Reminding myself about new tools

I often run across new and better tools that can replace the Unix utilities that I’m used to (and typically don’t cause a problem). I download these new things, compile them, install them, and try them for 10 minutes. A day later I forget about them and never use them again. Sometimes, months later, I remember there was a better tool, but I can’t remember the name.

No more. I now have a low-tech annoyance device. I put a small shell script in ~/bin, which is first in my PATH. Here’s my personal du to remind me I want to use ncdu (NCurses Disk Usage):

#!/bin/sh
echo "You wanted to use ncdu, remember?"

When I type the familiar command, I get the reminder:

% du
You wanted to use ncdu, remember?

Now I remember I wanted to play with the new tool, and I know what its name is:

% ncdu

I can still use the original du by calling it with its full path:

% /usr/bin/du