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Reminders (Pop-up & E-mail) with Unix? 60

Posted by Cliff
from the replacing-the-thread-and-string dept.
mnjaga asks: "What is your solution for handling 'reminders' with Unix? I was using a little freeware called KirbyAlarm , when I was using Windows. After migrating to Linux, it took a while to get a handle on things. Currently, I am using a mixture of cron, remind, and mail . However, I am interested in a better solution than what I am presently using. How do you handle your pop-up and e-mail reminders?"
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Reminders (Pop-up & E-mail) with Unix?

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  • remind (Score:1, Redundant)

    by paul.dunne (5922)
    remind [roaringpenguin.com] -- you'll regret you don't thave a life complicated enough to take full advantage of it ;-)
  • KOrganizer prolly has a feature like that, if you're a gooey guy.
  • Shark jumping (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @07:08PM (#13119172)

    First "how do I play sounds when I get new email" and now "how do I pop up dialogs on a regular basis"? Ask Slashdot is obviously following the rest of Slashdot downhill in quality.

    If you use KDE, try `kdialog --msgbox "This is your reminder"` from remind, cron, at, whatever you already have hooked up. Other environments have similar commands, but because you didn't give any idea of what environment you are using, it's impossible to give any specific advice.

    Try reading How To Ask Questions The Smart Way [catb.org]. In fact, please Slashdot editors, make it mandatory for people to do this before submitting Ask Slashdots.

    • Re:Shark jumping (Score:3, Informative)

      by Gleng (537516)
      For Gnome/GTK users, an equivalent program to kdialog is "zenity". For example:

      zenity --info --info-text "Text Goes Here"
      • Or gmessage.

        usage: gmessage [-options] [message ...]

        Or, if you're just a plain ole X user, try xmessage.

        usage: xmessage [-options] [message ...]

        Options are the same for both programs:

        where options include:
        -file filename file to read message from, "-" for stdin
        -buttons string comma-separated list of label:exitcode
        -default button button to activate if Return is pressed
        -print print the button label when selected
        -center pop up at center of screen
        -nearmous

  • Sunbird might work (Score:2, Informative)

    by themuffinking (826948)
    Sunbird [mozilla.org] would work perfectly for this. Only downside is, you have to be running the application to get the notifications.
  • small shell scrip (Score:2, Informative)

    by nri (149893)
    [10:19] [nri@sammy:nri] $ cat bin/xat
    DATE=$1
    shift
    echo "echo xmsg.sh $@ | at $DATE"
    echo xmsg.sh $@ | at $DATE

    and

    [10:19] [nri@sammy:nri] $ cat bin/xmsg.sh
    DISPLAY=:0.0 /usr/bin/gmessage -wrap -center -font "12" $@

    then usage is

    xat 10:21am today "Hello world"

    • I tried this and it required me to do 2 things:

      apt-get install at
      apt-get install gmessage

      I moved the 2 scripts to /usr/bin and typed "xat 22:42 "hello world""

      It worked. I love it!
    • I have scripts/files that send mail messages to my pager.

      $mail_line = ("| /usr/lib/sendmail -t 2>&1 ");
      $send_to = '5551212@page.metrocall.com';
      concat(PIPE, "$mail_line") or die "$0: Can not open pipe $mail_line\n\t$!\n";
      print PIPE "To: $send_to\n";
      print PIPE "From: messenger from hell\n";
      print PIPE "do something\n";
      close PIPE or warn "$0: Can not close pipe $mail_line: $!\n";

      Or:
      at 5:01 PM /usr/home/ElectricRook/.message

  • KAlarm (Score:4, Informative)

    by Danious (202113) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @07:24PM (#13119314) Homepage
    On KDE KAlarm is a exactly what you are looking for...
    • Re:KAlarm (Score:3, Informative)

      by JabberWokky (19442)
      Kontact (i.e., KOrganizer, which can be run without the whole Kontact framework) is the "complete and easy to use" version.

      KAlarm is pretty much what I like: small, easy to use and flexible. If you need more depth, KOrganizer is there, and if you need an entire contact solution, KOrganizer fits right into Kontact.

      Of course, each of these applications can be manipulated by scripts in a variety of languages from python to bash through DCOP, or you can use classic commandline calls.

      Small solutions that st

  • by dougmc (70836)
    I've been using ical [wiki.tcl.tk] for this for a decade or two.

    It's not perfect, but it works for me. Run in the background, it will pop up a window a few minutes before events happen.

    (I also use the cronjob/send email tricks ...)

  • Evolution will manage more than just your calendar. I use it for my mail, calendar, and task list, and it's not let me down yet.
  • cron and mail (Score:3, Insightful)

    by slasher999 (513533) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @07:39PM (#13119439)
    Been doing that for years here.
  • For timed reminders, you want a combination of cron (for the scheduling and execution of reminder pop-ups) and Zenity (to produce GUI based dialog "pop ups"). Zenity is rather impressive adding GUI based feedback, input/output to shell scripts.
  • by dheltzel (558802) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @09:07PM (#13120078)
    Get married, then your wife will always tell you what to do and when to do it.

    You only need to remember 2 dates each year and that's easily cronable.

  • ... and a hand-written 'calendar'-like tool that is a bit more intelligent in allowing entries for a specific date or for annual events as well as things like "2. saturday". Input & output is ASCII of course (we're talking Unix here, right?).

