October 18, 2002

Pingthing

Pingthing

Okay, it all started when Apple gave iTunes some nice AppleScript hooks. All of a sudden it was easy for other apps to know what was going on with iTunes. Then someone made the obvious connection to the web, an AppleScript which collected the iTunes information and sent it in a text file to an FTP server. Rachelle uses this method on her site and it’s pretty cool. I wanted more customizability though. Then waferbaby came out with his own method and, recently, released the source code. His method generates PHP variables rather than plaintext. A step forward but not what I was after.

For months now, in scraps of spare time, I’ve been working on a project which transmits more data in a more web-servicey way. It runs like an app on your desktop. It’s got a GUI. It pings the server over XML-RPC. It detects whether certain pieces of software are running and, if possible, what they’re doing. It lets the user configure some of the settings. It’s pretty darn cool.

Introducing Pingthing. I’m off to bed.

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Comments

Derek Gomez

AppleScript’s always been an interest. Applescript Studio seems like it’s all it’s cracked up to be. Did you create this only working out of ASS? I mean, you used nothing but ASS to make this app? Even better… ASS play generated Pingthing? (Sorry, couldn’t resist — but I really am interested.)

What, no download? Although it does seem to be chargeworthy, IMO.

Walt Dickinson

Yes, it’s an unfortunate contraction. (Is that the right word? It seems wrong.) Check out the AppleScript Studio mailing list sometime. It’s hard to keep from chuckling =-) The app is written completely in AppleScript Studio. However, the server-side piece is written in PHP and requires MySQL and a XML-RPC library. So it’s not as simple has just downloading, installing and clicking “Start”. But I suppose if enough people wanted to use it I could package it up and make it easier to configure.

Mark Shewmaker

Did he just say “ASS play”? He he. Cool, Beavis.

Rachelle Bowden

OMG!

Scott Yager

The right word would be acronym.

Walt Dickinson

“Acronym”! Thank you Scott. I was drawing a complete blank on that one.

Mark Shewmaker

Yeah, I draw a complete blank whenever I use nothing but ASS to create apps, too.

Mark Shewmaker

Walt is going to ban me.

Nick Runco

he couls use his ASS to do that.

Patrick Runco

We can’t let this discussion degenerate like thisASS ASS ASS ASS ASS ASS ASS ASS ASS ASS.

Nick Runco

el ass.

Walt Dickinson

C’mon people. Be mature. This is about my new app, not your infantile amusements. Can’t you be adults and spend a few minutes worshipping my ASS?

Scott Yager

To be honest, I don’t really understand what this new app does.

Walt Dickinson

Scott: Let’s say you’re listening to MP3s on your computer. And let’s say for some sick reason you want everyone who visits your website to know what you’re listening to right now. Not only what you’re listening to, but whether your IM client is on, where you are, how long your computer has been on, where your computer is currently “located” (in terms of its IP address), and so forth. This app facilitates sending that information to my server in a way I can easily access. Since the information is available, I can do things like point out whether I’m available on IM or listening to music on my site. That’s the basic idea anyway.

Derek Gomez

ASStounding explanation, Walt.

Jeremy Pinnix

Is this ever going to be made available for download?

Walt Dickinson

Possibly. I’d love to get feedback from potential users who can tell me how they’d like to receive and use the data that Pingthing generates.

Tenshi Kuro

hmmm… not sure if this has been asked since the last time (2003?), but is Pingthing available for download, seems like a really interesting app.

/Tenshi