Tuesday, February 28, 2006

My desktop thanks to xplanet

I've wanted for some time now a clock that showed the time in multiple locations, looked cool and showed where it was day and night. I could have wasted a lot of money on one of those Geochron things, but a little Googling and some Perl hacking and now I've got a desktop that's updated every minute with the following:
  • The time in various cities around the world (updated every minute)
  • The current temperature and weather conditions (updated every 30 minutes) in those cities
  • Pretty pictures courtesy of NASA showing the day time and night time views of Earth.
  • The South Pole turns out to be a useful status area.
Here's a picture of what it looks like (click for the full view).

The next step is to change the daytime image to a per-month image so that the correct foliage and snow cover is shown for the time of year. If you want to do this yourself then you need to get xplanet and my wrapper script which updates the GNOME background.

Here's the Perl script that gets run when I log into GNOME and keeps the background updated.

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If you enjoyed this blog post, you might enjoy my travel book for people interested in science and technology: The Geek Atlas. Signed copies of The Geek Atlas are available.

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