After I discovered the existence of this very wonderful screen program a few months ago, I’d always been trying to use more and more simple command-line / console based programs rather than those GUI heavyweights which both use up resources and clutter my desktop.
At first I learned vim basics via vimtutor, but I gave up using it as a default text editor and still preferred the gedit warmth. But vim was powerful, no doubt, and definitely more faster than moving your mouse around to activate events and work with dialog boxes. But it just didn’t fit well with me that I launch it each time I need to dump some text or write something up quickly. Only while programming something up did I summon its need. The jump to console applications here was not so good!
Next up, I tried the most popular thing screen is famous for, the IRC client called irssi. This one simply blew me away. After all, in an IRC you do nothing with a mouse, all you do is talk with the keyboard, and run commands too with it. So why the GUI, I wondered, and ditched the good old XChat and its various scripts for a much more simple console interface, the mighty irssi. Running it within a screen session gave me more comfort of not having an icon blinking or simply residing on my tray or various other bars and that I could connect to the session anytime I desired. Takes about ~1 MB for one server (irc.freenode.net) with 4 channels auto connected. Jump to console applications for IRC – Very good!
Next up was the media requirements. While video was out of the question, cause I can _never_ give up Mplayer+GUI whatever comes my way, I looked at Console based audio players to satisfy this urge. I did some research on popular and non popular ones and am currently using Plait, which I think is the perfect thing I’d need. Its revolutionary, and is based on a hinting system. It (plaiter) takes about 600~ KB of my RAM for a list of 10 songs. Directly streams them to the audio device or any even an online stream if desired, at no or very less resource costs! An example follows:
$ plait staind not outside
Now this command above will play all songs in my library which are by Staind but will not play those songs matching the name Outside.
Awesome isn't it?
The shift here, for music, is still quite a bumpy one so far since pausing / stopping is a bit tedious but I have made ways for it by mapping my keyboard’s (a Samsung SDM4500P) multimedia keys to its commands. More about this in some other post over time here.
The last thing I’ve shifted to a console application is the beautiful rTorrent client. This client is an amazing one. Its light as irssi, perhaps even lighter, cause its just taking ~1 MB of my RAM and its got all the features of a good client including PEX and DHT in it. Only issue with it is in its torrent list managemen. Its still under heavy and active development with very clean documentation so that shouldn’t be an issue for too long, and am happy with this anyway. Moreover, rTorrent uniquely is different cause it directly transfers from your file-system to the network stack, and vice versa, so very minimal amount of memory is used! Console based application for torrents – fairly good!
I’ll blog about each of these items and more as I encounter simpler alternatives to my major tasks soon here, detailing on how to install them, set them up and other usage details. Very soon.
A final list of software I’ve talked about in this post:
More soon! I’m loving the consoles!