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#1 codehelpthisgirl   User is offline

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Website monitoring - email when the website changes

Posted 31 May 2019 - 11:07 PM

Hi everyone. I don't program or code and wanted to ask a question. How long would it take someone new like me to make something that can monitor a webpage and email me when it changes. Monitor every 10 seconds, checking for the words "submission" or "submissions" from this page https://www.centralc...tion=losangeles
It is how I find jobs for myself to work. Background acting.

I posted a job on freelancer for this, lots of people responded for $10 to do this. Makes me wonder if it is something easy that I could learn to do myself? Thank you for any input or advice.

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#2 baavgai   User is offline

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Re: Website monitoring - email when the website changes

Posted 01 June 2019 - 02:15 AM

View Postcodehelpthisgirl, on 01 June 2019 - 01:07 AM, said:

Makes me wonder if it is something easy that I could learn to do myself? Thank you for any input or advice.

Heh. Here's the thing: it's pretty trivial if you already have a certain collection of skills that most programmers have. However, if you've never programmed a day in your life, well, you're starting at ground zero.

Think of it this way, if you know how to cook and I ask you to make some scrambled eggs or pancakes, you shrug and think no problem, that's it? If you don't cook, such a task will require a lot more effort and experience.

You have stated your requirements: You need to read a webpage, analyse results, email notification if changes are detected.

The question is then, what tools allow you to do this? The answer is: lots and lots. However, you have introduced an interesting consideration: where does this work take place? Which is to say, you need a program that's constantly running, checking, and emailing. Where does that program live?

If the program just sits on a computer you have at home, running all the time, then you can move on. If you don't have such a resource, then you need some other resource, like a server you have access to that's always on. See how this is a problem that would be easier for someone who already deals with such problems?

Hmm... so, if I were going to do this on a silly ole windows box at home, I'd probably start with a batch file and task scheduler. Grab the page text and then... each little central casting slug has a time stamp, sort of. Find the first one of those and if it's... I don't know what it calls itself when new: I guess something without hour or day in the name. If it's new, fire email.

If I were one of the folks offering to do this for $10, I'd probably give you a powershell script and set up instructions on how you run it on your home machine.

Don't know if that helps. Good luck.
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#3 ArtificialSoldier   User is offline

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Re: Website monitoring - email when the website changes

Posted 03 June 2019 - 11:34 AM

I don't see anything obvious on their site, but you may want to contact them and see if they offer an API to pull the information you're looking for. If they see your IP address just hitting their server every 10 seconds they may decide to block you.
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#4 codehelpthisgirl   User is offline

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Re: Website monitoring - email when the website changes

Posted 05 June 2019 - 12:29 PM

Thank you, that does help. I would be starting from ground zero pretty much. I've only finished a few lessons in Free Code Camp, I can't say I code. It would be better at this point to hire someone, but on Freelancer, I quickly learned they quote me at $10 then raise their prices. I lost a little trust in Freelancer, tho I'm sure I could there are good people on there somewhere.
Do you have any suggestions about other websites where I could hire someone that could help me?

Does a powershell script run on Mac as well? Maybe I could leave my laptop on and hire a person to instruct me with the script. That way it can always run on my laptop and send me email or sms notifications. Thank you for the suggestion.




View Postbaavgai, on 01 June 2019 - 02:15 AM, said:

View Postcodehelpthisgirl, on 01 June 2019 - 01:07 AM, said:

Makes me wonder if it is something easy that I could learn to do myself? Thank you for any input or advice.

Heh. Here's the thing: it's pretty trivial if you already have a certain collection of skills that most programmers have. However, if you've never programmed a day in your life, well, you're starting at ground zero.

Think of it this way, if you know how to cook and I ask you to make some scrambled eggs or pancakes, you shrug and think no problem, that's it? If you don't cook, such a task will require a lot more effort and experience.

You have stated your requirements: You need to read a webpage, analyse results, email notification if changes are detected.

