This is a nice little trick I started using after switching to Gnome3, as I don’t have the application switcher panel any longer: before, I could put my mouse cursor over that to see a preview of shell windows where a command is running.
Now I should keep moving the cursor to the top-left corner and wait for the animation to show all open windows, which is tedious when you don’t have a precise idea of how long will commands take.
So, the long hated system bell sound comes to rescue!
; echo -e "\a" after the command you want to run and… voilà, you’re in the event-driven world! 😛
wget http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v3.0/linux-3.2.13.tar.bz2; echo -e "\a"
This command of course won’t do anything if your volume is set to 0 or you explicitly disabled system audio notifications.