Handy perl scripts

I write Perl scripts to fill little gaps in my computing life; some of them are very useful.

Unix commands

To use these scripts, you should put them in a directory in your path (for example, $HOME/bin, /usr/local/bin, or /usr/bin, and ensure they are executable (chmod a+x filename).

  • Looking for your friends on shared UNIX systems: mates and lastmates. With this program, you simply put a .matesrc file in your home directory, where each line has a login name, an '=' sign, and a real name. For example:
    # $HOME/.matesrc
    # Your list of friends and what you call them
    Now, you can run the mates command, which informs you which of your friends is currently online, and the lastmates program digs up the 'lastlogs' to state the last time each of your friends was logged in. You may have to tweak mates to the output of your who command.
  • Print out a person's password-file entry in a pretty way with describe.
  • Look up the password file for a specific name with findperson.
  • Easily kill off all your netscape processes at once: kil -9 netscape.
  • alias rot13='perl -pe tr/a-zA-Z/n-za-mN-ZA-M/'
  • Change the window title of your XTerm with xtitle.

General scripts

These are scripts that you wouldn't generally use as unix commands, rather they're more 'scripty' - they generate something from an input, or so. Because this web server executes '.pl' files as server-side scripts, I've changed their suffix to '_pl'. You can rename them once you've looked at them.

  • c00l.pl [readme] turns your text into a parody of 'leet' writing.
  • conspiracy.pl generates random conspiracy theories.
  • Which user group uses the most mail spool space? Find out with mailstats.pl
  • Who posts the most articles with tin? Find out with tinstat.pl

Quick and dirty mailing list system: mailer.pl

You'll have to read the instructions of course, but simply by the use of a .forward file, you can turn your unix account into one or more mailing lists. Warning: this system has no security. If you're looking for a real mailing list system, get Majordomo. If you're looking for a free mailing list, go to Yahoo!.

The Area system

For quite a while in 1997, I wrote a set of perl CGI scripts for a web 'user area' with passwords, user controls and customisation, group ownership, uploading, message boards, and a voting system. However, the people asking for it weren't going to pay up, so it was abandoned. You can help yourself to it.. It doesn't fully work, of course, but it's full of useful code that (mostly) works fine.