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plan file

plan file: [UNIX] n. On systems that support finger, the
   `.plan' file in a user's home directory is displayed when the user
   is fingered.  This feature was originally intended to be used to
   keep potential fingerers apprised of one's location and near-future
   plans, but has been turned almost universally to humorous and
   self-expressive purposes (like a sig block).  See also
   Hacking X for Y.

A recent innovation in plan files has been the introduction of "scrolling plan files" which are one-dimensional animations made using only the printable ASCII character set, carriage return and line feed, avoiding terminal specific escape sequences, since the finger command will (for security reasons; see letterbomb) not pass the escape character.

Scrolling .plan files have become art forms in miniature, and some sites have started competitions to find who can create the longest running, funniest, and most original animations. Various animation characters include:

Centipede: mmmmme Lorry/Truck: oo-oP Andalusian Video Snail: _@/

and a compiler (ASP) is available on USENET for producing them. See also twirling baton.