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The Art of War Fortune Mod

Table of contents

  1. Releases
  2. Introduction
  3. Filelist
  4. Download & Installation
  5. About & Contact


* DOWNLOAD: 1.0 - August 28 2005 - Initial Release


fortune is a text based application which displays a random 'quote' on your screen. It is most commonly added in a ~/.bashrc file so it shows a quote each time you open a shell or log in. There are also some screensavers that make use of fortune. The name originates from the fortune cookies ( which is a cookie with a piece of paper inside with a prophecy or a general wisdom.
Fortune can easily be extended. New quotes from custom datafiles can be used and this package contains such a datafile. While I was reading The Art of War (printed on dead trees) it struck my mind
that this book was written as if it was one huge (some 100 pages) fortune file. I also noticed that the book contains many truth about war, but it was even more stunning that a book with an age of more than two thousand years simply addressed some facts about war that some generals and countries know still have problems with. The preface of the book I read contained a preface by the translater which stated that in his opinion each person involved with the execution of war should take a test about the contents of The Art of War each year and get fired when he fails the test. More information about the
author of The Art of War can be found at more information on The Art of War can be found at I already heard a lot about The Art of War (I came across it multiple times on the Internet) but I really got triggered to get it at the library after viewing a James Bond movie: 'Die Another Day'.


The archive you extract contains the following files:
   |-> 132a.txt                         The original vanilla text version of The Art of War. The original version which came from the project Gutenberg ( 
   |	                                       website. Project Gutenberg contains also a second version with more comments and footnotes but this text was not usefull for this purpose.
   |-> LICENSE                          A copy of the GNU General Public License. This  project is released under its terms
   |-> LICENSE.GUTENBERG      The Project Gutenberg License under which terms  the datafile was released
   |-> README                         This file wich general information and installation instructions
   |-> taow                              The data file, contains the individual quotes
   |-> taow.dat                        This is a header file to the actual data file, it contains an enumeration of string offsets. It can recreated by running strfile (man 1 strfile)

Download & Installation

The homepage of this fortune mod can be found at and also the most recent version of this package can be found there. But except some merge of some quotes no big changes should occur.

Installation is very easy. It is however required that you have fortune installed:

On a Debian box for example:
helios@qntal:/usr/share/games/fortunes$ apt-cache search fortune-mod
fortune-mod - provides fortune cookies on demand
fortunes - Data files containing fortune cookies

When it is installed it is generally located in /usr/games/fortune.
The data file can generally be found in: /usr/share/games/fortunes/ To install simply copy taow and taow.dat to /usr/share/games/fortunes to test the installation simply run:

qntal:/usr/share/games/fortunes# /usr/games/fortune taow
	Thus one who is skillful at keeping the enemy
	on the move maintains deceitful appearances, according to
	which the enemy will act.  He sacrifices something,
	that the enemy may snatch at it.
	                            --The Art of War by Sun Tzu
	                              Chapter V: Energy

When you get 'No fortunes found' you have done something wrong you should verify that you placed the files on the correct location and try again.

To view all files search for quotes run:
qntal:/usr/share/games/fortunes# /usr/games/fortune -f | grep taow
100.00% /usr/share/games/fortunes
	 2.98% art
	 1.30% law
	 0.06% ascii-art
	 1.28% food
	 0.97% kids
	 0.97% love
	 0.34% news
	 1.76% perl
	 0.33% pets
	 2.42% taow
	 4.06% work
	 3.57% knghtbrd
	 0.21% debian-hints
	 1.34% drugs
	 0.85% riddles
	 2.15% linux
	 0.19% magic
	 3.53% zippy
	 3.75% men-women
	 4.02% science
	 6.63% computers
	 4.18% miscellaneous
	 4.51% politics
	 3.22% platitudes
	 2.78% fortunes
	 0.58% debian
	 7.33% cookie
	 1.04% ethnic
	 0.35% goedel
	 0.08% translate-me
	 4.64% songs-poems
	 8.01% people
	 0.95% sports
	 1.46% startrek
	 2.72% wisdom
	 1.27% humorists
	 1.31% education
	 0.46% paradoxum
	 0.48% medicine
	 1.68% literature
	 7.75% definitions
	 1.83% disclaimer
	 0.67% linuxcookie

In this case I have
qntal:/usr/share/games/fortunes# /usr/games/fortune -f 2>&1| grep taow
	 2.42% taow

2.42% chance of getting a quote from The Art of War (taow). The fortune manpage will give you additional information on how to tune your settings.
In order to have a quote from The Art of War when opening a console simply enter the following command at a shell prompt:

echo "/usr/games/fortune taow" > ~/.bashrc

In the assumption your default shell is BASH and no other fortune command is in any of your BASH startup scripts.

About & Contact

These files are available under the terms of the general public license, the original files were available under the project gutenberg license.

You have the permission to modify and distribute the files found in this package or the package in total. The only requirement is that the name of the About & Contact section gets distributed with it.

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