[OLUG] help with cron/user services

Tim Russell russell at probe.net
Thu May 11 14:17:49 UTC 2000

>From: "puzzled" <puzzled at home.com>
>Subject: [OLUG] help with cron/user services

>    I've written a perl script that scans inboxes and pulls the date info,
sender, and subject ... it
> won't take much longer and I'll have it massaged to the point where it'll
page via a Sprint PCS
> phone.
>     I am clueless as to how to neatly integrate this into cron. The box
where email accumulates is
> now tightly controlled and maybe four or five people will make use of this
program - I suppose I'll
> hand configure it for our environment but if I am going to release it
there will have to be features
> to let users control ie a .page.allow and .page.deny in the home directory
of each user and a
> .pagerc for turning it on and off, setting target address, and so forth.
>   How would you set up a generalized cron job? The script would have to
get a list of users from
> somewhere (by scanning /home/* directories for a .pagerc?) and then
reading the details from each
> config file?

It seems somewhat silly to me to fire up a script to do this - one of the
coolest things about email->pager gateways is that they work quickly, and a
script would have to run at MOST every minute, more likely every five
minutes.  Plus, it would have to scan through mailboxes every time it runs,
which is a lot of file i/o.

I think you'd be much better off either creating special aliases (i.e.
page.neil at some.box.com) which would then fire off the pager program, or
installing something like a procmail script for each user who wants to use
this so that they can filter all their email and look for words like
"urgent" in the subject line or something.

It just seems a terrible waste to be scanning through what could be large
mailboxes every time this thing starts up.

For an example of email->pager gateway software, download Hylafax - that's
what we used to use at Probe, and it has setups for just this stuff.  In
fact, I bet you could write an interface for this system to the Sprint
gateway and just integrate it into Hylafax.

Tim  #1

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