XPlanet & Xcruise: The big picture

by Rob Flickenger

Our own Perl Hacker Extraordinaire Schuyler has turned me on to a couple of interesting visualization tools for X:

The first one is old news (but new to me). Yes, you too can render your filesystem as a 3-D Universe.

My God, It's Full of Core!

Browse your home directory or navigate the untold depths of the /proc filesystem. File sizes determine the size of planets, directories are separate Galaxies, symlinks are rendered as wormholes, and lots of other fun stuff. It's fast, too! Download XCruise and check it out.

If zooming into your own filesystem doesn't thrill you, try viewing our own solar system. XPlanet will render the Earth with near realtime cloud data and a live terminator line, from any angle and in any projection.

Ground Control to Major Geek...

It will also show any planet that you have a skin for, and can even show you the view of the planet from the Earth. I use it as a really nice phase-of-moon background, with this command:

xplanet -proj orthographic -body moon -mapdir ~/planets/ -earthside -radius 20% -sh 8

(just be sure to download a moon skin first.)

How do we get 802.11 out there?

With OpenGL or Mesa you can even animate the planets in real time.

Who says there are no cool apps for X? =)