Script to calculate remaining minutes

Discussion in 'Perl' started by hupjack, Apr 24, 2004.

  1. hupjack

    hupjack Guest

    I finally joined the millions of cell phone users out there. I'm the 2nd
    phone on what is now a family share plan. (Our two cell phones use minutes
    from a central 400 minute peak time pool.)
    Looking at the verizon wireless website, minutes used are displayed only as
    two different totals for our 2 phones. Dialing in from a phones to check
    remaining minutes, the minutes are presented the same way, broken down by
    each phone but not available as a combined total. I would like to see the
    combined total of our minutes displayed so we can at-a-glance see our
    month's remaining minutes without doing any math. I wrote verizon a letter
    and told them as much, but rather than hold my breath, I want to take
    matters into my own hands and write a script that does the job.

    I assume with relative ease, I should be able to write a script that goes to
    https://www.verizonwireless.com/vzwapp/vzserve/loginform authorizes it's way
    into the website, copies the number of peak minutes for each phone (it's
    just two text fields), take them offline, add them together, and displays my
    used minutes out of 400 (i.e. 245/400) on my desktop at my request.

    I doubt I'm the only one around that would like such a script to cure their
    family share plan remaining minute confusion. I've taken a course in C and
    can probably stumble my way through writing a script with a few pointers.
    One thing I was wondering was whether there were any generic data capture
    scripts available that I could tweak. Like a script for which I could just
    sub in the website, login, password, and point to the data I wanted it to
    grab. I had asked a friend with more coding background than me, and he said
    what I wanted was totally doable with a Perl script. He also said I could
    go to rentacoder.com. I had never heard of that before.. Pretty cool
    website.. neat idea.. Contracting out a coding job.. Getting bids.. I
    suppose I could post a request and see how much people want for the script.
    But I'd like to do it myself though, take pride in a job well done, and not
    pay anything :) I'm sure there are plenty of scripts out there that do the
    same thing I'm after.

    I certainly appreciate all the help I can get :)

    Thanks,
    -Ethan

    --
    To e-mail me, replace "_nospamtoday_" with the "@" symbol when replying to
    my address.
     
    hupjack, Apr 24, 2004
    #1
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  2. Sounds like a great idea. I'm in the same situation you are in and would
    love to have the script if you get one written. Don't have any help at
    the moment, but keep this thread going and I may help if you get it started.

    Steve

    hupjack wrote:

    > I finally joined the millions of cell phone users out there. I'm the 2nd
    > phone on what is now a family share plan. (Our two cell phones use minutes
    > from a central 400 minute peak time pool.)
    > Looking at the verizon wireless website, minutes used are displayed only as
    > two different totals for our 2 phones. Dialing in from a phones to check
    > remaining minutes, the minutes are presented the same way, broken down by
    > each phone but not available as a combined total. I would like to see the
    > combined total of our minutes displayed so we can at-a-glance see our
    > month's remaining minutes without doing any math. I wrote verizon a letter
    > and told them as much, but rather than hold my breath, I want to take
    > matters into my own hands and write a script that does the job.
    >
    > I assume with relative ease, I should be able to write a script that goes to
    > https://www.verizonwireless.com/vzwapp/vzserve/loginform authorizes it's way
    > into the website, copies the number of peak minutes for each phone (it's
    > just two text fields), take them offline, add them together, and displays my
    > used minutes out of 400 (i.e. 245/400) on my desktop at my request.
    >
    > I doubt I'm the only one around that would like such a script to cure their
    > family share plan remaining minute confusion. I've taken a course in C and
    > can probably stumble my way through writing a script with a few pointers.
    > One thing I was wondering was whether there were any generic data capture
    > scripts available that I could tweak. Like a script for which I could just
    > sub in the website, login, password, and point to the data I wanted it to
    > grab. I had asked a friend with more coding background than me, and he said
    > what I wanted was totally doable with a Perl script. He also said I could
    > go to rentacoder.com. I had never heard of that before.. Pretty cool
    > website.. neat idea.. Contracting out a coding job.. Getting bids.. I
    > suppose I could post a request and see how much people want for the script.
    > But I'd like to do it myself though, take pride in a job well done, and not
    > pay anything :) I'm sure there are plenty of scripts out there that do the
    > same thing I'm after.
    >
    > I certainly appreciate all the help I can get :)
    >
    > Thanks,
    > -Ethan
    >
     
    Steve Johnson, Apr 25, 2004
    #2
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  3. hupjack

