Announcing E-mail Herald (a.k.a. Stop Spamming Yourself Framework)

It is amazing how much information I need on daily basis. Here is my informational morning routine:

  1. Check the weather.
  2. See what meetings I have today (thanks Google Calendar!)
  3. Check out the Woot Deal of the Day (silly I know but it's fun)
  4. Check on various nightly scripts and see if they ran properly. This is about a half dozen scripts that send confirmations to my work or my personal e-mail.

The whole procedure takes quite a while for what it really is: getting tiny bite-sized pieces of information. I decided it was enough and I wanted to automate the whole process. That's why I created E-mail Herald, a simple framework for extracting those bite-sized pieces of information out of various internet services and canning them into digest e-mails (heralds). Here's a sample herald I got this morning:

Weather: 38-52 deg. F, Partly Cloudy

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Woot: Perfect Pullup - $14.99

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Calendar Igor Partola:
  --No events--

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Calendar Igor Partola NIS@BU:
  * Veteran's Day

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Cron Jobs:
  * bu:maps:****** - success
  * bu:maps:****** - success
  * bu:maps:******** - success
  * bu:*** - success
  * netstore - success - 2009/11/11 03:19:12 [3967] sent 1704120805 bytes  received 1443 bytes  1481201.43 bytes/sec
  * bu:*******-******* - success - 0 applicants e-mailed

Pretty nifty huh? This is the kind of functionality that I Want Sandy used to have before it closed down. The problem with Sandy was that she e-mailed you at 5am and you couldn't change it. Also, you couldn't collect information from other services such as Google Calendar, etc. E-mail Herald does it all and if it doesn't do something you want it to do - write a plugin.