Fortune is a really old program, I am not sure when it was created really.
However the program does not serve any purpose as such, it does not do anything you might consider useful, the only thing fortune can do is display a string of text coming out of a database, however the name is coming from "fortune cookies" so the pieces of text in the fortune program would mostly be possible to find in a fortune cookie.
Let me illustrate why I like this program so much. The other day I logged in to my machine (well not really I opened a terminal which always calls fortune), and the fortune it showed was
You don't know the trouble I have been
Now that is what I call funny.
Another good one I have had recently is
I would give my right arm to be ambidextrous
I think all of these are really nice.
There is also a lot of fortune programs for android, might even be some for iPhone (if you are unfortunate enough to be cursed with that).
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I love fortune. I have a table in a database with a couple thousand fortunes that I use to put on the bottom of system generated reports to make them more fun to receive.
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   1mo ago
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Yeah fortune is just amazing, have you ever used the great combination
fortune + cowsay ?
And equally important cowsay -f dragon (at least I think it is dragon you can get a list)
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   1mo ago
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Not useful??? You must be lorem ipsum fan.
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   1mo ago
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Well let me clarify what I meant by not useful, what utility does fortune have ?
Before you say humor I would like to say that humor is not really utilitarian, but before this devolves into a philosophical discussion let me say that fortune is awesome. @chrujmn
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   1mo ago
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@iobates I have used fortune a lot in the past to provide text input in automated systems that were designed to receive human input. Very useful.
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   1mo ago
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@chrujmn okay so the program is not entirely useless.
I stand corrected.
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   1mo ago
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sl is also a fun application worth installing if you or any of your Linux buddies are clumsy with the terminal.
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   1mo ago
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@cryptotux or you could just alias sl=ls
I would likely get really annoyed with a steam locomotive running across my terminal just be course I typed the wrong command.
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   1mo ago