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Yet Another Email Thread

jjamesjjames AMX Sustaining EngineerPosts: 2,901
Okay, so the inevitable happened. I've been using a site (www.gawab.com) for my email. It worked great, just plain old email. No SSL, nothing special, worked perfect.

Well - what happened to the old email service? Who knows?!? It's not working anymore though. I'm in a mad hunt for an email service that I can use the iEquipmentMonitorOut AXI so it'll email me certain things

So, what free service could I use? I know Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc. is out of the question.

Thanks for the input!

Comments

  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 4000+ posts Posts: 4,177
    jjames wrote: »
    Okay, so the inevitable happened. I've been using a site (www.gawab.com) for my email. It worked great, just plain old email. No SSL, nothing special, worked perfect.

    Well - what happened to the old email service? Who knows?!? It's not working anymore though. I'm in a mad hunt for an email service that I can use the iEquipmentMonitorOut AXI so it'll email me certain things

    So, what free service could I use? I know Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc. is out of the question.

    Thanks for the input!

    That has been an ongoing battle with my clients.

    the freebie email sites are always moving and changing. It became way too much of a headache with so many systems out there.

    What I ended up doing is using the master I have here at the office as sort of a proxy. I wrote a routine to send the message from the remote master to my mothership. It's not email 'per se' but my own protocol. When it gets here to the mothership, I then reconstruct the message and email it from behind this network using our SMTP server to whereever it's going. (Typically system reports/warnings to myself.)

    A few clients have neat little quickie email clients on their touch panels. They don't use them to browse emails to themselves, just quick blasts out for convenience.
  • mpullinmpullin Obvious Troll Account, Marked for Deletion Posts: 949
    Try opening a socket to the client's ISP's SMTP server on port 25 and talking to it using SMTP. That's what I did when my ISP wasn't allowing my home server's sendmail to go out.
  • jjamesjjames AMX Sustaining Engineer Posts: 2,901
    One thought was to use our "server" computer that also runs a backup FTP server, could possibly act as a mail server . . . I'm running a little bit of code that emails me when the IP changes, and those emails are quite important. Sure, we could ask the client to check it for us - but . . . I kinda think that's tacky in this day in age.
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 4000+ posts Posts: 4,177
    mpullin wrote: »
    Try opening a socket to the client's ISP's SMTP server on port 25 and talking to it using SMTP. That's what I did when my ISP wasn't allowing my home server's sendmail to go out.

    Sometimes even that has issues if the client's ISP requires authentication and/or SSL.

    right now in our situation, I only have one ISP that still allows SMTP without security. All the other available ISPs (we have 6 others) are locked down. I cannot use Equipment Monitor for any of them.

    As ISPs continue to clamp down on this stuff for security reasons, it's going to be harder and harder for the AMX email-er to keep working as it stands.
  • jjamesjjames AMX Sustaining Engineer Posts: 2,901
    Bingo!

    Okay, found one that does not have any type of encryption. In order to get the encryption, you have to upgrade your service, and since I'm looking for free . . . Mwa-ha-ha-ha! :D

    http://www.vfemail.net/

    I'm back and running with my emails again - wooh-hoo! I'll tell ya though, that was painful looking for one that actually worked. I think I signed up for 5 different emails today . . . all of which had SSL and of course - none worked.

    Anyway . . . I'm happy as a pig in mud!
  • mpullinmpullin Obvious Troll Account, Marked for Deletion Posts: 949
    jjames wrote: »
    Anyway . . . I'm happy as a pig in mud!
    Contrary to popular belief, pigs don't actually like mud. In fact it is fatal for them as it overheats their blood.
  • jjamesjjames AMX Sustaining Engineer Posts: 2,901
    mpullin wrote: »
    Contrary to popular belief, pigs don't actually like mud. In fact it is fatal for them as it overheats their blood.
    Okay....
    Happy as a fly on sh**. :D
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    I've set up several i!-EquipmentMonitor based projects, and never had to do anything special .Perhaps because my work is mostly residential ... but I have found that most ISP's don't care about SMTP connections at all, as long as it originates on their network. Even with fake e-mail addresses in the header and no authentication, they go out; just as long as you are using the server on the same network as the ISP access. Receiving e-mail is another matter, but in the few odd cases where I needed it, I just had the customer set up a special mailbox. People rarely use all the mailboxes provided with their account.
  • roognationroognation Junior Member Posts: 138
    jjames wrote: »
    Okay, found one that does not have any type of encryption. In order to get the encryption, you have to upgrade your service, and since I'm looking for free . . . Mwa-ha-ha-ha! :D

