aajm: Conspiracy theories abound

There’s definitely something kooky going on with ls vimwiki/ | shuf -n1, because the next title picked is aajm. Between that, aview and bb — and maybe even asciijump from yesterday — there’s some sort of slant toward aalib-based software here.


Not that I’m complaining, it’s just to see three of those titles surface in the space of weeks suggests a lack of randomness. Then again, how can I be sure it’s really random … ? 😕

What you see in the gif there was deliberately slowed; I know when I first showed this some years ago, it was a bit of a drag for a Pentium machine. But on this 1.5Ghz Pentium M, releasing the -d flag sent it spinning into an ASCII blur, and making the results unviewable.

So if you try it on anything newer than a K6, you’re probably going to need to adjust the delay. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 🙂

What I failed to mention last time, is that aside from my usual suggestion for a practical use for aajm, the author has a short list of other ideas — including some very interesting ones, like tying aajm to system load values.

I tried it (look for the -jln flags) and it does make for a very unusual system monitor. My fear though is that on a slower machine, using this as a system monitor might increase the load, which would cause the animation to move faster, which would burden the machine more, which might increase the load, which would cause the animation to move faster, which would … 🙄

The only other thing I feel is worth mentioning, is that under X, you need to specify the curses driver, or it will latch on to a separate window with a different driver. Not that it will make a big difference, but it does cause a little inconvenience.

aajm is worth tinkering with, and a valid addition to a kind of screensaver thingy. If you take it in a different direction and use it as a system monitor or something else, it’s done double duty. Conspiracy theories aside, it’s good to have around. 🙂