Taking command of the situation

What would the engineer say, after you had explained your problem, and enumerated all of the dissatisfactions in your life? He would probably tell you that life is a very hard and complicated thing; that no interface can change that; that anyone who believes otherwise is a sucker; and that if you don’t like having choices made for you, you should start making your own.

Neal Stephenson, In the Beginning there Was the Command Line

I love command line utilities. Though they are not the most intimate way of interacting with your PC, they are one of the oldest with all the power at your finger tips. Growing up in the 80s and 90s, my programming journey is a bit odd. I started with Logo and Basic before I was 10. I began toying with HTML, Javascript, Perl and PHP in my early teens. Ruby dominated my late teens and 20s, and now after a short hiatus I’m using Node.js and ready to start learning new languages.

When I was in my Ruby phase, I created 2 command line tools, lyracyst and oversetter. As I was creating these tools, I kept reading more about Node.js and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Now after six months of work in my spare time I present a trio of CLI treats to the community.


The successor to lyracyst and the word-lovers best friend. It can fetch acronyms, anagrams, bi-gram phrases, definitions, etymologies, example uses, hyphenation, portmanteaus, pronunciations (Arpabet & IPA), random words, related words, rhymes, slang, syllable stress and count, just to name a few. It can break English into pieces and let you put it back together in new ways. It talks to the APIs for Silmaril’s Acronym Server, Datamuse, Onelook, Rhymebrain, Urban Dictionary, Wordnik, and Wordsmith.


The successor to oversetter. It can translate words with dozens of source and target languages. It talks to the APIs for Glosbe, Hablaa, and Yandex.


A new tool for fetching articles, weather data, formula computations and more. It talks to the APIs for DuckDuckGo, Encyclopedia of Life, Weather Underground, Wikipedia, and Wolfram|Alpha.

My sincere hope is that some language and knowledge hackers may find some use for these tools as I have.