Welcome Guest.   Make a donation to an author on the site September 02, 2014, 09:13:02 AM  *

Please login or register.
Or did you miss your validation email?


Login with username and password (forgot your password?)
Why not become a lifetime supporting member of the site with a one-time donation of any amount? Your donation entitles you to a ton of additional benefits, including access to exclusive discounts and downloads, the ability to enter monthly free software drawings, and a single non-expiring license key for all of our programs.


You must sign up here before you can post and access some areas of the site. Registration is totally free and confidential.
 
Read the full one-year retrospective report on DonationCoder.com.
   
   Forum Home   Thread Marks Chat! Downloads Search Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Reply  |  New Topic  |  Print  
Author Topic: IDEA: Connected to Network Notification Window  (Read 6036 times)
k4mz
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 9


View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« on: December 07, 2007, 06:54:24 PM »

Hello! Let me describe my situation for this software request.

I have a fleet of vehicles with built-in computers.  They connect to our network/servers via wireless "hot spots" so as they move they are not always connected to the network.  These computers don't use wireless cards or anything.  They actually have a wireless bridge in the vehicle which connects via CAT5 to the computers Ethernet card.  Also, none of these computers get their IP via DHCP; they all have a Static IP's.  So, my question is, is there a small piece of software that can be made (if it does not already exist) that can visually (like an "idiot light") show the person that they are in the hotspot and have a connection back to the gateway or server or something?  These are people with little technical computer knowledge, so showing them how to ping or set up a continuous ping is out of the question (I realize I could setup a batch file for them to run or something, but I'd rather have as little human intervention in this as possible).  I'd just like to have a large icon of sorts like 1" x 1" in a window on the desktop that was red if not connected to the network and green if there is a network connection present.  I'd prefer this to having something in the taskbar or notification area where it would be more difficult to see.  Having the ability to set it so it was always on top of windows or not would be great too.

Again, keep in mind that the windows "show icon in the notification area when connected" doesn't work because the computer has a static IP and is always connected to the bridge so it thinks its always on the network. Also, trying to detect if the computer has all of a sudden received an IP via DHCP wont work because we don't use DHCP.

Hope this is something that would be easy to code and a good "snack", because it would be so helpful for me as a systems admin and the people that will use it.

Thanks,
David

Edit: BTW, in case it matters for coding purposes/ideas, these computers are in a "no internet access" group in our Cisco ASA.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2007, 07:11:22 PM by k4mz » Logged
Ralf Maximus
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 927



View Profile Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2007, 07:14:31 PM »

Do you know if the "gateway or server or something" has ping services turned on?
Logged
k4mz
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 9


View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2007, 07:18:13 PM »

Yes, if I ping the gateway or one of the servers I will get a response.  Also for what its worth, I can ping via IP or NetBIOS name.
Logged
jgpaiva
Global Moderator
*****
Posts: 4,710



Artificial Idiocy

see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2007, 07:17:18 AM »

With autohotkey, the only way to know if there is network connection available is to try to download a file and see if any error occuored.
If there is no internet connection, it's impossible to download something for google or something.
Thus, is there anything really small on the network that the vehicles could download?

(notice that this method would probably generate some traffic over the line. If you have some kind of limitation in the traffic from in/out of the vehicles, this is a bad idea)
Logged

k4mz
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 9


View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2007, 09:02:43 AM »

No traffic limitations but with the potential of 20 - 30 vehicles at a time on the network downloading or pinging constantly, bandwidth issues are certainly of some concern.  Downloading a small .txt file or something off one of the servers is certainly possible though.
Logged
jgpaiva
Global Moderator
*****
Posts: 4,710



Artificial Idiocy

see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2007, 10:10:05 AM »

Actually it's the other way around. If you're worried about having the vehicles ping'ing constantly, you should be even more worried about the download of the .txt file, since an http get is larger than a icmp ping packet Wink

PS: i probably wasn't very specific about the previous question, i meant to ask if it is possible to download from an http server, as if it was downloaded from a browser.
Logged

k4mz
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 9


View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2007, 10:40:56 AM »

Yes, even for computers in the no internet zone, our webserver should be available on the "inside" if we use it's IP.  If necessary I can alter the hosts file too.
Logged
patthecat
Member
**
Posts: 88


View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2007, 10:52:17 AM »

What about trying to do something with a command line based RSS reader:  This link shows some of them listed under the section "Command Line based aggregators" towards the bottom of the page: http://www.newsonfeeds.com/faq/aggregators


PS: i probably wasn't very specific about the previous question, i meant to ask if it is possible to download from an http server, as if it was downloaded from a browser.
Logged
patthecat
Member
**
Posts: 88


View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2007, 10:58:51 AM »

To somewhat alleviate the wireless interference part, what about segmenting using multiple wireless access points
- different SSIDs
- use non-overlapping wireless channels: 1, 6, or 11 (1, 7, 13 in Europe)


No traffic limitations but with the potential of 20 - 30 vehicles at a time on the network downloading or pinging constantly, bandwidth issues are certainly of some concern.  Downloading a small .txt file or something off one of the servers is certainly possible though.
Logged
patthecat
Member
**
Posts: 88


View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2007, 11:15:17 AM »

Here's another idea, I subscribe to the service HotSpotVPN to encrypt wireless transmission when using a public wi-fi hotspot.  It uses OpenVPN software (http://openvpn.net).

