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Great Stuff


An industrious Murphy Mac visitor has taken two posts and run with them. Things that would have taken Murphy weeks to unravel have been hammered out in mere minutes.

First, Chris at millshalligan posted a widget for converting a single file into an encrypted file. (After seeing Murphy’s post here!) So if you’re a Widget kind of person and not really interested in the Terminal take a look.

After that, Chris posted a solution for having your WordPress site contact your Mac via Growl when a comment is posted to your blog. Murphy had wondered about the plausibility of such a feature in his own Growl post. Maybe Murph should wonder about some other stuff and see if Chris keeps cranking out answers.

It looks like Bluehost doesn’t allow the outbound Growl notification – unless you pay an additional $30 annually for a dedicated IP address. Check with your own host before trying this out.

Thanks to Chris at millshalligan for some great stuff.

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6 comments to “Great Stuff”

  1. I’ve been working on a remote Growl “system”, mostly to allow irssi running on remote shells to display notifications to my laptop behind a router.
    What it does is:
    The irssi clients have a perl script (called for now), that when ever my nick is highlighted, it does a HTTP request to my web hosting, the same as browsing to

    The PHP script simply stores the message/application name in a text file (Could easily be made into a MySQL DB etc)

    Then, I have another perl script called, which every 10 seconds (easily changeable) retrives any new messages from that PHP script, and displays them via Growl (Using the Mac::Growl plugin, which could easily be changed to the growlnotify command)

    The good thing about this setup is you don’t need to forward the Growl Notify port, the centre server never has to make outbound connections on odd ports (It’s all done via normal HTTP requests, which every web-host supports obviously), it’d work from multiple IPs (unlike having to hard-configure your Growl-computer’s IP address), also since the messages are stored on a webpage that any scripting language can retrive, you could code Windows, Linux, (and pretty much any other OS) clients.

    It’s still not complete, mostly the irssi script isn’t working properly, but the local and PHP script are both more or less complete – since I’ve never used wordpress I couldn’t really help with that part, but – If someone wrote a script that creates a text file in the format :
    base64-encoded-blog-name, base64-encoded-comment-author-and-comment-text

    : my script could easily display new comments (or anything other info you could turn into a text file). Once the page is accessed, you’d need to make the script empty the file so it doesn’t display it repeatedly This is the local client script, save it to (in your home folder), after changing the line :
    our ($centrehost,$centrepath,$user,$pass) to incluide the correct hostname for your website, and the path to the PHP script.
    Then open Terminal, type
    perl &

    You’ll need the Mac::Growl module installed (See the growl documentation for how to do that, it comes in the Growl Dev download I think)

    Sorry if this isn’t particularly clear, it’s a little hard to write coherently in this little comment box. But, if people are interested/I have time, I’ll put together a little site with clearer instructions and finish of the code.

  2. I’m sure people would be interested. I definitely think you should put a guide together.

    I’m going to check if Bluehost lets out tcp traffic from php too – I only tested the udp Growl stuff yesterday.

  3. Can WordPress (or an add on) create an RSS of the comments of a blog? If so, you could add that feed to an RSS Reader like Google Reader and tie the feed reader to Growl.

  4. Jo –

    Yes, WordPress has a feed for comments. That’s a great workaround.

    Here’s Murphy’s comment feed. It can be a pretty lonely place.

  5. Murph: cool post, found you on google. I would suggest an ssh solution. On your mac, install growl notify and enable sshd. From your mac create an ssh tunnel like so: ssh -R 2222:localhost:22 -N username@webserver
    This will create a port on your webserver that points to the sshd on your mac. You will need to create a key on your webserver with ssh-keygen and then add that public key to your authorized keys file on your mac. Then, from your scripts on your webserver you will do something like: ssh -p 2222 username@localhost /usr/local/bin/growlnotify -m “it works”

    I have automated this and use it do things like put stuff in my OS X paste buffer from a remote ssh session with pbcopy. This takes some knowledge of the unix world, but it is incredibly useful and very flexible. It cuts right through firewalls with ease.

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