I’m in IT. That means I spend a lot of time around systems and figuring out how to automate or otherwise make my life easier, as well as monitoring to know about issues before people come to complain at my desk. So once I made the decision to get SRS with Suporn I started to look to see if I could move my date up a bit as I didn’t want to wait the 15 months it was going to be. So I started to refresh the Suporn scheduling page on my phone and at home twice a day roughly. But I realized that due to the time differences as well as infrequency of my refreshes, it would be likely I’d miss an opening. So I found a way to automate this task and got my date moved up a year (to the day funny enough). Here’s how.
Knowing I’d need to monitor the page for changes I checked the source code to see how easy it would be to create a script to go and poll it to watch for changes. The code is easy enough, and I could’ve written a script to do exactly that. But knowing there are services that watch external website pages for companies, I did some quick googling and experimented with a few of the results. Most sucked, didn’t monitor it right, or required pay for services to monitor more frequently than a day. But one, Follow That Page, wasn’t like that.
So, I needed to setup an alert. With a free account you get one check per hour. This was good enough for me. So I setup an account using a unique Gmail address for it. As an aside, Gmail ignores anything after a “+” symbol which means your gmail address “email@example.com” will get email for “firstname.lastname@example.org” and “email@example.com” for example. You can replace “suporn” or “reddit” with other text and thus create a unique email address per site (better security since you don’t reuse credentials, along with the ability to see who sold/gave up your email address). Coupled with a password manager that has 2 factor authentication and you’re in a pretty good spot for online accounts. But I digress.
Once the account was created, under the tab “Your pages” I setup an alert:
After clicking “Next” you’re brought to a page that has a few options, but we only care about changing the polling frequency to every hour (in yellow):
The side provides a preview of how it reads through the page you’re monitoring. This is similar to what you’ll see in the email alerts. It removes some of the pretty colors, but you don’t care about that. You care about when a date with initials changes to a number. That’s what’s important for moving your date up. Here’s the preview though:
Once you’ve clicked save you’re done. Now just sit back and watch as the emails come in. I usually get 1-2 a day Mon-Fri (US Eastern), usually in the morning although sometimes afternoon and evenings as well. The emails can certainly be used to track changes directly, however the problem is it doesn’t include what year the changes are in. This means when you see “September” it could be for September 2016 or 2017. For me I found it’s easier to just refresh the page on my phone when I get an alert, but you can do more work to get this customized if you want. I didn’t. So when the site gets updated, I get an email that looks like this:
In this example you can see that Jul 13th opened up, September 6th/14th were reserved, and November 15th opened up. It also tells you when it was updated (the surgery date line) if you’re interested. When you see something open, email them ASAP and it’s likely you’ll get moved up. If not, keep watching it. Stuff opens up usually 60 days out (mine was 63 days out when it opened up) due to how Suporn does the deposit and losing part of it <60 days in most cases.