The Joy of the CLI


Warning: this entry contains gratuitous geekiness. If command line prompts scare you, look away now.

A couple of days ago, I found a reference to a utility called GeekTool: with a name like that, it couldn't be more attractive to me unless the developer changed the name to ChocolateGeekTool.

It's a PreferencePane which allows you to display logs, the output from a shell command, or an image directly on your desktop. Each item can have a different colour background or font (or have a transparent background so that you can see your desktop picture) , and can be placed anywhere on the screen.

I currently have it set up with my uptime (in turquoise, of course, for that is the colour of uptime), the output of top -ul1, and cat ~/Documents/Notebooks/notes.txt. The latter is a little text file I set up in lieu of Stickies to hold various brief scribblings like phone numbers or reminders. I have an alias set up so that I can quickly add stuff to this file: alias note 'date >> ~/Documents/Notebooks/notes.txt; tee -a ~/Documents/Notebooks/notes.txt > /dev/null' (a handy tip from MacOSXHints). Sweet.