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Issue 4.6


Net Stakeout

Issue: 4.6 (July/August 2006)
Author: Norman Palardy
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 2,944
Starting Page Number: 10
Article Number: 4606
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While many web sites and news feeds can be monitored via RSS, there are still a lot that aren't set up that way. And, for someone wanting to keep up to date with these sites, Net Stakeout is a simple and effective way of doing this.

It starts up quickly and the interface is easy to get the hang of. There's a list of items you're watching, and you add a "Suspect" to the "Caseload" by clicking the plus icon in the lower left of the panel. For each of the suspects, you tell the program what web link you want to monitor, the frequency of checking, and also how much change has to occur before you get one of two warning levels.

Then, if the changes meet or surpass the thresholds you set, you can take any number of actions. You can launch a program, bounce the icon in the Dock in OS X, and for the "Red Alert" level you can send an email to notify someone.

There are similar options for notification of errors that might occur when trying to check the link.

The preferences let you specify what user agent Net Stakeout should use to identify itself to the web servers you're checking. It would be really handy if you could specify this for each site, instead of only once globally, in case you need different settings for different web sites.

I know that, in my previous working life at a large corporation, one of the issues we had when monitoring hundreds of servers was how to bring ones that required interaction to an operator's attention. Net Stakeout would be a great utility for this as you could set it to monitor a page on each server that reported current server status. With the various alert levels you could bring one to the foreground very simply. Watching any of a number of news sites that are not RSS enabled would be very easy with Net Stakeout.

A very handy little utility with a myriad of uses.

End of article.