Humph. Drat.  I'm a tad annoyed.

A few weeks ago I spent some hours developing a script on my Mac that would do a daily check on the weather forecast for Cheltenham, and let me know if it was going to rain, snow or freeze in the next 24 hours. (Geeks only: it used the BBC's detailed mobile weather page, curl, some bash scripts, and the growl notification framework.)  Now I did enjoy the challenge, and I certainly learned rather more than was probably healthy about bash, but I've now discovered an alternative:

Short for "if this then that" it's designed to automatically take actions for you based on web-accessible events. Featuring integration with services such as twitter, facebook, instapaper, flickr, gmail, and regular email, it can email, sms, or post when certain conditions happen.  Including, in my case, when's forecast shows rain, snow, or if the temperature's going to go above/below a limit that I set.

It took only a minute to set up the equivalent that will email me when rain, snow or freezing is forecast.  And whilst I was at it, I got it to send any tweets that I 'star' to my instapaper account. (Translation for non-geeks: this lets me add the content of articles that people link to on twitter to my stack of things to read when I'm out and about. Just by pressing 'star' on the tweet.)  Definitely a smart service, and one designed to be easy enough for non-geeks to use, and it will only get more useful over time.

Now, do I delete my own scripts …?
AuthorJonathan Clark