Spider SMS service !!


Spider SMS service, exclusively for the junta of NITT is finally up and running, finally.. :)
( For those who can’t make something out of the first sentence– SPIDER is the technical group of NITT.. and im one of the spiders.. :P)

We now provide info to the campus junta directly onto their mobile phone.. like none other..
A host of services including India cricket score updates every 20 mins, bi daily national news, daily sports, science and tech, cricket and page3 news… bakar for the day, thought for the day, jokes, GRE word for the day, dictionary, campus buzz and more…
We’re planning to expand it to include nittmail notifications, octa print-out notifications, train inquiries , mass messaging and much more that makes it absolutely irresistible..
all absolutely FREE for the campus junta and fully automated :)

All you need to have is either an account on the spider website on the insti LAN or aditya LDAP account (the one which you use to login into octa computers)..

To register for the service

  • EITHER update your phone number on your spider profile,OR
  • send an sms as “Register rollno aditya-password” to the spider phone . for eg if my rollno is 106106058 and password is helloworld then i need to send “Register 106106058 helloworld”.

(all keywords are case Insensitive, double quotes are only for clarity’s sake)

If your password is not correct then you will receive an sms stating the same, other wise you’ll receive an acknowledgment stating that you are registered for the sms service. If you didn’t have a profile on the spider website, it will create one for you and you can login into the same through your aditya password, otherwise it’ll update the phone number on your profile.

You’ll need to subscribe to the various services individually by sending an sms as Yes followed by a space followed by the keyword for the particular service. for e.g. to subscribe for scores send ‘”yes score” to spider phone.

You can find the full list of the services and their keywords on http://spider.nitt.edu/sms (accessible only on insti LAN).

Now coming to the technical aspect.
We use a nokia 6030 phone and interface it with a computer (sms gateway) running Linux through gnokii. gnokii-smsd is a daemon used to send and receive messages from and to a mysql database. (Installation details are best explained here ) .
Hari had started this service with some features but he wrote the code in c, and we couldn’t expand it to include new services. So we developed it in php, starting from scratch.

We have a shell scripts which fetch the content (as rss feeds) from the internet at desired intervals (through cron). PHP scripts parse those rss feeds and dump the headlines into files, compresses the content so as to fit maximum of it into a single message, send this content to the subscribes users.
Another php script which runs permanently, processes the incoming messages and maintains the user accounts and subscriptions.

It was such a fun working with surath, hajela and vivek in spider lab.
As for NITT student clubs, dept. symposiums and fests. You are most welcome to use the service for advertisement and mass messaging. :P

Happy Spidering… :P :)

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First weekend-out of the season.


The post-terror-attacks-fear kept us locked inside the IITB campus for 11 days except for a small visit to the Hiranandani Township.
But on last Saturday we decided that we’ll go out on the Sunday. After watching Chak-De-India till 3 in the night (which someone had shared with the label DVD Rip, while it was actually the hall print and I am still searching for the *#@&*@ %&*!@ who did that) we decided to leave for Bandra at 12 noon.
I was not surprised to see the clock proudly showing 12:10 when I woke up.
Anyways we waited for bus no 422 which is the direct bus to Bandra and I was in full mood to do some good shopping. Only I and Arpit were able to board the Bus, thanks to the racing instinct of the BEST Bus drivers. Pauli and Bansal were left behind.
After some 45 mins we got a call from Pauli. They were heading towards the hostel after waiting that long for the bus !!
Anyways I was determined to do some shopping, for which someone had recommended Linking Road.
The buses here retard to zero velocity at a stop but instantaneously start accelerating, as if they are doing a favour by stopping at the STOP.
We reached linking Road and i got off from the Bus, but here again Arpit was not able to get off. Luckily the Bus stopped at a traffic signal at some distance.
Anyways while roaming around in the market i wished i had a camera as we came cross this peculiar Chuski stall (chuski aka barf ka gola is made by compacting crushed ice around a stick into a tumbler shaped mould and immersing it into any flavour(s) of sharbat) named “Gogola” and its logo was very similar to that of the search giant. It even had a banner showing a internet explorer showing the home page of gogola.com and with the name of flavours it served in the place where Google lists the languages on its home page.
It claimed that it used “Mineral water Ice”, so we were tempted to trying out one. We had the trademark flavour of Mumbai – Kaala Khatta and the so called Blue Lagoon.
After 3 hours of window shopping, bird-watching and trying out different brands of clothes and discovering that 70 percent of all Showrooms on Linking Road were Footwear shops all I could manage to buy was two pair of socks!! I am so very confused when it comes to buying clothes.
Anyway Pauli and Bansal had managed to reach Linking Road by that time. So we went to Bandstand only to discover that the beach was closed because of “security reasons”.
So we had some chaat there and after seeing Shahrukh’s home Mannat and Rekha’s home Basera (well all we could see were the huge fort-like gates and crazy chicks having photo session outside them, hmmm… okeh we would have done the same if we had a camera) we decided to go to Mumbai Times Cafe.
The menu card there goes well with the name. It was like Sunday news paper supplement.
Now this place is just awesome, one of the coolest places to hangout in case you have a hefty wallet (not from credit bills of course :P) and are ready to spend 5 times the amount for the same thing u get outside.
Anyways we ordered a Veg Kabab Platter for all four of us. After 2 hours of looking from one TV screen to the other (there were 10 of them there tunes into different sports channels except one which had news), so that we could get a glimpse of the “greenery” there opposite to the desert in Trichy, we went to McD to have a Burger each.
While returning we all somehow managed to jump into the Bus, I wondered are they the representatives of the “fast” lifestyle of Mumbai !!
We watched the first elimination of the Gala round of Indian Idol 4 and went to sleep.