Today two of my servers went down. It turned out, that the datacenter they are hosted in had a slight connectivity hiccup – nothing serious. While I was battling my monitoring system and frantically typed support tickets, I wanted an audible alert if the hosts where reachable again in the meantime.

That’s when I thought of OS X’s text to speech system and devised the following little shell script.

It will announce that the host is back up with your configured standard voice as soon as there is a ping response and then quit. Just copy it in your .bashrc file call it with the desired hostname or IP address, leave it running in a Terminal window in the background and turn up your speakers.


One of my most used means of monitoring what’s going on at a remote Linux server, is looking at the log lines that each daemon or client program writes to the disk. Using this technique you can see a real time view about what is happening and find out if there are any outstanding errors or optimizations in your configuration. I am going to show how I tackle this task and what tricks I use to make tons of lines of dull text more readable.

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