    http://www.vfemail.net/

    FYI
    Just thought I would let you know: vfemail.net still works great. Thanks for the tip.
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    After so many setups that died after a month or so, I finally stopped playing around and decided to host my clients' NetLinx emails on my own server. I haven't pulled the trigger on it yet, but since we have our own Exchange server and a name space for it, it's just a matter of setting up POP3 accounts on it as needed.
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 4000+ posts Posts: 4,177
    DHawthorne wrote: »
    After so many setups that died after a month or so, I finally stopped playing around and decided to host my clients' NetLinx emails on my own server. I haven't pulled the trigger on it yet, but since we have our own Exchange server and a name space for it, it's just a matter of setting up POP3 accounts on it as needed.

    I do a similar thing except that we don't have enough seats in our license to handle all our cleints. I just funnel all my remote emails to my mothership AMX master here at the office and it then hands it to the exchange server. It makes the IT dept happy in that we don't have to open up the POP3 port to the outside world.

    I got so tired of dealing with being at the mercy of the 10 or so ISPs and their ever changing requirements to send a silly email.
  • sling100sling100 Junior Member Posts: 104
    Hey Eric

    I'm thinking about setting up a similar thing with my clients and my work system - ie get their master to send something direct to mine thus removing the whole email client issue. Do you mind me asking how you do it? I assume you are simply opening a telnet connection at the client end direct to your master's static IP and sending the info?

    Simon
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 4000+ posts Posts: 4,177
    sling100 wrote: »
    Hey Eric

    I'm thinking about setting up a similar thing with my clients and my work system - ie get their master to send something direct to mine thus removing the whole email client issue. Do you mind me asking how you do it? I assume you are simply opening a telnet connection at the client end direct to your master's static IP and sending the info?

    Simon

    Not at all...

    You have assumed correctly. I wrote a module that sends the Mothership a message at regular time intervals. The remote master constructs the body of the email text and sends it to the motherhsip. The mothership then creates the email and sends it to me and whomever needs to get it.

    It's pretty much just a telnet session and packet transfers. Nothing fancy.

    The remote master initiates the call. However, the mothership will let me know if one of the children didn't report on time.

    I use this same method to keep all the Comcast, DirecTV and DishNetowrk channel lineups current. I only change them on the mothership and the remote masters check in and see if they're current.

    This method is great for any kind of mass data broadcasting. The Motherhsip is where I do all my RSS, Web Page, etc... scrapes for data. (Weather, Tides, Sports, News, Time management, Stocks, etc...) That way when something changes, I'm only reprogramming one box.

    If a client goes away, simly remove them from the list here and the relationship ends. It doesn't break their box in the process too.
  • sling100sling100 Junior Member Posts: 104
    Thanks for the info Eric

    I am not sure, however, how your 'central' system 'sees' the incoming telnet info or do you write the info to a file on the master and then periodically check it? I write debug info to .txt files at the mo, so I guess doing that from a remote master rather than local is no different, I just wondered if there was a more efficient way of processing the incoming info.

    Thanks

    S
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 4000+ posts Posts: 4,177
    sling100 wrote: »
    Thanks for the info Eric

    I am not sure, however, how your 'central' system 'sees' the incoming telnet info or do you write the info to a file on the master and then periodically check it? I write debug info to .txt files at the mo, so I guess doing that from a remote master rather than local is no different, I just wondered if there was a more efficient way of processing the incoming info.

