For 2023 - we are now fully retired from IT training.
We have made many, many friends over 25 years of teaching about Python, Tcl, Perl, PHP, Lua, Java, C and C++ - and MySQL, Linux and Solaris/SunOS too. Our training notes are now very much out of date, but due to upward compatability most of our examples remain operational and even relevant ad you are welcome to make us if them "as seen" and at your own risk.
Lisa and I (Graham) now live in what was our training centre in Melksham - happy to meet with former delegates here - but do check ahead before coming round. We are far from inactive - rather, enjoying the times that we are retired but still healthy enough in mind and body to be active!
I am also active in many other area and still look after a lot of web sites - you can find an index ((here))
Checking that all our servers are up and accessible
We run a number of domains (around 50) on different servers (around half a dozen) in various locations in Englnd, Germany and the USA. How can I keep track of them all / do a quick test to chek that - at the least - they're all online to the Internet? And how can I do that test from anywhere I happen to be with a net connection ... even if I'm in a remote location at an Internet cafe or customers's machine?
There's a script on our main web site (and various backup copies on other sites) that uses Expect to "ping" around a domain on each server ... and it then reports the results to the browser. Because expect can support a number of processes in parallel, performance is fast, even if a number of the servers are down.
We're trainers. Love to tell people how we do things. So you can read a bit more about it in our resources centre
, try the script out in our programs directory
and even view the source code
. If you want to learn how to write this sort of thing for yourself, have a look at our Tcl course
P.S. The script actually doubles up ... run on our own network, it provides a quick and easy way to see, at a click, which training systems are on the network and whether we're connected to the Internet at the current time. (written 2005-04-22, updated 2006-06-05)
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articlesT212 - Tcl/Tk - Expect Processes 
Adding PHP tags to an old cgi program - (2006-04-08) 
Cheat Sheet / Check list for Expect maintainers - (2007-05-02) 
What is running on your network? (tcl and expect) - (2008-09-04) 
Using Tcl and Expect to automate repetitive jobs - (2009-10-24) 
Parallel Pinging, using Python Threads or Expect spawn lists - (2009-11-02) 
Checking all the systems on a subnet, using Expect and Tk - (2011-09-18) 
Expect with Ruby - a training example to get you started - (2016-05-18)
Some other Articles
Why are we no. 404Object Orientation in Tcl - [incr-Tcl]MP for Devizes, WiltshireColour blindness for web developersChecking that all our servers are up and accessibleAutomating regular manual proceduresWhat career opportunities for web designersThe Iconish languageNatural or man-made?Short weekend
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at
the diary and writings of Graham Ellis.
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