Offline programs (via aliases/functions)


Responding to the challenge set out by Solderpunk this month to develop and share some piece of offline software that is offline-first I thought about what things I open a web browser to find out the answer to that could instead be easily found out through a short program, conversion, or lookup table.

Announcing OFFLFIRSOCH 2024


I do a lot of writing and am frequently using a thesaurus to find better words, particularly when doing writing for school or grant applications. First I looked for thesaurus software in the Void package repository and found mythes. But I couldn't find a good CLI way to interact with it. Then I downloaded the mythes repository and attempted to build its examples but I couldn't make a successful build. I tried a few iterations but ultimately gave up. Next, despite my dislike of the Python packaging environment, I set up a python virtual environment (ugh) and installed cli-thesaurus, then built a fish function wrapper (instead of a Bash alias) since I use fish shell.

function thesaurus --description "find synonyms of words"
  ~/Software/venv/bin/python ~/Software/venv/bin/thesaurus $argv

So now I just need to type: thesaurus word-to-look-up

Is that how you're supposed to make a simple CLI shortcut? I'm not sure, but that's what I did.

Inches to Centimeters

The next one seemed to be so simple that I thought I'd use fish shell's math command.

I often need to convert between inches and centimeters because Americans are insane and everywhere else uses centimeters and I work on bicycles which could have parts indicated one way or the other and I need to check they will work together.

The multiplication symbol needs to be escaped since it is the glob character in the shell. Here's the form it should take to convert an argumnt from inches to centimeters with the standard conversion rate of 2.54 centimeters per inch.

math $argv \* 2.54

And the conversion from centimeters to inches.

math $argv \* 1/2.54

So I made two fish functions:

function inches --description "convert inches to centimeters"
  echo $argv inches is (math $argv \* 2.54) centimeters


$ inches 20

20 inches is 50.8 centimeters

And next for converting centimeters to inches

function centimeters --description "convert centimeters to inches"
  echo $argv centimeters is (math $argv \* 1/2.54) inches

It might be nice to do this instead with gforth so I coul write instead 53 centimeters instead of centimeters 53, but I haven't yet wrapped my head around how floating point numbers work in forth yet!

Oldies but goodies

These are similar offline shell wrapper programs that I use already.


function diceroll --description "Roll 1d6"
  shuf -i 1-6 -n 1

If I had need to roll other dice occasionally I could alter it make use of an argument, maybe something like diceroll 20.


function calm --description "calm ocean sounds white noise"
  play -n synth brownnoise synth pinknoise mix synth 0 0 10 10 40 trapezium amod 0.1 30

I believe I read this oneliner somewhere but I don't remember where.


There are websites to run dithering on an image. Here's a basic one I run. Requires imagemagick.

function dither --description 'dither, reduce size and grayscale file'
convert $argv -resize 800x600 -colorspace gray -ordered-dither 8x8 (string split -r -m1 . $argv)[1].gif
echo 'converted to dither: ' (string split -r -m1 . $argv)[1].gif

music shuffler

I love the noise band Wolf Eyes and have acquired a few dozen of their albums. I often put it on in the background but want it to play randomly.

function wolfeyes
mplayer -quiet -shuffle -playlist ~/Music/wolf-eyes/playlist.txt 


I love the amount of games you can get when you download and install the bsdgames package. But I often forgot which ones it comes with, so I made this simple list to remind me.

function bsdgames --description 'list installed bsdgames'
	echo "Installed bsdgames:  adventure, arithmetic, atc, backgammon, battlestar, bcd, boggle, caesar, canfield, countmail, cribbage, dab, go-fish, gomoku, hack, hangman, hunt, mille, monop, morse, number, pig, phantasia, pom, ppt, primes, quiz, random, rain, robots, rot13, sail, snake, tetris-bsd, trek, wargames, worm, worms, wump, wtf "

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