Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Funky Software

I hope to Great A'Tuin that y'all know what a lava lamp is. I suspect that everyone with more than a casual interest in this blog knows what the ps and top commands do. Put them all together and whatdoyagot?

LavaPS, a visual description of what's going on in your machine. Take a look at the pictures below. I'm running a Quantum Espresso calculation in the background (tungsten in the perovskite structure, since you ask), so there's plenty of CPU action:

The pinkish blob is the QE calculation, as you could see if you could left-click on it, which you can't. It keeps roughly the same area, representing the amount of memory it is using, but moves around a lot compared to the other running processes, indicating that it is getting most of the CPU time. So lavaps provides a visual map of memory/CPU usage. It's moderately useful, though I really haven't run it in years. I thought of it yesterday and, of course, found the compiled version in the Ubuntu repository — back in the day I had to compile it from source.

Then I had an idea that smacks of, dare I say, hackery — I remembered that, some time ago, I was able to load xnetload into FVWM's buttonbar. Would it work with with lavaps?

Add this line to the the FvwmButtons section of your ~/.fvwm/.fvwmrc file:

*FvwmButtons(2x2, Frame 2, Title lavaps, Swallow(UseOld) "lavaps" 'Exec lavaps &')

You might also have to change the size of the box (I commented out the old geometry):

*FvwmButtons: Geometry 100x550-0-0
# *FvwmButtons: Geometry 100x450-0-0

And here are some shots of of the bar, still with Quantum Espresso running:

Now all we need are a black light and some ... brownies. Yeah, that's it, brownies.