Your Chance to Contribute to an Open Source Project

I originally created a simple site monitoring Python script and posted it up to github as a “gist”: 177420. It was then improved by Eric Wendelin who forked my original gist and made it better in this gist: 187610 .

Eric had made the script much more “pythonic” and really made the code more usable and expendable which he explains in his blog post, Site monitoring with Python and cron. He had made the script accept command line arguments and even added a way to send email through Python if you didn’t want to setup your own mail daemon.

I thought his additions were a great example of open source coding in action.

Automatically Take a Screenshot and Make it Public using Dropbox

If you already have Dropbox you already know that it has a Public folder where you can save files for everyone to download. If you are using the GUI version of Dropbox you can even right click on the file and get a public link to hand out. Although this works great, we can automate this process and make it easier.

Creating an in-house Dropbox: Phase 1

Create a Central Repository

Create a folder on a large hard drive or raid your main computer/server

For example:

mkdir /meda/drobo/inhouseDropbox

On the repository machine install Unison

sudo apt-get install unison

On the local machine connect via SSH and test that the install went ok

ssh yourhostname unison -version

You should see something like, “unison version 2.27.57”.

Create a file in your repository directory:


Using Rsync

What is rsync?

Rysnc helps you transfer data from one location to another in an efficient manner. It is one of those tools that you learn to use and wonder how you lived without it. Rsync is the de facto standard in backup solutions because of its flexibility and power.

Sending Email Alerts Through Cron

Cron is the Linux task scheduler that is responsible for making sure scripts run at their specified times. Cron is often used for things like, log rotation, backup scripts, updating file indexes, and running custom scripts. In the event a task runs into problems or errors Cron generally tries to email the local administrator of the machine. This means it tries to send an email to itself instead of an “internet accessible” email address like, ‘’.
View all posts