So when I do not have it on or there is no connection from my OpenVPN client side to HotspotVPN's vpn server, the OpenVPN has no light (not active) or the connection is trying to connect (yellow light).  If there is an established secure connection, the OpenVPN icon turns green.

The icon I'm talking about can be seen in the screenshots section on OpenVPN GUI for Windows (http://openvpn.se)
« Last Edit: December 08, 2007, 11:23:15 AM by patthecat » Logged
Ralf Maximus
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 927



View Profile Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2007, 01:01:39 PM »

I wrote a little something.  Take a look at this:



Enter an IP address and hit the Ping button to begin checking at 1 second intervals.  If there's a response to the ping, the graphic turns green.  Otherwise it remains greyed out.  Click the button again to stop the process.

This is a proof of concept -- if it works for you, let me know what you want it to look like and any additional features (configurable ping times, etc).

Thanks,
Ralf

* Pingy.zip (22.56 KB - downloaded 190 times.)
Logged
k4mz
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 9


View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2007, 01:22:18 PM »

Although I have no way to test in the live environment at the moment, I think that it would certainly work!

The only thing is, these guys don't know squat about an IP addy.  They'll be trying to put their name or their SSN in there or something!  Would it be possible to hard code the IP address or give me like an admin configurability area so I can set and if necessary, change the IP (even just letting me control settings and options in an .ini file or something would be cool).  Configurable ping times would be nice too, perhaps also in an ini file if you go that route.  Also, not sure whether it would be better for it to start pinging when the program is started in addition to letting the user start and stop it or not.  This is something that I would be tempted to set up as a startup item so it automatically runs, if the program was set up that way.  Again, maybe a switch I can set in an ini or an admin backend.  If any of this is too much, I understand.  The fact you made a program for me is great as it is!

EDIT:  The more I think about it, some type of external configuration file would be great (if it is possible) since this will be deployed to many remote users.  That way I don't have to touch each machine and alter settings, I can just push out a new config file remotely or just drop a new file in off of a thumb drive and be done in a few seconds.

Thanks Ralf!
« Last Edit: December 08, 2007, 01:35:30 PM by k4mz » Logged
Ralf Maximus
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 927



View Profile Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2007, 01:35:33 PM »

Glad you like it.

As I said, this is just a proof-of-concept.  If the networking part actually works as advertised, then I'll be happy to pile on the goodies.   Go try it out when you can and report back.  If it passes, then I'll add:

- .INI file to configure IP address, ping interval, and auto-start.

- Lock the IP box so it doesn't change accidently.  (Double-click to unlock?).

- Screen position saved between sessions.  If somebody drags it into a particular corner, it should stay there.

- Some kind of minor animation whenever it's actually pinging, to indicate it's not dead.

- Display of the last time it successfully pinged ("Aw crap, I've been offline for 10 minutes!").

Aside from making it play MP3 files, I'm open to just about anything.  Just lemme know!
Logged
k4mz
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 9


View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2007, 01:38:32 PM »

Super ideas Ralf, if they are easy, I like all of them!  I will test it out in a car Monday and report back.  It certainly works here on my home network.  And, if you think of anymore ideas in the meantime I'd love to hear them and I will be thinking as well!

Thanks again,
David
« Last Edit: December 08, 2007, 01:40:51 PM by k4mz » Logged
Ralf Maximus
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 927



View Profile Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2007, 09:17:15 PM »

New version, Pingy v1.1 that has all the features suggested above. 



Run it once to create a pingy.ini configuration file, then edit it to change the IP address and Interval (in seconds).  Set Interval=0.5 to ping twice a second, etc.  Double-clicking the IP box allows entry of a new address for testing, but does not update the pingy.ini file -- this is by design, to prevent trash from getting in there by accident.

Set AutoStart=1 to have Pingy begin pinging as soon as it starts.

Please let me know if it works for you, David!

* Pingy v1.1.zip (27.62 KB - downloaded 209 times.)
« Last Edit: December 09, 2007, 09:42:02 PM by Ralf Maximus » Logged
jgpaiva
Global Moderator
*****
Posts: 4,710



Artificial Idiocy

see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2007, 04:38:46 AM »

Congrats Ralf, that's great work!
I love the icon cheesy
Logged

k4mz
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 9


View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2007, 09:28:52 AM »

Hi Ralf!

I tested your latest version and it works superbly! I got the IP that I needed set and also the default screen position I want it to come up in (I know they may change it and it will change the INI but at least it starts off where I want it to!) and once I did that I created an Inno installer (hope that was OK) with the INI already built.  The installer minimizes my time and intervention by putting it in program files and I get desktop and startup shortcuts etc.  It has worked out perfectly. So far I have put it on 4 cars and the guys are really happy with it and what it does.

Cant thank you enough!

David
Logged
Ralf Maximus
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 927



View Profile Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2007, 09:35:38 AM »

W00t!  Glad to help.  And no problem with creating an installer -- do with it as you will.

:-)
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Reply  |  New Topic  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  
   Forum Home   Thread Marks Chat! Downloads Search Login Register  

DonationCoder.com | About Us
DonationCoder.com Forum | Powered by SMF
[ Page time: 0.04s | Server load: 0.08 ]