In a Novell Netware login script, the command used to make the script display a cheerful greeting to the user as it rolls past on the screen after authentication, including time of day (morning, afternoon, or evening) and the user's full name as entered in Novell Directory Services.

When one is engaged in long, boring repetitive testing of a system, one sometimes can amuse one's self by playing with the full name of the test account being used. ("Good morning, asswipe!")

At my old IT job those of us on the network side of things made this the salutation in our emails to one another, and sometimes greeted each other in the halls this way.

I like to have my computer write greetings and the like to me, like sentient supercomputers in bad sci-fi flicks (and computers running Novell Netware -- not that I'd associate Netware with sentience....) do. While I guess in these bleak times of rationalization and productivity maximization a stupid little toy like this seems trivial and unnecessary, I find that I'm in a much better mood to code if my computer helps me feel like a mad scientist tinkering with strange contraptions in the darkness of night, accompanied only by his trusty electric brain.

Here is the little piece of shell scripture I use to get it to do that (works in all Bourne shell derivates -- I use ksh, but you new-school bash users should find that it works with no modification). Put this in your .profile:

HOUR=`/bin/date +%H`
USER=`whoami`
if [ $HOUR -lt 5 ] ; then
    GREETING_TIME="night"
elif [ $HOUR -lt 12 ] ; then
    GREETING_TIME="morning"
elif [ $HOUR -lt 18 ] ; then
    GREETING_TIME="afternoon"
else
    GREETING_TIME="evening"
fi
echo "Good $GREETING_TIME, $USER. Your wish is my command."

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