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I need a menu-bar app* which will show me the output of a terminal command, and run that Terminal command every 60s or so.

Or I need a menu-bar app which will read the contents of a file, and update whenever that file is updated.

(The output would be no more than 3 or 4 digits)

Are there any such apps?

* neither the Dock nor the Desktop are workable alternatives. Needs to be the menu bar.

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See GeekTool! projects.tynsoe.org/en/geektool –  user588 Jun 9 '12 at 2:48
GeekTool = Desktop, not menu bar. –  TJ Luoma Jun 9 '12 at 3:34
You can position output wherever you want it, including the menubar. 3 or 4 digits, small font, two lines, could fit left of apple or right of spotlight icons. –  user588 Jun 9 '12 at 3:56
I want this information to be visible by glancing at the menu bar, not by me having to go into the menu bar to look at it. Like a clock or Disk Alarm, –  TJ Luoma Jun 15 '12 at 11:45
Yup. GeekTool output floats on top of everything. I think the ruby-driven solution is better, but this would work if your output is not very large. If you need more space add a menu item you don't want to see (volume control?) and have the GeekTool output cover it with a non-transparent background. –  user588 Jun 15 '12 at 12:31
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1 Answer

#!/usr/bin/env ruby

require "osx/cocoa"
include OSX

app = NSApplication.sharedApplication 
statusitem = NSStatusBar.systemStatusBar().statusItemWithLength(NSVariableStatusItemLength)
while true
    sleep 1

(If anyone who actually knows Cocoa wants to improve this, feel free to edit.) I more or less just copied the script from taw's blog: Personal experience points and OSX menulets, which was mentioned in display - Is there a way to have AppleScript output displayed in the menubar? - Apple.

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Wow, that's pretty awesome. For some reason it works great with rand but doesn't update my command (I get the output of the first time it runs, but it never changes after that), but it's a great starting point. Makes me wish I knew Ruby! –  TJ Luoma Jun 9 '12 at 17:56
@TJLuoma The original script used an NSTimer to update the status item, but I couldn't figure it out. (If someone can, edits are still welcome.) –  Lauri Ranta Jun 10 '12 at 4:17
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