Obscure Message of the day



Yesterday I coded up a quick little project around 3am, my usual coding time, argh.

Spring 2020 I made my own program I called Obscure Instructions, a riff off of (and homage to) Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt's Oblique Strategies. Their deck of cards was considered a deck of inspiration to be able to move forward in one's creative pursuit. They were musicians, a primary audience for the deck, but it was intended for other disciplines as well.


I've long been inspired by their simple deck of cards, and various digital versions exist, from unofficial Hypercard stacks to iOS apps. But my own version is more personal and relevant to myself.

Obscure Instructions

I returned to the project yesterday and made a commandline Message of the Day. The Message of the Day aka motd is a message that appears at startup/login to a shell on Unix systems. Tildes use this, and often have an ascii logo at the top and recent news/messages for users. I made my own little MOTD program to display a random Obscure Instruction.

My list has 145 options. Some are instructions and others are more poetic or oblique :) You'll have to check out the code, linked below.

I wrote it in javascript. I haven't deployed it anywhere yet but am thinking I will soon. I hope this will be one of many programs that can be part of my own minimal OS or TUI distro (is that a thing?) at some point.

obscure-instructions-motd Obscure Instructions MOTD

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