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Joe Dog Software

Proudly serving the Internets since 1999




What Is It? ^

Wackyd was a prank which became a notification system. It’s a daemon that controls the LED lights on your extended keyboard. It listens for instructions to change the blinking pattern on your extended keyboard. Those patterns serve notice of user-defined events. You’ve got mail? Change the keyboard pattern. Tell a friend you’re online? Change HER keyboard pattern. When it’s not doing anything in particular, when everything is okay, wackyd employs the Knight Rider pattern.

What Can I Do With It? ^

For one thing, it should help you impress the chicks. As you know, nerds are the sex gods of the new millenium. Why? Skills necessary to obtain a good job have changed over the last several thousand years. There’s not a lot of demand for a mastodon hunter any more. Now firewall configuration skills are in more demand then club carving skills. Chicks dig this. A guy capable of controlling his keyboard lights is capable of landing a good job or, at the very least, capable of putting paper in the printer. Either way, she’ll be impressed.

Impressing chicks is key but so is keeping your boss off your back. Don’t worry, wackyd actually has legitimate business usages. Apart from improving your status with the ladies, wackyd also serves as a notification system. libwacky, which is bundled separately, provides the means to send patterns and messages to a wackyd. You can use this library and its associated program, wackyp, to send event notification. NT server failure? Send a message to wackyd. It will keeps informed even when your screen saver is running.

Huh? ^

I used to have a utility for the Apple Macintosh named Wacky Lights That program pretty much made the keyboard lights go from NUM LOCK to CAPS LOCK to SCROLL LOCK. It was a freeware program distributed without source. This meant the Macintosh community was ahead of the Linux community in wacky lights technology. That discrepancy was cause for alarm. We couldn’t let the Mac Weenies gloat, to tell us that we had to have a Mac in order to have wacky lights. Something had to be done. So I took it upon myself to bring open wacky lights technology to the masses. So under threat of violence and moonings from the Mac community, I barracaded myself in a room for an hour or so and developed an open source version of wacky lights. The gap had been bridged.

But now I’m thinking: Can’t these stupid lights do more than blink? If a tree falls in the woods and nobody is there to hear it… And if I’m notified that I’ve got mail but my screen saver is on… You get the idea. A natural progression occured. Wackyd was transformed from a pointless blinker to a notification system.

In all fairness, one person in this universe found a use for wackyd prior to its morph to notification system. Colm Linehand writes:

I’d like to say thanks for making Wackyd. It’s solved a problem I had with my Compaq Linux box. It sits under my desk, and I access it via SSH from my Win Box, but it kept going to sleep because of something in the Compaq bios that checks for keyboard and mouse activity. I installed Wackyd, which solved the problem, because the hardware now thinks the keyboard is constantly active.

WACKYD, keeping Compaqs alive since before you were born….

Where is it? ^

The latest version of both wackyd and libwacky (which includes the wackyp utility) are available via anonymous ftp at the following locations:
Latest Wackyd
Latest Libwacky

Installation ^

wackyd and libwacky were built with GNU autoconf. If you are familiar with GNU software, then you should be comfortable installing wackyd. Please consult the file INSTALL for more details.

Documentation ^

A man page, wackyd(1) is included with the Wacky Lights for Linux distribution. Beyond that, thissite is best source of wacky information. Click HERE for a documentation overview.

License Information ^

Please consult the file, COPYING for complete license information.
Copyright (C) 2001-2012 Jeffrey Fulmer
Permission is granted to anyone to make or distribute verbatim copies of this document as received, in any medium, provided that the copyright notice and this permission notice are preserved, thus giving the recipient permission to redistribute in turn. Permission is granted to distribute modified versions of this document, or of portions of it, under the above conditions, provided also that they carry prominent notices stating who last changed them.