#alerts #alert #cheap

bin+lib cheap_alerts

A utility for sending text alerts via email

1 unstable release

0.1.0 Mar 29, 2020

Custom license

278 lines


A utility for sending text alerts via email

Basic Idea

All US cellular providers allow someone to send and recieve sms messages via email. Leveraging this, you could send "push-like" alerts out, if you have access to an email server.

An Example

Let's say your phone number is (612)-555-0111 and your carrier is Verizon, your number would have an email address of 6125550111@vtext.com.

Let's also say you want to send yourself an alert when your pizza order changes status at your favorite local pizza place. You could build yourself a little web scraper that would keep track of your current orders and when the status changed you could send the updated status to your phone by emailing the above.

use cheap_alerts::{Carrier, Destination, Sender};
use std::sync::atomic::{AtomicU8, Ordering};

static STATUS: AtomicU8 = AtomicU8::new(0);

fn main() {
    let mut current: Option<String> = None;
    loop {
        match check_for_pizza_status() {
            Some(status) => {
                if let Some(prev) = &current {
                    if prev != &status {
                        send_update(&status, &prev);
                        current = Some(status.to_string());
                } else {
                    send_update(&status, "nothing");
                    current = Some(status.to_string());
            None => {
                current = None;
/// Fake web scraping
fn check_for_pizza_status() -> Option<&'static str> {
    let old = STATUS.fetch_add(1, Ordering::Relaxed);
    if old > 4 {
        STATUS.store(0, Ordering::Relaxed);
    } else {

fn determine_status(val: &AtomicU8) -> Option<&'static str> {
    match val.load(Ordering::Relaxed) {
        1 => Some("Pending"),
        2 => Some("Cooking"),
        3 => Some("On the way"),
        4 => Some("Complete"),
        _ => None,

fn send_update(new: &str, old: &str) {
    let mut sender = Sender::builder()
        .expect("failed to create sender");
    let dest = Destination::new("6125550111", &Carrier::Verizon);
                "🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕\nPizza Update: {} -> {}\n🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕\n===========\n",
                old, new
        .expect("failed to send notification");

Some Details

The email portion is built on top of lettre and there are 3 options for the sender

  • File: This takes a file path and will write the email to a file on the file system as json using the message ID (the RFC 2822 time stamp) as the file name
  • Sendmail: This uses the sendmail cli tool for sending an email
  • SMTP: This uses the Simple Mail Transport Protocol there are 3 methods for this
    • Unencrypted Localhost, this is by far the simplest, but least secure
    • Simple, this you provide a domain (as an &str) and it will use TLS to send the message
    • Full, this


~69K SLoC