Nov 2006, UDS MTV: I run into Chris Jones who, between VOIP requests, is hacking on something weird on his gnome-terminal. It looks like windows in a terminal. I think it looks like a toy for console hackers and dismiss it.

April 2007, Canonical Offices in London: The office is still being worked on but we’re using it anyway (it is much nicer than the old office). I stop for a moment to chat with Chris in the hallway about the flaky wireless issues we were having at the time and notice he’s got his computer up with four terminals in a single window.  I remark that it looks interesting and he says “yeah, it’s a little something I wrote to help me do my job.”.  He shows me how he’s tailing logs in a few and has some ssh connections open in others.  I casually think of how that would be useful to a SysAdmin or when doing war-walking.

Nov 2007, UDS Boston: There’s Chris with his “robo-console” going. Again, he’s doing wifi troubleshooting.  I inquire further as to his code and where I can get a copy.  He says “I have some hacking I want to do over the holidays and then I’m thinking about releasing it on Launchpad. It’s over on Freshmeat if you want to play with it.”  I think to myself that it might be something fun to play around with but promptly forget about it as other UDS interests catch my eye.

2008 Spring: Chris releases his code as Terminator on Launchpad and is awash with fans of his program and community members submitting enhancement branches.  It took me some time after hearing about it to make the connection. I downloaded it and immediately realized it’s convenience (and why Chris wrote it!).  I now only use Terminator instead of gnome-terminal due to it’s utility.

If you haven’t given it a try yet, and you use the gnome-terminal to look at logs or for ssh, you should give it a try. You might like it.