    Thanks

    S

    It depends. Mainly, the files are stored on both systems. The Mothership has a date/time stamp of the the date the master data list was created. This date is checked by the remote master to see if it has the most recent version. If not, then it initiates the process to update itself.

    The remote master then loads the file into the program and goes through cell-by-cell to udate the data. Once done, it rewrites the file and updates its version information.

    In the case of TV channel favorites/lineup.\: All my masters have all the available channels and their corresponding channel numbers. What shows up on the client's TV favorites page is more-or-less trimmed down by the client themselves. The tv favorties page has between 30-50 buttons. We preset them on delivery to some of the standards. But the client can press-n-hold to change a preset station. the data for that station is based upon the list. So, they just press-n-hold, say they want that button to be CNN and it then goes and gets the data it needs to make that button be CNN instead of whatever it was before.


    some things like time server and weather, it's just pretty down and dirty. Just hit the right port, say what weather zone you need. The response is just for that point in time. There is basically an API that the two boxes speak through. The Mothership side is what does the scraping and converting to my API.

    I'm not sure I'm understanding you question, however. Am I answering it?
  • sling100sling100 Junior Member Posts: 104
    Sort of!

    It was more the other way round - ie the remote master initiates a session and then sends a file with error data etc to the mothership? The mothership then periodically looks for new files and then does what it needs to with this, based on the data in the file?

    S
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 4000+ posts Posts: 4,177
    sling100 wrote: »
    Sort of!

    It was more the other way round - ie the remote master initiates a session and then sends a file with error data etc to the mothership? The mothership then periodically looks for new files and then does what it needs to with this, based on the data in the file?

    S

    Yeah, it's not a file transfer. The masters manage their own files locally. The programs talk to each other and update info in the program, then rewrite the files locally.
  • sling100sling100 Junior Member Posts: 104
    Ah OK.

    So it's more a case of a load of cases of IP_SERVER_OPEN (one local port for each remote system?) then using a DATA_EVENT to catch the strings sent?

    Simon
  • Duncan EllisDuncan Ellis Code Junkie Posts: 103
    Emails and stuff

    I got around this by writing an SMTP engine and subscribing to an SMTP relay service, works really well.
    For the IP address changes I added in a DynDNS module which looks at the forward facing IP 4 times per day, checking for changes.
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 4000+ posts Posts: 4,177
    sling100 wrote: »
    Ah OK.

    So it's more a case of a load of cases of IP_SERVER_OPEN (one local port for each remote system?) then using a DATA_EVENT to catch the strings sent?

    Simon

    Not a local port for each system actually. I just keep a port open for each protocaol/API. Comcast might be port 21001 and DirecTV 21002, etc... System reports/emails also come in on one port. Collisions are handled in the exchange. A system wishing to make a connection must wait until another is done first.

    But, yes one could also do it the way you suggest. I don't know of the top of my hed what the limit of open ports is. I know it's not enough to handle the number of systems I monitor.
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 4000+ posts Posts: 4,177
    I got around this by writing an SMTP engine and subscribing to an SMTP relay service, works really well.
    For the IP address changes I added in a DynDNS module which looks at the forward facing IP 4 times per day, checking for changes.

    yeah, I do a similar thing within the remote master. I just hit AMX's www.amx.com/ip.asp and get my WAN IP from there. Mine only hits once a day. We have our Certified Cyber Solutions Home Cyber Shield boxes that are more aggressive at keeping track of such things. Those report changes in minutes.

    SMTP is a great idea too.
    e
  • roognationroognation Junior Member Posts: 138
    Slight Update

    I have been slow to implement the aforementioned Mothership scenario; sounds great, but for some smaller projects I have plowed forward with some simple emails...and currently I am having some sporadic trouble with vfemail.

    I just tried free email from gmx.com and with limited testing, seems a lot more stable and faster than vfemail.

    http://www.gmx.com/

    Hope this helps.
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