SPUG: Perl alert system which will call me

Peter Darley pdarley at kinesis-cem.com
Fri Aug 30 16:04:10 CDT 2002

Aaron (and others),
	What I'm wanting is that when there is a problem I get a call.  When I pick
up the phone I hear my own sweet pre recorded voice saying, 'The web server
can't be pinged.' or 'The web server returns an unexpected result for web
page X' or 'Can't ping the database server' or 'The database server returns
an unexpected count of records' or 'Can't ping outside world' or whatever.
	This looks easy to do using a 'voice modem' and the Modem::Vgetty module to
handle the alert part (Looks like probably 10 lines of code).  Tho I'm far
too lazy for this, one could even use it to interactively perform other
tests based on what buttons on the phone you pressed, etc.
	I'll assume from everyone's responses that they don't know of anything that
does this.

	If anyone cares there are some good reasons that this is better than a
pager. :)  They are as follows:
	1)  I can get the system to call one or more of my business partners who
are not system admins and who won't want to carry a pager.
	2)  When I'm at my house I won't need to carry a pager around with me all
the time.  I can be sure that I'll hear the phone, and won't have to keep
track of any little beeping boxes.
	3)  I'm not sure, but I suspect that the phone is more likely to wake me
than a pager (but like I said, I don't have a pager, so I don't know)
	4)  It's not dependant on the network in any way, which means that I can
run it on a machine inside our network and even if the pipe to the wider
world is down it can still report
	5) I already own all necessary equipment, and don't need to deal with the
phone company to get text messaging set up on my cell phone (I hate dealing
with the phone company)

Thanks for everyone's feedback,
Peter Darley

-----Original Message-----
From: Aaron Salo [mailto:aaron at activox.com]
Sent: Friday, August 30, 2002 1:23 PM
To: Peter Darley
Subject: RE: SPUG: Perl alert system which will call me

At 09:38 AM 8/30/2002 -0700, Peter Darley wrote:
>	The problem with this is that I won't know what part of the system is
>and if the network is down it would be foolish to rely on email.  Plus I
>don't have a pager, or an email address for my phone.
>Peter Darley

ignoring for academic purposes the fact that sending mail to a cell phone
or text pager is the very best solution to these things (you can get an
explanation of the problem in the alert that tells you whether you need to
get out of bed at 3am and drive to the NOC or can let it slide till the

you would like it to dial your cell phone and use a text-to-voice
application of some kind to tell you electro-voice-synth-orally what the
specific problem is on the network/system/target machine? otherwise, you
intend for it to fire off a series of coded beeps like a BIOS that you will
use a decoder ring to decypher to tell you what the problem is? Otherwise,
the flaw you cite above about "not knowing what part of the system is down"
still exists in your dialer scheme.

hmm. presumably you are monitoring Machine A externally from Machine B, and
you wish Machine B to call you? Obviously if Machine A is in the crapper,
it ain't gonna be reaching out and touching you. Whoa. Maybe that image was
too vivid. So Machine B is hooked up to a POTS line and is running [some
sort of monitoring software] peeping on Machine A. Machine B smells
trouble, Timmy's stuck in a well out near the old Johnson place. Machine B
is supposed to fire up its modem, ATDT [your number], wait for a pickup on
your end, and [speak/beep] something audible to you or your voice mail? Or
is your intention to just have it call you, and you would then infer that
there is a problem by seeing that number in your callerID?


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