Cruft Alarm Notes
Cruft Alarm is a sophisticated computer program that screens several mailing lists for desirable items. It is written in the Ruby programming language.
Two classes, crufter.rb and post.rb, form the basis of Cruft Alarm.
The crufter class connects to the cruftalarm-at-gmail.com email account. If there are any new messages, it gives them to the post class, which manages the information in each message. The crufter class then prints this information.
The post class manages the information in each cruft email. It uses many advanced natural language processing techniques to achieve its lofty goals.
Gmail was chosen as the email account of choice for several reasons:
- Using an Athena account would require hardcoding in someone's username and password.
- Yahoo! Mail and hotmail do not support POP3 (or something like that).
By using Gmail to check for new messages, Cruft Alarm in fact receives emails considerably faster than do normal Athena accounts (in contrary to what was initially believed). According to Ruth Shewmon, this is because Gmail updates its email servers more often than Athena does (or something like that).
Cruft Alarm receives e-mails from the gmail account cruftalarm-at-gmail.com. cruftalarm-at-gmail.com is subscribed to the Athena mailing list, the-companion. the-companion, in turn, is subscribed to the Athena mailing lists reuse and free-food.
Mailing lists cruftalarm/the-companion needs to be added to: freefood.
Natural Language Processing
- Get Edwin Chen's stupid computer to work with Ruby on Rails.
- Add telephone capabilities, so that Cruft Alarm can dial a telephone number if a desirable item is posted.
- Set up Cruft Alarm's visual interface (the LCDs).
- Make Walker Chan and David Harvison give Edwin Chen a Master cruft list.
- Set up version control. (?)
- Add Cruft Alarm to more mailing lists (especially freefood).