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Favorite OSS Application #1 and #2- Screen and Irssi

I am going to try something new. I am never good at keeping the motivation on these kinds of posts, so we'll see where this takes me. Lately, my blog has been fairly negative, and for this I appologize. I appologize to my readers at Planet Utah, for those who syndicate me and to those who have stumbled here from some obscure corner of the web. I certainly didn't intend to head that direction. It just sort of went there, you know?

At any rate, I think it would be cool if I just started throwing out Open Source applications on my blog that I use everyday, or at least often. At the bare minimum, I'll have a screenshot and a description of the program. Of course, basic installation tips and configuring might show up as well. You may already be familiar with the application and you may not.

So, to start off, here is a double-shot. My first picks are screen and irssi. First, I'll talk about screen. The best way to describe screen is through a simple example. Let's just say that while at home, you run a console program that you know will take several hours- say a bash script. Then, later during the day, you head to school to catch up on a few things. While there, you decide that you want to check the status of the program. Now, had you launched that program in 'screen', you would just have to 'detach' the screen session and 'reattach' it to your current location. However, if not, there is no way to check the status or monitor the console based program. In other words, 'screen' creates a modular terminal that can be forwarded to any newly created terminal session. You have to play with it to see how cool it trully is.

Irssi screenshot

So, now that screen is up and running, the next program just makes clear sense. Welcome Irssi. First off, Irssi is an IRC chat client that is far superior to any that I have used, including Gaim, XChat and BitchX. For starters, it is loaded with commands. Most are IRC standard, and some are unique to Irssi. Next, which people seem to be aware of, but don't utilize are scripts that can be loaded right into the program. My personal favorite is nicklist, which shows a list of the current nicks in the channel. This is helpful seeing as though Irssi does not have this capability builtin. Lastly, Irssi is configurable with themes, getting it to look the way you want.

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