It's a grey Saturday morning, not quite wet enough to be sure that sport is cancelled, and not clear enough to be sure it's on. You dial the school's wet weather line, and it's engaged because hundreds of other parents are doing the same thing. When you finally get through, you hear that sport is on, but it may get cancelled later. As you bundle the kids into the car you toss up getting a fine for using your mobile to call the wet weather line on the way, or getting there and discovering it was cancelled half an hour ago.It was a Trinity vs Cranbrook game at 7:15 in the morning that made me come up with a better solution. I set up some servers that dial the wet weather lines repeatedly and check for any change in message. If the sportsmaster has changed the voicemail message, my servers grab it and then push it out to this app over the internet.Just open this app on Saturday morning, and you'll see when there's a new message. You can play it with the touch of a finger, or you can get the children to do it for you. They'll be using your iphone in the car anyway, of course.So far I'm only monitoring a handful of Sydney private schools, such as Barker, Kings, Cranbrook, Trinity and so on. Look at the website (wet-weather-line.ifost.org.au) to see if your school is being monitored. Let me know through the form there if you want something else monitored.
It’s easy to think that all you need to carry with you these days is a smartphone and you’re ready for anything. But some extended periods away from my desk have discovered four things that are ‘must-haves’ for the traveller.