watchdog

i’ve set up a “watchdog” to watch http://people.redhat.com/mingo/ using a cron script i’ve written a while ago. it checks ingo’s patch site for changes once per day and notifies me by email about updated patches. like this, i can better follow the changes and keep my kernel current (always using ingo’s latest patches).

actually i could easily further automate the thing. it wouldn’t be difficult to write a script that checks if there are any new patches, if so, automatically downloads them, reverts similar earlier patches (in the right order), applies the new patches (in the right order), configures and compiles the kernel, if successful installs it and reboots the box. hmm.. perhaps i’ll do this later. would need to take special care about potential security issues (ingo doesn’t sign his patches yet).

the current watchdog script would also be suitable to minutely watch and track even minor changes on e.g. blogs (remember recent disputes about dave winer’s blog being tracked closely). of course i’m not big brother, so i won’t do this anyway (i wouldn’t want my blog to be watched that precisely myself as i often publish temp/unfinished entries i might want to remove, correct or finish later).

regarding the script: yes, push would be better than pull, but automated pull is at least better than manual pull. currently, it’s basically a faked push service (change/time-triggered e-mail msg) which could be made almost as accurate as a real push service by decreasing the interval at which the sites are watched. effectively transforming pull to push.. and generating page hits like crazy.. gee, darn numlock.ch-effect ddos’ing ;)

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