Tue. Jun 15th, 2021

If you read my article about fortune, I mention cowsay and lolcat towards the end of that article. I decided to write another article that expands on cowsay and lolcat usage. A lot of my time working and playing is spent inside or looking at screenfuls of ssh shell sessions. cowsay and lolcat are small programs which do very specialized things. This means a couple of things but it mainly means this: number one, it’s fun, and number two it’s useless. I will expand on these two short programs each in their paragraph. Installing both programs is a snap:

apt install lolcat cowsay

cowsay cowsay is a program that will output a textual picture of a cow with a quote bubble above his head. The text in that quote bubble will be whatever text you ‘piped’ into the cowsay command:

tset@hqdev:/home/tset# echo 'Ron is Cool!' | cowsay

See, a cow with a quote bubble above his head saying something pretty cool (I’m guessing this Ron character must be pretty cool). Nothing too complicated in that. Look at the echo command above. text was ‘echo‘ed and then ‘piped (‘|’ is the pipe character) to the cowsay command. The resulting image is a somewhat comical caricature of a talking cow.

lolcat – Do you remember lolcat? How could you not. One of the oldest and most popular of all memes, loved or hated. Remember that goofy looking Hello Kitty cat head with a Pop Tart body and a rainbow shooting out of its little cat ass. Come on, you gotta remember that. Oh wait, I’m being told that’s Nyan Cat. It has to be a least vaguely familiar. Well the lolcat program is another totally fun yet completely useless program. lolcat will colorize any text piped into it from the Ubuntu command line. How will it color it? It will color it similar to a rainbow, with the colors gradating like a real rainbow.

lolcat and cowsay, two program as completely useless as the article that spawned this one, the article about fortune. Another completely useless yet vital program I have written blog posts about. Have a great day 😉

By rjohnson

Computer Nerd

Leave a Reply