You all probably know that the most important thing on any multi user system is a pretty MOTD. Between some other things in the past couple of weeks I decided to refresh the MOTDs for the galaxy and Seawulf clusters. I discovered 2 awesome applications while compiling the MOTD.

First is a jp2a, it takes a JPG and converts it to ASCII and it even supports color. I used this to render the milky way as part of the galaxy MOTD. While this tool is handy it needs some assistance, you should clean up and simplify the JPGs before you try to convert them.

The second tool is a must for any form of ASCII-art editing. Its called aewan (ace editor without a name). It makes editing a lot easier, it supports coloring, multiple layers, cut/paste/move, and more. Unfortunately it uses a weird format and does not have an import feature, so its PITA to import an already existing ASCII snippet -- cut and paste does work but it looses some information -- like color.

Aewan comes with a sister tool called aecat which 'cats' the native aewan format into either text (ANSI ASCII) or HTML. Below is some of my handy work. Because getting browsers to render text is PITA I decided to post the art-work as an image.
Galaxy MOTD:
galaxy motd
Seawulf MOTD:
seawulf motd
I also wrote a short cronjob which changes the MOTD every 5 min to reflect how many nodes are queued/free/down

One more resource I forgot to mention is the ascii generator. You give it a text string and it returns in a fancy looking logo.

Finally when making any MOTDs try to stick to the max width of 80 and heigh of 24. This way your art work won't be chopped even on ridiculously small terminals.

Debian  LILUG  News  Software  2008-03-02T23:41:22