Yes, sorry, late. But in my defence, Feb is a weird month, 28 days, shorter than most, then sometimes 29…it's a confusing one.

It's likely you got one of my emails a few weeks ago about a flash sale on - so my following weeks have been all about the terminal and tooling related to the terminal.

I've been preparing a blog post about alternative command line defaults. I mentioned jq last month (which I'll come back to in a moment), but one of my favourite CLI alternatives is prettyping, it makes pinging a site, even when it's down, rather cool:

I've got ping set up with alias ping='prettyping --nolegend'

What about you? Any alternative defaults you use?

On the blog

Keeping with my command line theme, I wrote up how to get started with a Raspberry PI Zero without a keyboard mouse or display. I think the PI Zeros are amazingly cheap, but having to get it started connected to a screen was a pain.

Digging into jq

It seems that I'm more and more interested in JSON mapping and manipulation. With jqterm last month, and more jq fun, I started investigating alternatives to jq (since the syntax can sometimes be a bit fiddly). I found two: lobar and jq.node. They're not without their merits, but when I ran a simple timing test on the command line, I could see quite quickly that "vanilla" jq wins hands down:

If you're looking at the screenshot above, I've use the time command to get the system timing of how long the process took to complete. jqn is jq.node, lbr is lobar and jq is…jq. The efficiency of jq is massive, and though I'm looking at fairly tiny numbers, there's a noticeable lag on jq.node returning. So it's useful to test out timings and test out alternatives when you spend a lot of time in the command line!

Monthly recommend

Another viewing recommendation. I discovered Dirk Gently on Netflix. Really enjoyed it (and yes, somehow I managed to finished two series in a month). A blast of colours, sounds, images and general fun and weird weirdness. Based on Douglas Adams' book by the same title, even has me wanting to read the books (if I didn't already have a to-read list of almost 30 books for this year!!!).

Until March, stay frosty 🌨⛄️☃️❄️

– Remy 👋