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cope is a wrapper around programs that output to a terminal, to give them colour for utility and aesthetics while still keeping them the same at the text level. Adding colours on top of text makes it easy to see when something's amiss. For utility, you can stop hunting through your terminal's scroll buffer to locate an error when it's clearly highlighted in red, or locating a network address hidden in dense output when they're marked in yellow and blue (local and foreign, respectively). As for aesthetics, even the simplest utility can be brightened up by adding a dash of colour on top. cope's scripts are written in Perl, so they're as flexible (and fast) as Perl allows. --- You'll need Perl >= 5.10, and a working version of CPAN. Installation is the standard procedure: $ perl Makefile.PL $ make $ make test $ sudo make install Then, find out where perl put the scripts: $ perl cope_path.pl And add that to your $PATH.