By Paul Anderson, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Have you ever called BBSes and downloaded QWK packets? If you have, then you most likely will have either seen or used a tagline. For those of you who haven't, a tagline is one line of text for a witty saying. It's usually at the bottom of a persons signature. QWK packets, by the way, are like UUCP for DOS in that you downloaded this zipped file with all your mail in it, then you open it in a QWK mail reader, and upload your replies. The QWK mail reader often supports the ability to change taglines with each message.
These short witticisms are nice to have at the end of a message, and sometimes they prove to be the best part! This brings me to the program featured in this article. Sigrot is currently in version 1.0 and is maintained by Christopher Morrone, <email@example.com>. It can be obtained from gilb5.gilb.udel.edu:/pub/linux/sigrot_v1.0.tar.gz
Got the tar-file? Good. Untar it with:
tar -xzvf sigrot_v1.0.tar.gz
Look in the current directory and you'll find a directory named sigrot_v1.0/ Change into that directory, read the README and INSTALL.help files, then run make
geeky1,1:~/tar-stuff/sigrot_v1.0% make done geeky1,1:~/tar-stuff/sigrot_v1.0%
You'll have a program named sigrot in the current directory, sigrot.1 is the manpage. Then you can test it:
geeky1,1:~/tar-stuff/sigrot_v1.0% sigrot -w testfile testfile copied over signature archive. Type "sigrot -r" to restore the previous archive. geeky1,1:~/tar-stuff/sigrot_v1.0% sigrot geeky1,1:~/tar-stuff/sigrot_v1.0%
Well, what have we just done? We've put the signatures in testfile into sigrot's signature archive, and we've just nuked your ~/.signature file. Check it out and you'll see that it contains:
This is the first signature entry.
Okay, so if we check testfile we see that the first line contains the first signature. Let's run it again. Okay, what's in ~/.signature now? Check it out and you'll see:
This is the second signature entry.
So what good is this to me, you say? Plenty. Create a new file called 'mysigs' with couple of your favourite one-liners. Now we run our dear friend sigrot again:
geeky1,1:~/tar-stuff/sigrot_v1.0% sigrot -w mysigs
Okay, run sigrot with no command-line options and check ~/.signature. Is one of the signatures from mysigs in ~/.signature? If so, put the following in your crontab:
00 * * * * sigrot
That'll run sigrot once every hour. Now, you're ready to send e-mail with your new cool .sig!
Sometimes, when you've got .sig like mine, the majority of my .sig never changes. If you get a significant number of one-liners in your signature archive, it can became quite large. What a waste of space. But, wait! There's a way to reduce the amount of space it takes! To show you what I mean, Here's my .signature:
--- Paul Anderson Author of Star Spek(a tongue in cheek pun on Star trek) e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org with subscribe as the subject I hear it's hilarious. Maintainer of the Tips-HOWTO. http://www.netcom.com/~tonyh3/speck.html Manuals out, after all possible keystrokes have failed.
Only the last line ever changes. Why waste disk space when you can use a more efficient method? Here's what I've done, you see sigrot creates a directory called ~/.sigrot, and it lets you specify a prefix. A prefix is what's put before the .sigs from your .sig archive, it's used for stuff that doesn't change. So, I created a file named ~/.sigrot/prefix, and put the following in it:
--- Paul Anderson Author of Star Spek(a tongue in cheek pun on Star trek) e-mail: email@example.com with subscribe as the subject I hear it's hilarious. Maintainer of the Tips-HOWTO. http://www.netcom.com/~tonyh3/speck.html
See? Sigrot picks a .sig from your .sig-archive, then it appends it to the file ~/.sigrot/prefix.
Now you know how to spiff up your e-mail with a wonderful program called sigrot. I have a file of 1,000 signatures for use with sigrot, send me some e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want a copy, or some help on setting up sigrot.