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Capturing and replaying console/terminal sessions with script and scriptreplay

Have you ever wondered how you can easily capture a console session on Linux (and probably most other Unix-like OSes) without the need for special video recording software?

Here's how: you can use the script(1) command (part of the bsdutils package).

  • Start the script command. Without parameters the sessions will be logged to a file called typescript. You can also supply a filename on the command line: script mysession.log.
  • Type whatever you want to record...
  • End the recording session with exit or CTRL-d.
  • You can now view the file with less -r mysession.log (it contains line feeds, escape sequences etc., so a simple text viewer will probably display garbage). You can even print it with lpr(1). Or simply display it on the terminal with cat mysession.log.

An even cooler feature is that you can replay a script with the correct timing information:

  • First you have to also record the timing information using the -t switch: script -t 2>mysession.timing mysession.log.
  • You can then replay the script: scriptreplay mysession.timing mysession.log.

See the script(1) and scriptreplay(1) manpages for more details.

I ordered the new video iPod today

Yes, that's right. I have ordered one of those shiny new video iPods today.

I was never impressed too much by all this Apple hype going on all around me. In fact, I have never owned any Apple product (no iPod {photo|nano|shuffle|*}, no powerBook, no iBook, no iMac, no Mac mini). Until now. I simply couldn't resist to replace my 256 MB noname MP3 player with the full-blown 30 GB of the iPod (the 60 GB version costs way too much for my taste). See the specs for more technical details on the new iPod.

Apart from the usual iPod features you all know, this one's supposed to be thinner, can display photos and (the major improvement) videos. Yes, it's only 320x240, but it's videos. This thing will initiate a huge video blogging / videocasting wave, and those vlogs will soon become as popular as podcasts are today, I'm sure.

I hope to get my hands on that thingy in a bit more than a week (shipping takes a few days, it seems). I already have a lot of things on my mind, which I'm gonna do with it:

  • listen to a huge bunch of podcasts
  • watch various vlogs (btw, older models can play videos, too, if you ask nicely)
  • store some photos on it to show off to relatives and friends
  • record various stuff using the built in 44.1 kHz stereo recorder (think podcasting, for example)
  • try out some of those 50 fun things to do with your iPod
  • install iPodLinux / podzilla on it (you've been waiting for this, haven't you?). The new video iPod is not (yet) supported, so I might contribute a few patches, but don't take my word for it.
  • oh, and I might use it to listen to music from time to time, too ;-)

If you have any suggestions for more geeky things I could be (ab)using it for (think john the ripper on iPod and similar things), don't hesitate to write a comment! Hm, I might port bb to the iPod if nobody beats me to it...

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