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Programming.

Once you realize the power at your hands, it becomes something you simply must do. You realize just how little you have been aware of because the systems you are used to using have been made easy to use and dumbed down to a simplistic level. That is not to imply anyone is dumb, just that the vast majority prefer to remain blissfully ignorant of how an Operating System works underneath the pretty colours and fancy fonts. That’s all fine and good for the sheeple of society but those of us who realize that the $500+ you spend on a computer can do a WHOLE HELL OF A LOT MORE than you were led to believe….well, we are goddamn well gonna check this shit out!

When you use computers to browse youtube for kitty videos, you don’t need to know much(doesn’t even matter what OS you use either for that matter). When you use computers to build websites, scour databases for information or check your office network for security breaches and then patch them…well, then you need more than just a browser. Sure you could type single commands into a terminal/command prompt but if you want to do anything in the scale of more than 2 checks, multiple times, typing will soon become your worst enemy.

Enter the world of scripting.  This is what you might call a ‘bridging language’ between hardcore programming (i.e. C++,  Machine Code) and regular commands.  Lets say you want to check your websites, that you built for a client, are all up and running.  Well, you aren’t going to sit at a browser all day, refreshing pages or typing in URLs for each website are you?  Not when you can write a script once, run it and let it do its job.

I had an idea to do exactly that.  A script that would check my sites for two things.  First, to make sure they are till accessible(i.e. the webserver is up) as well as if there was any change to the home page(i.e. has anyone hacked the site?).  Not that I’m worried about my own sites but it’s an interesting tool for those who do have paid clients.

Now, if it was just that, checking websites, it would be cool.  What if you added a feature that would push a notification to your Android-powered device?  How awesome would that be?  Well, I did just that!  With the use of Notify My Android, I created a script (which is just a collection of commands you would normally type in a terminal) that checks websites and if it finds something wrong, it will send a notification to your Android device that there is a problem!

It’s still being developed/refined but with the help of DarkTherapy(quite a lot actually, he’s pretty awesome at this stuff) from BSOD, we have developed a nice little script that is nearly tweaked just right.  V1 one works but does not check pages.  v2 works but not quite how I wanted it.  v2.x are the current developments.  I suspect things will be pretty set before the end of the week.  Any version 2 will work just fine for a single website.  We are refining for multiple websites at the moment.

This is the working box.net folder.  Feel free to grab a copy/comment, hell, even rewrite it if you like.  https://app.box.com/s/l2emmq9q9nhayvci25r5

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