, on a display terminal, and does
it using a relatively simple program; then the program (or the resulting
display) is likely to be referred to as "munching foos". [This is a good example
of the use of the word foo as a metasyntactic variable.]
Nearby terms:
MUMPS « munch « munching « munching squares »
munchkin » mundane » mung
