FOSSPicks

gtop

In the future, there will be no desktop environment, only tmux full of lots of command-line utilities doing everything more efficiently than their GUI counterparts without the distraction of YouTube. In this future, gtop might become your task manager. It's like top only better looking. Each core and CPU is charted for usage across the largest panel at the top, along with a numeric percentage alongside. Beneath this pane, memory and swap is documented with both a percentage chart and a pie chart showing usage – the latter being very useful because a quick glance tells you how close to maximum you are. The lower half of gtop is then split into a great little network monitor, showing input and output bandwidth usage for your machine, a process list just like the original top, and a disk usage pie chart.

Of course, all of this information is only ever a command away in Linux, but seeing it so well presented and accessible is what makes gtop so useful. If you run remote servers, for example, you could create a tmux session split into gtop running on many different machines at once, and a quick look over their status would tell you how those machines were running, without necessarily looking into the details unless something appeared wrong. It would also look rather awesome if anyone happened to be looking over your shoulder. Despite the superficial nature of its good looks (and the npm install requirement), gtop is a great little tool that can help you keep on top of your machine's resources, whether that machine is local or remote, and you don't have to remember all those keyboard shortcuts, as you do with top or even htop.

Project Website

https://github.com/aksakalli/gtop

Make your system usage look like something a Hollywood hacker would use with gtop.

Bitcoin wallet

Bitcoin Core v0.14.2

It's been a tumultuous month for bitcoin prices, with the currency passing the $4,000 dollar mark after remarkable gains. While it's impossible to predict what the price might be as you read this, this decentralized flux is part of what makes bitcoin and other digital currencies so remarkable. With lack of control and "no governance," the central tenets of the currency (along with a certain kind of transparency surrounding the transactions that add and reduce its value) are analogous to open source itself, and it's difficult to see (or trust in) bitcoin's value without the supporting tools that help the currency itself being open source. Bitcoin Core is one such tool.

Bitcoin Core is essentially an open source wallet or client for managing your own bitcoins, or more likely your satoshi (one hundred millionth of a single bitcoin). The Qt-based version 0.14.0 was a major update, including performance improvements, a network activity toggle, and a useful Hierarchical Deterministic (HD) indicator. But what makes Bitcoin Core important is that it's considered the reference client that sets the standard, both in protocol and implementation, locally and across the network. Thanks to the way it downloads every bitcoin transaction to validate the entire blockchain locally, you don't need to rely on an external exchange or entity to send and receive bitcoin. This obviously comes with a huge caveat: If you lose your local wallet, you absolutely irrefutably lose your bitcoin. Bitcoin Core mitigates this by allowing you to encrypt your wallet for safe backup, which you should do to a trusted source, but it's always something to consider. However, outside of the ethics of bitcoin, the idea behind blockchains and digital currencies is fascinating and helps make Bitcoin Core the perfect playground for a little experimentation.

Project Website

https://bitcoin.org/en/bitcoin-core/

Forget quantitative easing. There will only ever be 20,999,999.9769 bitcoins.

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