For some reason, I always found this to be a really comfortable color scheme. This week I realized why. While switching to it, I was thinking of it as my "midnight" color scheme. That rung a bell and for some reason it made me think more specifically of something about pinball at midnight.
And that's when I realized...
It was the old Apple ][ palette! The machines of my childhood that I had learned to program on! No wonder it felt so familiar and comfortable. It also explains why I gravitated towards slightly desaturated, less pure colors; they were a better match for how the colors usually appeared on all those monitors that always seemed to be cranked up to maximum brightness.
Incidentally, that Emacs screen shot is also showing off my very own programming font made from scratch in Fontforge. But that's a topic for another post.