[PLUG] OS X coolness: pbcopy and alpine

Paul Heinlein heinlein at madboa.com
Tue Sep 3 11:18:40 PDT 2013

One of the neatest command-line tools in OS X is pbcopy (aka 
Pasteboard Copy), which allows you to pipe stuff into the copy/paste 
buffer. Its output counterpart is pbpaste.

So pbcopy allows you do to cool stuff like

   grep thisfile.txt | awk '{neat operation}' | pbcopy

Then you can paste it anywhere.

In alpine (the only-barely maintained successor to pine, the CLI 
e-mail client), you can enable pipe commands. Usually you do that to 
modify the contents of your message, e.g., piping it to tr for ROT13 

I receive a lot of system e-mail messages, and occasionally I have to 
put copies of them into trouble-tickets, wiki pages, or whatever. So 
from within alpine (on OS X), I call the message for reading, then

  | pbcopy

Then I paste a away, without ever having to lift a mouse or save the 
mssage to the filesystem.

Paul Heinlein
heinlein at madboa.com
45°38' N, 122°6' W

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