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speedometer: n. A pattern of lights displayed on a linear set of
   LEDs (today) or nixie tubes (yesterday, on ancient mainframes).
   The pattern is shifted left every N times the operating
   system goes through its main loop.  A swiftly moving pattern
   indicates that the system is mostly idle; the speedometer slows
   down as the system becomes overloaded.  The speedometer on Sun
   Microsystems hardware bounces back and forth like the eyes on one
   of the Cylons from the wretched "Battlestar Galactica" TV

Historical note: One computer, the GE 600 (later Honeywell 6000) actually had an *analog* speedometer on the front panel, calibrated in instructions executed per second.