The question is then, what tools allow you to do this? The answer is: lots and lots. However, you have introduced an interesting consideration: where does this work take place? Which is to say, you need a program that's constantly running, checking, and emailing. Where does that program live?

If the program just sits on a computer you have at home, running all the time, then you can move on. If you don't have such a resource, then you need some other resource, like a server you have access to that's always on. See how this is a problem that would be easier for someone who already deals with such problems?

Hmm... so, if I were going to do this on a silly ole windows box at home, I'd probably start with a batch file and task scheduler. Grab the page text and then... each little central casting slug has a time stamp, sort of. Find the first one of those and if it's... I don't know what it calls itself when new: I guess something without hour or day in the name. If it's new, fire email.

If I were one of the folks offering to do this for $10, I'd probably give you a powershell script and set up instructions on how you run it on your home machine.

Don't know if that helps. Good luck.


They don't ever reply. I've emailed them multiple times when their twitter account wasn't working. They never responded. Twitter used to send notifications immediately, then they stopped posting on Twitter. They have a facebook page too, but facebook doesn't notify me when they post even tho I signed up for notifications.

View PostArtificialSoldier, on 03 June 2019 - 11:34 AM, said:

I don't see anything obvious on their site, but you may want to contact them and see if they offer an API to pull the information you're looking for. If they see your IP address just hitting their server every 10 seconds they may decide to block you.

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#5 ArtificialSoldier   User is offline

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Re: Website monitoring - email when the website changes

Posted 05 June 2019 - 01:43 PM

Quote

Does a powershell script run on Mac as well?

No, Powershell is on recent versions of Windows, but Macs run a flavor of Unix which means you can use bash scripting and all kinds of other stuff.
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#6 baavgai   User is offline

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Re: Website monitoring - email when the website changes

Posted 05 June 2019 - 03:47 PM

View Postcodehelpthisgirl, on 05 June 2019 - 02:29 PM, said:

Does a powershell script run on Mac as well?

Oddly, yes, but not really. It's just my assumption that you're most likely OS is Windows. As noted, for a *nix style OS, bash is the most likely first tool in the chain.

"Free Code Camp"... Looks mostly weby. You can make Javascript do scripting style stuff for you with NodeJS, but it's only a reasonable path if you like JS so much you want to use it for everything.

So, on a Mac, find your way to a terminal. The toy that should already be installed is curl. Try dumping your page with it. This is a reasonable start to a script kiddie solution, which is good for ground zero. Next tool in the chain would be grep. With an if then in the bash and a working sendmail, you're probably about there. If you're serious, see how far you get with that and come back with your attempt.
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#7 codehelpthisgirl   User is offline

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Re: Website monitoring - email when the website changes

Posted 09 June 2019 - 12:43 PM

I opened terminal but from there I wasn't sure how to dump the page with curl. I googled it to learn more but I couldn't find anything with code. Is there a tutorial I can follow online? When I clicked the Script Kiddie, it directed me to wikipedia page. I wasn't quite sure what I should do. I believe I have a lot to learn. Then I read about grep and bash and working sendmail, and was lost even more :dontgetit:

View Postbaavgai, on 05 June 2019 - 03:47 PM, said:

View Postcodehelpthisgirl, on 05 June 2019 - 02:29 PM, said:

Does a powershell script run on Mac as well?

Oddly, yes, but not really. It's just my assumption that you're most likely OS is Windows. As noted, for a *nix style OS, bash is the most likely first tool in the chain.

"Free Code Camp"... Looks mostly weby. You can make Javascript do scripting style stuff for you with NodeJS, but it's only a reasonable path if you like JS so much you want to use it for everything.

So, on a Mac, find your way to a terminal. The toy that should already be installed is curl. Try dumping your page with it. This is a reasonable start to a script kiddie solution, which is good for ground zero. Next tool in the chain would be grep. With an if then in the bash and a working sendmail, you're probably about there. If you're serious, see how far you get with that and come back with your attempt.

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