Log Watching


Very often, you have to keep an eye on a log, or maybe more than one log, and a couple of other things while a long-term simulation is running. The GNU/Linux distributions offer the program watch that allows the periodical execution of a command in the current interactive shell. While watch is convenient, you still have the problem of displaying the needed information in a terminal geometry aware way. Turns out, there are tools to query the terminal geometry and we can use them to write simple, effective, well displayed scripts.


So let us see how we can make BASH somewhat aware of the terminal it runs in.

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The Right Tool


On his blog, Occasionally Sane, my friend Gnuvince tries to make a case for Python as a first programming language. He presents Python with a series of bullets, each giving a reason why Python is a good choice. While I think it may be a good choice pedagogically, it may not be a good pragmatic choice when someone is learning a programming language to find a job, as one of his reader commented.

But I think that betting on a sole language to base a programming career on is about as silly as someone mastering only the hammer looking for a construction job. His limited skills might not permit him to find a job, and even if he finds one, he may be confined to menial, unchallenging tasks. To push the tool analogy further, another workman that masters a wide array of tools will probably be more solicited and appreciated in his work-group, and be lead to more and more complex tasks, and more responsibilities within his group. Programming is very much the same: sometimes, it just takes something else than a hammer, and the right guy for the job is the guy that has the largest toolbox—the one with the Torx screwdriver set.

Image from Wikimedia

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