Conserve pixels with CLI twitter client

I've been a little office-upgrade jag the past couple of days; Monday I ordered a Mirra, and today I set up a third monitor on my desk:

It's driven by my previously headless Ubuntu server; I use Synergy to share input devices. I'm using it mostly for things I want visible constantly—Skype, Pidgin, mail, iTunes—which yesterday consumed a dedicated virtual desktop using If OmniFocus weren't OSX only it'd be there too.

Even with the annex, space is at a premium. I typically require two browser windows, at least two terminal windows, and the triptych MacVim to code effectively (at least, when focusing on UI work as I am now). This morning, I decided that Twitter client (I vacillate between Twhirl and TweetDeck) took up a tract of pixelage too juicy to ignore.

A quickly aborted foray into writing my own barebones plaintext Twitter client, followed by a more sober Google for such an obviously extant project, led me to Python Twitter Tools, exactly what I was looking for. Its basic usage is simple:

ian@iansmbp:~$ twitter
samuelmcc I have to revise an essay and read a 150 page book by 2pm tomorrow.
hb123 Now organizing my Google contacts (synced with iPhone) as a procrastination device.
pollack Every day loving New Mexican food, but just realized I also miss red beans & rice in Jackson.
marcambinder For 2010, O wants to cap non-defense disc. spending increases by .5 ... Federal workers get one percent raises.
hb123 @pollack I definitely didn't see them and I grew up in a 90% Catholic town. They all went in the evening, though.
marcambinder The significance of not being a tv correspondent, a newspaper writer or a lifestyle mag reporter dawns on me when i try to deal with the ...
chezaristote @neagle @hb123 Pretty much everything we said about J. Stewart as an ill-fitting Oscar host was recapped by John Oliver on Monday's D.Show.
pollack @hb123 So what is that a sign of european death?
chezaristote You know, I might be attracted to the Kindle if it showed me two pages at once. And would let me write notes in the margins. But maybe not.
KatherineD RT @bianconeri4ever: Saudi Arabia Starts Blocking Sections on @Digg! inexcusable! #Digg #Saudi #Freedom #netneutra ...

You can also ask for replies, DMs, etc. Posting to Twitter is equally simple:
ian@iansmbp:~$ twitter set My quippy one-liners are matchless!

The only gotcha I've run across so far is the necessity to escape apostrophes, but that comes naturally in a command-line environment.

Installation is trivial, thanks to the Cheese Shop:
ian@iansmbp:~$ sudo easy_install twitter

Also comes with an IRC bot. The man page does a decent job of outlining things.

So, if, like me, you decide that Twitter's not the kind of thing that necessitates a dedicated chunk of screen, this is a pretty good way to go. I've got a few enhancement ideas I may code up and see if they want. More on that if and when it happens.


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