Monday, July 31, 2006

Putting tech to use

I am happy happy happy and the below ramayana explains why! My trip to "land of bolstered ego people" is assured (for some time to come). wink nose.

How many of you use any kind of online calendar as a reminder service. I have never used one and was feeling that I needed one these days. Since Google Calendar released not so long ago, I was thinking of giving it a shot. Now, the problem with any online reminder service is that the reminder is usually a pop-up or an email or in the case of yahoo even an IM window. But all these modes of reminding requires you to be in front of your comp which doesn't necessarily have to be the case.

With this as my problem statement I went around looking for a solution. The reminder service that is most personal and almost always accessible is your mobile. So, if you can get your online calendar to send you reminder messages on your mobile, you are set! You then don't need to go for a PDA or a smart phone, any phone capable of receiving SMS will do. nose smile

With a hack here and a tweak there I have gotten google notifications to come to my mobile! This currently works only with airtel mobiles but it works.. it works.. it works. nose grin. Big Thanks to Sadu and Dimpy at office in helping me waste the whole of today to get this working. wink big nose.

Hey can this be dugg?? nose smile

Disclaimer: From here on is the way to actually do it, for the interested.

Detailed Steps:
1. Add a reminder in google calendar in the primary email address.
2. Go to google calendar and enable email notification.
3. Add a filter in gmail to filter these notifications into a different label, auto-archive it and also forward it to your secondary email address.
4. Now login to your secondary gmail id and enable pop3. If necessary apply a filter to auto label these mails, helps in easy delete.
5 Go to a reasonably recent linux distribution(I am using Ubuntu Dapper Drake), and install the following:
a) perl: Also the perl modules Getopt::Compact, MIME::Lite, Text::Table, Text::Aligner {This can be furthur optimized}
b) mailx : For simple text only mail sending {To send the mail to the mobile}
c) getmail : To receive pop3 emails from your secondary gmail id. The reason we need a secondary email id coz the conf file for getmail(under ~/.getmail) needs the password mentioned. nose smile
6. Write a script that:
a) Calls getmail to get your mail from secondary server
b) Calls a perl script that can parse the "inbox" file which stores the "popped" mails and picks up lines starting with the "Title:" and "Time:" and save them into a file.
c) After parsing is completed, used mail command to send this file from your machine to the free airtel email-to-sms gateway, for karnataka its 91(your mobile)
7. Now, finally add this script to your crontab to fire every 5 or 10 minutes.

Voila: You are now ready to receive notifications to your mobile phone from Google Calendar

If anyone is interested and is ready to setup a system with the above prerequisites, mail me and I will send you all the stuff needed to setup the system and all the support to get this thingy working. cool

p.s: No, just forwarding the notification mail from primary gmail id to 91(your mobile) does not work!! Ofcourse I tried that....tongue
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Anila said...

My brother is smart! :-)

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Remya said...

I have no way to try this. Google account not accessible from office, No airtel mobile and no linux :( But this seems to be a valuable piece of information. You have a very innovative mind brother!!!! :)