Thursday, 7 October 2010

/usr/bin/tawgo: Instant Geek Cred for Movies

I had this idea a while back. You know how computers in movies are always some sort of interactive brightly-coloured touch-screen kind of deal? (“It’s a UNIX system… I know this!”) And you remember how excited all us techno-geeks got when Trinity used sshnuke to crack the security mainframe system in The Matrix Reloaded?

There should be a utility /usr/bin/tawgo, that’s standard on all Linux distros, that combines the audience appeal of brightly coloured cheese with the geek cred of technical accuracy.

[[email protected]]$ cd /home/dr.evil/
[[email protected]]$ tawgo "PREPARING TO COPY SECRET FILES..."
[[email protected]]$ cp -Rf * /mnt/floppy
[[email protected]]$ tawgo "SECRET FILES COPIED"

[[email protected]]$ tawgo --help

tawgo: Tell Audience What's Going On

Usage: tawgo [option] MESSAGE

Displays MESSAGE in big bright coloured letters, probably in some sort of futuristic animated dialog box.

-a --animation Show cheesy animation
-w --warning Use yellow & black warning stripes
-s --self-destruct Initiate fake countdown sequence
-v --voice Reads MESSAGE in a Female Computer Voice

Use -v -s if you need Female Computer Voice counting down the seconds to our hero's impending destruction.

[[email protected]]$ tawgo "INITIATING SATELLITE ALIGNMENT"
[[email protected]]$ /usr/sbin/comsatctl -a --lat=53.47.6 --lon=1.29.2
[[email protected]]$ tawgo "SATELLITE ALIGNED."
[[email protected]]$ tawgo "BEGINNING FIRING SEQUENCE"
[[email protected]]$ /usr/sbin/comsatctl --target 01 --fire
[[email protected]]$ tawgo -v -s "FIRING SEQUENCE INITIATED"

They’d save a fortune on expensive UI mockups, too – all you’d need is a laptop running Ubuntu and you’ve got your snazzy whizz-bang computer hacker Unix system all ready to go.

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