    With some grep(1) and a bit of sed(1), I've even got a part of my personal calendar up on the web - the part containing party and concert dates, see http://hubertf.de/parties.html [hubertf.de]. :)

    - Hubert

    • It would be fairly trivial to approximate something more complex like "second saturday" by calling a script once a Saturday, and let it apply arbitrary checks to the date before sending the reminder. A cron job is cheap, the outside-cron check is cheap.
  • Look on freshmeat.net for timer or countdowntimer. It's a pythong stript, but it works well. It's very basic though. I turn it on when I turn on the oven/microwave, etc. so I know when it's done.

  • $ man biff
    NAME
    biff - be notified if mail arrives and who it is from
    [snip snip]
    DESCRIPTION
    biff informs the system whether you want to be notified when mail arrives
    during the current terminal session.
    [snip snip]
    HISTORY
    The biff command appeared in 4.0BSD. "Biff" was Heidi Stettner's dog.
    He died in August 1993, at 15.

    • $ man biff
      IC, your slashdot ID is 20761, but it's still no reason to recommend biff to somebody who's asking for a outlook/calender/reminder replacement.

      Even us *ix-geeks are not using biff since ten years anymore.

      Sorry, this is not a troll, but your answer is so last century.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I know the poster isn't using OS X, but for anyone who is, try this in Terminal:

    osascript -e 'tell application "Finder" to display dialog "[your text here]"'

    If the Finder isn't the active application, its dock icon will start bouncing to get your attention and you'll see the dialog box once you click on it. You can do something more robust by using osascript and specifying a file containing a longer AppleScript, e.g. something that tells the Finder to activate and then display the dialog.

  • I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned 'at'.

    One time scheduled actions is exactly what it exists for. I've been doing:
    nexus@~$ at 3pm tuesday
    at> echo "This is my e-mailed reminder." | mail -s "Reminder." user@example.com

    Ctrl-D
  • xalarm does everything you're asking for. It's in the contrib/utilities dir at ftp.x.org.
  • Different combinations depending on various factors.

    Remember, ^G makes noise on the terminal.
  • The mailbox icon on the dashboard does change when incoming mail s present. The calendar program can be configured to pop-up reminders before an appointment. At one time, CDE was even available for Linux as a commercial product...

    The other option would be using xbiff (not to be confused with xbill) and setting up cron to e-mail yerself a reminder.

  • I use Emacs's built-in diary system (note to Americans: "diary" is roughly equivalent to "schedule planner" in some parts of the world). I've also added an extension to page me when meetings are coming up.

  • Your question has nothing to do with the operating system itself. What you need is just an application that reminds you of certain dates. Just like a caleder, right? Lock at KDE and Gnome and thats all you need. I'm using KOrganizer and I can sync all my dates with my mobile phone.

  • What you want (after switching fron Windows to a *nix OS) is a Desktop Environment like KDE or Gnome. Everything you need for your day-to-day tasks is encluded. Unix-like operating systems are not much different to your old Windows experience. Look at Mac OSX, its Unix, but there are surely tools like a calender (don't know).
  • I run Jpilot (http://www.jpilot.org/ [jpilot.org]) all the time. It can open popup windows or execute arbitrary commands for events. Plus, it syncs with your (Palm) PDA.
  • Set the event in your yahoo! calendar [yahoo.com], and have it send reminders to (say) your regular inbox and then whatever your phone's email address is. Cross platform, works most anywhere, free (excepting whatever cell access/net access costs, and you probably already have those). I know that isn't pop-up reminders, but it's about as hard to ignore and doesn't depend on you actively looking at your screen.

  • I use my very own enotes.el [cvlab.epfl.ch] under GNU/Emacs.

  • Blinkenlights! Blinking, large red letters, appearing over anything, including full-screen mplayer - Python + py-osd. A bit overkill for such task, but whatever, I'm a python dood :) click here, bypassing lameness filter... [rafb.net]
  • ical (not related to iCal or iCalendar) is my calendar/todo alert tool of choice. Lightweight, simple and just works.

    Email notifications? Are you kidding? Maybe you've heard of this thing called google.

  • How do you handle your pop-up and e-mail reminders?"

    Long ago I used biff, xbiff and xlbiff.

    Now, Evolution has pop-up reminders sufficient for my needs.

    Of course, it would be nice to have more extensibility built-in to Evolution so that any script could be fired off for any particular event.

    For recurring events, cron works like a champ, after you take the 3 minutes to understand its terse time specification syntax and learn that ~/.crontab needs to be crafted by invoking crontab -e.

  • An idea that just occurred to me is a reminder program that finds me. Say that it runs on my work desktop, and pops up a window. And that window sits there for a period of time. Probably means that I didn't see it, or I'm not at that computer. I want a reminder program that's smart enough to do something like escalate the reminder to my cell phone, which I'm more likely to see/answer.

    In the background it could even send an email saying "Hey, I tried to remind you, but you never acknowledged me." An a

  • Can't speak more highly about Evolution. I use it for all my personal and business reminders, as well as my e-mail. It is better then any software I have used for it.
  • see kdialog --help for the popups (it has much, much more than popups, such as file browser, progressbar, handled by dcop, etc)
  • notifications (Score:2, Informative)

    by cs (15509)
    My desktop [ezoshosting.com] just has a small borderless terminal window at the top running "tail -f" on ~/var/log/alert. I write notifications there with ANSI yellow escape sequences so they're bright.

    Important email (== personal email and, at work, new-bug email) generates one line messages there via procmail recipes. Opening my email also clears the window (write the terminal-clear sequence to the alert log).

    Any decent calendar system should be capable of generating email for reminders, so when my workplace gets a (d

  • I use JPilot to sync my PDA, so all my appointments are in it already. Keep it open on your desktop and it can pop up a reminder or play a sound. Good enough for me. Barbara

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