Snow Day Fax (2019)

Snow Day Fax was a proof-of-concept script to try and send faxes out of the Snow Day Predictor page using Twilio’s API.

I had envisioned a master plan to expand the services of the Snow Day Predictor, and oh boy we really did need a fax service, we’re in 1999 after all! So, development started on the Snow Day Fax Service.

And development got as far as the Snow Day Fax script. The basic jist of this 41-line masterpiece is to capture the predictor page using Selenium, export it to a PDF using PIL, send the PDF up to my web server using PySFTP, and then fax that capture on my web server using Twilio’s Fax API. Welcome to the wonderful world of Python, where it’s possible to use 1 library per 10 lines of code.

And, to be honest, it did work. The Snow Day Fax falls under the category of shits and giggles, mostly because I was curious about actually sending faxes via Twilio’s API, and because I have fax-enabled printers in my house. Combine the two and you get the Snow Day Fax.

I was hoping that you’d be able to dial in using a fax machine then get the fax back, but I wasn’t born in the era of fax machines and that’s not how faxes work.

My idea was that if your power was out, but you had SMS signal to text the SMS Service, and had a landline that was working, and a printer that supported fax, you could tell the SMS Service to fax you a copy of the predictor page. Now that’s an edge case.

(you could also call the predictor as well, which would be way better than trying to fax over a copy…just saying.)

Source code:

(Licensed under the MIT License)