Random Signatures

I use Pine to send and read email. Here I highlight the use of a program (sigrand) which allows you to use a random signature per pine session from a preselected set.

The program essentially rewrites a named file periodically, and hence could be used with any mail reader which reads the signature from a file.

  1. Create a file called ~/NEWS/SIGNATURES (the name is configurable)
  2. Populate it with lines/paragraphs separated by %%, thus:
    Signatures are a waste of bandwidth.
    Help stamp out signatures.
    'Calm down -- it's only ones and zeros.'
    According to my calculations the problem doesn't exist.
  3. Run sigrand.pl. It keeps running in the background and uses FIFO. Thus you have to run it everytime you reboot.
  4. Use an alias to read the named pipe viz. r to write to your signature file and use it in the mail program e.g.:
    alias mail      'cat ~/r >! ~/.signature;pine -i -f INBOX;date'

The program can do much more and is all yours to explore. Good luck and drop me a line if it works out. I could be a little slow in replying queries, but will get back to them.

Ah, and a word of advice: keep the total length of each of your signatures below four 80 character lines. Please.

And of course, the program will work sensibly only on sensible OSes viz. *N*X

sigrand is from the perl cookbook (Christiansen and Torkington, O'Reilly).

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Ashish Mahabal
Last Outdated: Nov 15 2001