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Flexible server monitoring

Introducing Simon 5!

Simon version 5 is now available. It is a massive update, introducing a much-requested feature: syncing the Simon data between multiple Macs, plus a Simon Status service, a Link Checker filter, improved Find filter, iMessage and Speak Error notifiers, a new app icon, and much more.

Important: please note that Simon 5 requires a minimum of macOS 10.12 (Sierra), and is a paid upgrade from Simon 4. Purchasers since September 1, 2020 automatically get a version 5 license (that also works in previous versions).

Read the Simon What's New page for details.

Status colors and duration

I'm curious about how long the colors of the status triangle stays yellow after recovery. For example, a few of my mail servers went down for a few minutes yesterday morning, but it still shows the yellow indicator tonight.

For me, it would make more sense if the recovery indicator showed green, and then only for a short time, maybe 15 minutes or something, and then go back to the normal gray. It would make more sense also for changes to be shown as yellow, as I tend to watch websites for malicious changes and would consider it a warning indicator.

So, I guess I'm requesting customizable colors and timings for the status indicators in a future update, if that's something you'd consider.

btw, I really like the new Growl notification... that buzzer always scared me out of my chair :)

David Sinclair's picture

Re: Status colors and duration

The way the status indicators is as follows:

- When a failure occurs, it displays a bright red downward triangle.
- When it recovers, it changes to a bright orange/yellow upward triangle.
- As time goes by (an hour, a day, a week, a month) the indicator slowly fades in brightness, till eventually it reaches gray, assuming there are no further failures or changes.
- Similarly, when a change occurs, it changes to bright green, which fades over time to gray.

This color fading is quite helpful as a quick visual indication of how long it has been since the recovery or change.

I'll make a note of the suggestion of configurable colors; that could be something worth considering for a future release.

I'm glad you like the new Growl notification!

Re: Status colors and duration

OK, I get the concept, and it makes sense to do it that way. Maybe I'd just prefer it fade over a shorter time period. So it would fade all the way back to gray in, say, 24 or 48 hours.

The colors make sense as-is, almost. I wonder if it might be possible to have two different versions of smart-change checks, one that checks blogs and stuff for updates (as it is now, responds to change as good), and a new check that would check things that shouldn't change for malicious changes/hacks/defacement, and would indicate changes as bad (red instead of green?)?

I think that might be better than configurable colors, imho...

David Sinclair's picture

Re: Status colors and duration

Yes, a configurable fade duration would be a good enhancement. I like giving lots of options to customize the app to suit your needs (so long as it doesn't make it too complicated).

You can make changes cause a failure by including essential text in the Start text field (and perhaps nothing in the End text) -- then if that text isn't found, it's a failure. If the page is static, you could include a large portion of the page source in the Start text -- or a suitable subset.

I do want to enhance the Smart Change Detection feature in a future release, to add several more options.

Re: Status colors and duration

good to know. That helps.


Status Colors

I have a different take on the status indicators, mostly since I only use Simon to watch web servers (and mail servers) to be sure they're up. For me, seeing a report with a nice row of bright green "up" arrows when the servers are up would make more sense than gray ones.

I have Simon upload a report to my own web server as well and give each client a link to the detail report for his server. Again, a nice reassuring green "up" arrow would be easy to understand.

This is not a "you're doing it wrong" argument ...just another argument for (even more) configurability.

Keep up the good work,

Jim Kane
Rochester, NY

David Sinclair's picture

Re: Status Colors

Thanks for the feedback - it's good to know about different ways people use Simon, and how it can be improved to be even more helpful. I'll add your vote for the status configurability.

Interestingly, the status colors was one of the original features of Simon 1.0, and it hasn't come up for discussion before - but that doesn't mean it isn't a good candidate for enhancement. I could imagine something as simple as a preference, or as flexible as "icon sets" where users can download or share sets of replacement icon shapes and colors (e.g. someone might want a yellow smiley face for success vs a red frowny face for failures).

oranges2apples's picture

2nd it!

I second this feature.

Testing this application to replace an old application called PageSentry. The product is no longer made and I can't really find a good replacement out there. The closest I came across was a program called Ping Pong.

Someone gave me this link and am using Simon and loving it for the most part.

Basically, we host a variety of websites and servers that we design / serve for clients and we need some kind of monitoring program that will visually and electronically alert us when something is wrong.

Simple and basic. Nothing more.

Feature 1: Customize arrow colors. Green arrow up if site or server responds, Red arrow down if not.

Feature 2: Grouping. (i.e. 4 websites are hosted on 1 computer, all websites being monitored and the computer itself. If the computer fails, I get 5 alarm messages). To create a group if all goes down at once and have the program only send 1 message would make this the perfect hands-down replacement to PageSentry.


David Sinclair's picture

Re: 2nd it!

Thanks; I'm glad you like Simon. I get a lot of people moving from PageSentry to Simon.

1. Custom status icons are certainly a possibility. I'll add your vote for that.

Alternatively, perhaps a preference to simplify the icons? If enabled, Simon would always use the green upwards triangle when successful, and the red downwards triangle when failing — with no distinction for changes or recoveries.

Or perhaps it could use the bright green upwards triangle for new changes, and not-so-bright green for everything else (including recoveries).

Personally, I find the orange recovery triangle useful, but I can see not everyone cares about that.

2. Grouping: This is definitely planned for a future version, scheduled for later this year, along with many other improvements.

David Sinclair's picture

Status colors

By popular request, I've just implemented a preference in version 2.4 to toggle between simple and time-sensitive status icons, as discussed.

oranges2apples's picture

Status Colors and Grouping


Thank you! This is awesome.

Grouping will be great to see implemented soon as well :)

Good job on the program, this is an incredible piece of software that happens to be very useful in a lot of situations.

P.S. Purchased the software a few weeks back, but just not got the chance to install and configure it on our new monitoring machines. The status color change, made this software much more useful to us now.

Thanks again!