This post is inspired by Austin and Paul who made great presentations about fun things you can do in *nix. I did not know about any of these because apparently I live under a rock.
First off – cowsay. You basically type in a sentence and then an ascii cow has a word bubble with your sentence. However, there are a ton of flags that you can use to change the cow and the representation and the sentence. And you an write your own cowsay file to further customize the cow. This being *nix, you can pipe it into another command – such as lolcats and print your cow with a gradient. I got all this info from Austin – thanks Austin.
Then Paul made a presentation on ponysay and he made a recuse pony file. I am writing this blog post in a van from Phoenix to Tucson, and my friend next to me just said “there is nothing like a recusive pony!” Indeed!.
So this prompted me to look at other fun things and nix easter eggs.
One I remembered from a long time ago is:
This is super old – but if you run it you basically watch an ascii version of starwars.
Figlet – this just gives you big unix ascii fonts- but can be fun to pipe.
If you type :help 42 in vi you get
rig creates random fake people, which actually may be helpful for testing
sl – creates a steam engine – my boys will love it
sudo apt-get install sl
Games in emacs: go to /usr/share/emacs/*/lisp/play and ls. In emacs you can play one of these games with Meta-x so Meta-x life – plays game of life.
While this was a fun diversion, there were a bunch of ‘funny’ unix commands that were in really bad taste and tone def. It makes me realize how some of computing culture needs to change to become more inclusive and empathetic.