    Paul Guest

    "hupjack" <hupjack_nospamtoday_yahoo.com> wrote in message news:<>...
    > I finally joined the millions of cell phone users out there. I'm the 2nd
    > phone on what is now a family share plan. (Our two cell phones use minutes
    > from a central 400 minute peak time pool.)
    > Looking at the verizon wireless website, minutes used are displayed only as
    > two different totals for our 2 phones. Dialing in from a phones to check
    > remaining minutes, the minutes are presented the same way, broken down by
    > each phone but not available as a combined total. I would like to see the
    > combined total of our minutes displayed so we can at-a-glance see our
    > month's remaining minutes without doing any math. I wrote verizon a letter
    > and told them as much, but rather than hold my breath, I want to take
    > matters into my own hands and write a script that does the job.
    >
    > I assume with relative ease, I should be able to write a script that goes to
    > https://www.verizonwireless.com/vzwapp/vzserve/loginform authorizes it's way
    > into the website, copies the number of peak minutes for each phone (it's
    > just two text fields), take them offline, add them together, and displays my
    > used minutes out of 400 (i.e. 245/400) on my desktop at my request.
    >
    > I doubt I'm the only one around that would like such a script to cure their
    > family share plan remaining minute confusion. I've taken a course in C and
    > can probably stumble my way through writing a script with a few pointers.
    > One thing I was wondering was whether there were any generic data capture
    > scripts available that I could tweak. Like a script for which I could just
    > sub in the website, login, password, and point to the data I wanted it to
    > grab. I had asked a friend with more coding background than me, and he said
    > what I wanted was totally doable with a Perl script. He also said I could
    > go to rentacoder.com. I had never heard of that before.. Pretty cool
    > website.. neat idea.. Contracting out a coding job.. Getting bids.. I
    > suppose I could post a request and see how much people want for the script.
    > But I'd like to do it myself though, take pride in a job well done, and not
    > pay anything :) I'm sure there are plenty of scripts out there that do the
    > same thing I'm after.
    >
    > I certainly appreciate all the help I can get :)
    >


    Note: I am reading this from comp.lang.perl.

    I see two options.

    1.If you are trying to do it on your desktop pc then write a desktop
    program which sends an http request to the login script through your
    internet connection.
    This is probably better done in C.

    2. If you are trying to do it from a server.
    This is better as you can view the data on desktop, internet or even
    WAP.
    This is the option where you would use perl.

    If you want to try option2 then I advise you to firstly get a server
    with CGI/Perl support if you haven't already done so. Common
    alternatives to CGI/Perl are javaee or dotnet.

    Whatever option you choose when you call the login program(by http
    request),you'll need to use the POST method to send your username and
    PIN in the http request header, with the appropriate information for
    your username and PIN.
    Then the login program will probably return a whole page load of html
    from which you will need to extract your information. But I don't know
    what this login program returns or if there are alternative login
    programs.

    Note: You are jeapordising the security of your PIN number if you do
    this.
    I cannot see a way to do this securely without having some kind of
    decryptor on verizons server.

    HTH.
    Paul
     
    Paul, Apr 28, 2004
    #3
  4. hupjack

    hupjack Guest

    Paul,

    your post certainly did help. I'd probably have to do a fair amount of
    reading and exploration before I was able to tackle this project on my own.
    I threw a post up on rent-a-coder since I was curious what might come of
    that. I also wonder if there is a way to submit this idea to the open
    source community. If there are people in that camp that would likely be
    interested in making the app (of course I'd want to be a major contributor
    if I could). If written flexibly such that it took username and password
    input, and # of minutes in your plan input, such an app could become popular
    among those verizon customers with family plans.

    If the program is done as a desktop PC tool, would the password still be
    exposed? Or is it secure after it leaves my computer assuming it's being
    submitted through the secure website?

    -Ethan
     
    hupjack, Apr 28, 2004
    #4
  5. hupjack

    hupjack Guest

    I'm actually having the application created on rentacoder.com. Once it's
    set, I'd like to share the app and spread the cost around a larger
    userbase. A coder offered to write the program for $50, so we shall see what
    we get in return. Steve was the only one that responded to my post as a
    user also interested in using such an application, but I'm sure there are
    many more out there that would like the convenience of this app. The only
    question is, how do I bring the application to the awareness of the average
    family share plan users?

    Hopefully I can find more interested folk. I don't know of any other
    community to post to besides
    alt.cellular.verizon and
    http://www.howardforums.com/forumdisplay.php?s=6c85dc3426f8f279047caea2cf9d2e76&forumid=51
    any other suggestions for spreading the word?

    Just thought I'd update the thread and announce that progress is being made
    regarding that peak minutes application.
    -Ethan


    "Steve Johnson" <> wrote in message
    news:K4Ric.20048$cF6.792099@attbi_s04...
    > Sounds like a great idea. I'm in the same situation you are in and would
    > love to have the script if you get one written. Don't have any help at
    > the moment, but keep this thread going and I may help if you get it

    started.
     
    hupjack, May 5, 2004
    #5
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