Linux distractions : cowsay

cowsay is a little utility that as you can guess draws a cow on the screen and can display text with it

< hello >
 -------
        \   ^__^
         \  (oo)\_______
            (__)\       )\/\
                ||----w |
                ||     ||

However there are lots of nice options

entering

cowsay -f tux hello

draws a pic of tux

< hello >
 -------
   \
    \
        .--.
       |o_o |
       |:_/ |
      //   \ \
     (|     | )
    /'\_   _/`\
    \___)=(___/

If you use the -l option you get a list of all the different ascii art files it can load in

Cow files in /usr/share/cowsay/cows:
apt beavis.zen bong bud-frogs bunny calvin cheese cock cower daemon default
dragon dragon-and-cow duck elephant elephant-in-snake eyes flaming-sheep
ghostbusters gnu head-in hellokitty kiss kitty koala kosh luke-koala
mech-and-cow meow milk moofasa moose mutilated pony pony-smaller ren sheep
skeleton snowman sodomized-sheep stegosaurus stimpy suse three-eyes turkey
turtle tux unipony unipony-smaller vader vader-koala www

so there are lots of options for characters.

You can also combine this with fortune which is another little program that comes up with random quotes from a large database of options

psutton@e-machines:~$ fortune | cowsay 
 ______________________________________
/ Tell the truth or trump--but get the \
| trick.                               |
|                                      |
| -- Mark Twain, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's  |
\ Calendar"                            /
 --------------------------------------
        \   ^__^
         \  (oo)\_______
            (__)\       )\/\
                ||----w |
                ||     ||

If you put what you want at the end of .bashrc then when you start a console it will display the result and you can use it as a greeter for people logging in.

As always more info can be found in the man page

man cowsay