Your company here — click to reach over 10,000 unique daily visitors

unknownpleasures - Man Page

a waterfall graph of the signal from pulsar PSR B1919+21.


unknownpleasures [--display host:display.screen] [--visual visual] [--window] [--root] [--window-id number] [--delay number] [--count number] [--speed number] [--resolution number] [--amplitude number] [--noise number] [--mask file] [--no-ortho] [--buzz] [--wireframe] [--fps]


PSR B1919+21 (AKA CP 1919) was the first pulsar ever discovered: a spinning neutron star emitting a periodic lighthouse-like beacon. An illustration of the signal received from it was published in Scientific American in 1971, and later in The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Astronomy in 1977, where it was seen by Stephen Morris, the drummer of Joy Division, and was consequently appropriated by Peter Saville for the cover of the band's album "Unknown Pleasures".


--visual visual

Specify which visual to use.  Legal values are the name of a visual class, or the id number (decimal or hex) of a specific visual.


Draw on a newly-created window.  This is the default.


Draw on the root window.

--window-id number

Draw on the specified window.

--delay number

Per-frame delay, in microseconds.  Default: 30000 (0.03 seconds).

--speed number

Animation speed. 2 for twice as fast, 0.5 for half as fast.

--count number

Scanlines (vertical resolution).  Default: 80.

--resolution number

Horizontal Resolution, Default: 100.

--amplitude number

Height of the waves, 0 - 1.0.  Default: 0.13.

--noise number

How noisy the signal is. 2 for twice as noisy, 0.5 for half as noisy.

--mask file

Use the given image file as a clipping mask against the data. A high contrast image of around 256x256 works best. Signal peaks appear in the dark areas.

--ortho | --no-ortho

Whether to use an orthographic projection.

--buzz | --no-buzz

Whether each line should seethe with noise.

--wireframe | --no-wireframe

Render in wireframe instead of solid.

--fps | --no-fps

Whether to show a frames-per-second display at the bottom of the screen.



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.


The window ID to use with --root.

See Also

X(1), xscreensaver(1)


Jamie Zawinski.


6.09-1.fc41 (11-Jun-2024) X Version 11 XScreenSaver manual