blessed-contrib terminal gif

Do you want to feel like a Hollywood hacker or the sort of super-powered sysadmin that always show up in low-budget cable shows?

Then check out blessed-contrib.

Blessed-contrib is a Node.js based terminal utility that can be used to create data-rich command line dashboards using ascii/ansi art and javascript. All sorts of widgets can be created to relay all sorts of “data” (said in an American accent, ofc).

It’s an incredibly detailed and interesting project that, in the right hands, does some marvellous stuff.

But I’m not here to talk about that.

Yup, superficial Sneddon strikes again.

For this week’s ‘something for the weekend’ I’m pimping blessed-contrib’s Hollywood terminal hacker style “demo” mode.

With just a few key strokes you can display a dizzying array of (dummy) data in your terminal — maps, charts, processes, progress bars, graphs… And more! It basically recreates the NORAD command center in the film WarGames on your desktop PC — how cool is that?

Unlike other ‘Hollywood hacker terminal tools (like the infamous ‘Hollywood’) blessed-contrib isn’t solely intended to be a bit of fluff.

No, Blessed-contrib is a real, working and well-respected tool. All of those animated graphs and charts that look so impressive? They can be configured and connected to data so that they actually mean something.

That said, the demo dashboard is perfect to impress tech-phobic parents, to have running in the bokeh’d background of a YouTube video, or for tricking college buddies.

Want to try it out?

If you have NPM and Git installed on your Linux system you can get blessed-contrib “demo” dashboard up and running by issuing the following commands in a terminal emulator of your choice:

git clone https://github.com/yaronn/blessed-contrib.git
cd blessed-contrib
npm install
node ./examples/dashboard.js

To ‘exit’ the dashboard at any time just press Ctrl + C.

Got a utility, game, app, or other suggestion for next week’s #SFTW? Let us know!
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#cli #fluff stuff #something for the weekend