xplanet desktop background for mac os x

justin mason provides desktop background images generated using xplanet and satellite cloud data.

i couldn’t get the recommended mac os x tool (geektool) to work, so i came up with a lower-tech solution. i created a folder ~/Pictures/Backgrounds/, and set up a cron job to pull down the latest image every hour (using curl, and limited to the hours i’m likely to be awake to avoid some unnecessary traffic). and then in the system preferences, i set up the background to change picture every 5 minutes, with the folder i created selected. since there is only ever one picture in there, it just reloads that image.

it’s not quite the ideal solution (it would be nice to be able to just signal that the image should be reloaded after it is updated, rather than having it do it every five minutes), but what i did was easy to set up.

the image is fascinating. you can see all sorts of other tropical storms that you don’t hear about in the news, and right now you can see a cloud front moving across the midwest.

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