Sunday, December 28, 2003

Weathering the Storm

One of the first uses of the Internet was to get the weather forecast, rather than waiting ten minutes for it to pop up on the radio. If you had telnet, you could do $ telnet 3000 and get a text weather report from Weather Underground.

That ability still exists, of course, but it's easier now. Bundled with the expect package is usually a script called weather. Running, e.g., $ weather bwi gives you the forecast for Baltimore. You can even manipulate this Perl text widget example to pop up the widget on your desktop without bringing up an xterm.

Fedora Core didn't install the expect RPM package by default, but it is included in the distribution. The text widget requires the Gtk-Perl RPM, also available in Fedora Core, but not included in my initial install.