SUMMARY: Home-Brewed Paging Software

From: joel.d.spieth (
Date: Thu May 15 1997 - 15:34:28 CDT

I received quite a few responses and I thought that I would quickly publish
them for others who were interested. I haven't had time to verify the info.

Thanks to all who responded.


Joel Spieth

Network Engineering, Andersen Network
Andersen Worldwide, Chicago USA


1. raskin @ (Craig Raskin) @ internet

There is a program called 'swatch' which is what you are looking for. It
is a perl script that will monitor system logs and take action on events
that happen. You can probably find it at the CERT archive.

2. jstanley @ @ internet

I wrote a really, really simple one that hasn't failed yet (but it's so
simple it prob. will one day..).
This works on a linux box that I use to monitor things, and works with
my normal, non-alphanumeric pager - it simply calls the pager number,
waits for 12 seconds, then types in an error code to page me with.
There's a standard PC modem connected to the serial port.

I started to really script it using 'chat' but ran into trouble. I'd be
interested to hear what else you find out. (my pager # has been changed
below to protect the innocent). Basically, this script will keep paging
me & then other people unless someone creates a file called
'/tmp/stoppage'. You'll hafta at least change the serial device name
(/dev/tty/a instead of /dev/ttyS1) for Solaris. Again, this is really
low-tech but it DOES work.

#! /bin/bash
# Name: page_sysadmin.ksh
# Purpose: to invoke the sysadmin process for when something breaks
# Written: jes, 3/22/97, and I'm sure I'll live to regret it.
# If the file '/tmp/stoppage' exists, this script will abort.

# First, try Jay.
logger -p -t page_sysadmin.ksh Started. Paging Jay.
echo "ATL3DT5551212,,,,,,9010010001" > /dev/ttyS1
sleep 60
echo "+++ATH0" > /dev/ttyS1
# wait for 10 minutes.
sleep 600

if [ -f /tmp/stoppage ]
  exit 0

# try Jay again
logger -p -t page_sysadmin.ksh "Started. Paging Jay #2."
echo "ATDT5551212,,,,,,9010010001" > /dev/ttyS1
sleep 60
echo "+++ATH0" > /dev/ttyS1

# wait for 20 more minutes
sleep 1200

if [ -f /tmp/stoppage ]
  exit 0
.... etc

3. mch @ (Mark Henderson) @ internet

sendpage -
tpage - look in comp.sources.misc/comp.sources.unix archives
HylaFAX - does fax and paging -

4. sweh @ (Stephen Harris) @ internet

If your pager service uses the "TAP" protocol, then check out "sendpage" which
is a free pager gateway...

     The alpha 7 release of sendpage is available on

5. cnespor @ (Chris Nespor) @ internet

Check out:

I am using the above free software with very good results.


6. celeste @ (Celeste Stokely) @ internet

Several freeware paging packages that do just what you want can be
found on our "Pagers with Unix Connections" page at:

7. arthur @ (Arthur Hyun) @ internet

i've run into two kinds of paging services, the ones with a TAP dialup
and the ones that simply answer a call with a "beep", and then you put
in the message followed by a #.

i haven't done a script for TAP -- i think the protocol is too complex
to make it worth it, especially with the free paging stuff out there.

i have done something for a plain old numeric pager, but it is kind
of a 90% solution. it relies on simple timing and so it works _most_
of the time.

Add a line like this to your /etc/uucp/Devices file:

    Direct cua/a - Any direct
      replace with the tty your modem is on

and then you should be able to run something like this:

    cu -l cua/a "9-${WHO}---------${MESSAGE}#"
     replace with the tty your modem is on

each - is a 4 second delay, so you need to adjust the number between the
phone number and the code. all it does is dial the phone number, wait
for 40 seconds (or whatever) and then blindly dials in the message hoping
that the other side picked up and beeped by then, but has not yet hung up.

hope this helps.


8. mstier @ ("Matthew Stier") @ internet



a uucp script written up in Sysadmin magazine (


Hylafax (

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