Therapy by Software

How to ping a url ?

$ ./ping_url

That’s how my cure started.


Several months ago, I suffered from a very upsetting event in my life. Suddenly everything collapsed under my feet, I did not recognize reality as it was presented to me. It felt like the reality I wanted so badly abruptly closed down and left me out. Why has this happened to me ? What went wrong ? I kept asking to myself. Damn. This might sound familiar to you, we’ve all experienced such situations where suddenly nothing makes sense anymore. Sometimes life just leaves you there confronted with a reality that appears to be read-only.

So what to do ? Escape ? Try again ? Get sucked in an infinite loop of pursuing what you want before allowing yourself to be happy ? I asked myself all those questions. I found no satisfying answer. Instead I kept doing my thing. At that time, I had a problem with a certain webpage. I couldn’t help checking it every day to see if it was still up, yet I couldn’t stand the sight of it, I immediately closed it as soon as it was responding. Indeed, a sign of obvious neurotic behavior. But honestly if I went to see a doctor and exposed my case, what would she say ? “A problem with a webpage ? Take 10 mg of lobotomiazine & bye bye !” I don’t know how health care related to technology is right now, but I know my problem didn’t need a doctor, it needed a good ol’ shell script. So I cured myself by designing pingurl.

My script pingurl allowed me in a conf file and one command line to wipe my worries about this webpage. pingurl would just warn me when it would not be up anymore. In parallel, I could focus on doing other curing activities. Now I feel better.


This made me think, could I convert into a Software Therapist ? If someone like me came to me to be diagnosed and cured, instead of prescribing milligrams of  medicine, I would prescribe kilobytes of software. A problem with a webpage status ? Here, use pingurl, it runs in the background, the results will be effective in no time. A problem with the outside world ? Here, a simple CMS. It will help you connect with the people you know without having to see them for real. Want to see them for real ? Of course, you can use this other one on top. Spy on them ? Err, I’m afraid I can only prescribe mainstream software. Obsessed with who is checking you out ? Here, an analytics tool.  Delays drive you crazy ? Here, use this app it will help you plan your journeys. Always fighting over the path to take while driving ? Have you heard of GPS ?

Could be. The truth is, there is always a part of therapy in everything we do. We write songs, we make movies, we compose music, we create medicines, we build pacemakers and among all this, we also make software. It’s very therapeutic. And most likely you’ll find your cure in the giant clinic that opensource is. I ♥ software.

pingurl is real :