Tue, 28 Sep 2004

On SMS Daemons...

Andrew, cheers for your suggestion. I'd actually looked at smstools prior to starting on this project, and decided that it was too GSM specific, and also lacking in functionality. I don't like the way it uses the filesystem for interaction either. The Plan is to make something generic enough to use as a general message delivery platform.

I do have a copy of the source sitting nearby, which I'm snarfing bits from occasionally.

Oh, and yes, it is fun to do anyway....

I've had a couple of suggestions to just use Python. I don't want to get into some sort of religious argument, so I'll just say that I prefer C when I want to do something substantial. I'm the sort of person that likes tools like Perl and Python for glue, quick hacks, or those little tools of convenience.

[21:34] [/Hacking] [permanent link]

Mon, 27 Sep 2004

C Sockets.

So, I've never spent a lot of time programming network applications. Sure, I've futzed around learning how you go about calling socket(), bind(), listen() and accept() or socket(), and connect(), then doing rudimentary data reads and writes, but I've never really spent the time learning how to make a really robust server daemon that uses non-blocking sockets.. Anyway, to cut a long story short, we've got this little CDMA modem here at work that's been purchased to use as an SMS sending tool, so that we're not relying on some internet service (which work really well when you're trying to send a message to the network admins that the internet connection is broken). This particular modem has no linux software, but it does have a nice AT command set that is available.

So I'm writing a daemon process that can collect messages in a queue, and make sure they're sent, and also collect any incoming messages to deliver them via email if it can work out who should get them.

It's a somewhat satisfying task, involving a large number of general programming tasks like socket, file and device IO, that are in themselves easy, but difficult to do right. All this adds up to a pleasurable learning experience.

I guess I should mention that I have spent a little time looking around trying to find something that can to the job for me, but everything seems to be somewhat bloated, or not general enough to apply to other types of devices. Oh, and there's that obligatory case of NIH syndrome that liw spoke of (OK, a very weak case).

I'm still debating though, whether or not to go down the threads with IPC track, or just create something monolithic with a good dose of careful non-blocking IO.

The latter feels more challenging...

[04:39] [/Hacking] [permanent link]

Fri, 24 Sep 2004

Another vice to get lost with...

My pre-ordered copy of Starwars Battlefront for PS2 arrived in store yesterday, and I picked it up this morning... Now, I just know that this weekend is going to be messy.

I played for about 3 minutes on the console set up in the store... Now I can't wait to get home.

On another note, the cat decided to go for a bit of an adventure some time yesterday... we didn't see her all night. It's strange how this affected me, I was somewhat upset, and full of worry. I know there's no need though, cats to have this amazing ability to look after themselves.

The good news is that she turned up this morning after I'd dropped the better half at work, while I was in the shower. She made one hell of a racket, seeking attention....

[23:44] [/Life] [permanent link]

Fri, 10 Sep 2004

Tsk Tsk.

Amaya, it looks like your attempt to quit smoking was a dismal failure.

It's really not that hard....

[02:53] [/Random] [permanent link]