The package xosd-bin provides Linux hackers a way to show messages on X screen. In itself this might not be very useful but the functionality can easily be included in scripts.
After installing xosd-bin the you can use osd_cat to show text on-screen. This is done by sending text over a pipe to osd_cat.
The simplest way to use osd_cat would be:
echo "Hello World!" | osd_cat
If you try this you might not even notice the small output on the top left corner of your screen. But the following gives an output that can barely stay unnoticed:
echo "Testing xosd using different fonts" | osd_cat -p middle -A center -d 5 -s 3 -c blue -f "-adobe-helvetica-*-*-*-*-34-240-*-*-p-*-*-*"
As you see, osd_cat understands many options. In the example, the output is shown at the middle of the screen centered for a period of five seconds with a shadow of three pixels. The color is blue and the font is defined by the rest of the line (use xfontsel for selecting the font).
Now that I have installed xosd I have to think about some cool use for it! Maybe it could be used in a script that checks my email account or to show on-screen reminders.
Any other ideas?