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SMS Reception Center: User's Guide



SMS Reception Center is a program that reads incoming short messages from a cellular phone and, for each message, executes the actions that you specified. Unlike other popular desktop SMS utilities, its main purpose is to handle incoming messages and send outgoing ones without any human intervention. Usually it's set up at the computer with a dedicated cellular phone or a GSM modem plugged in.

When you start SMS Reception Center, the first thing that you see is the editor. Now you can begin to write rules defining what will be done with incoming messages. When it's done you can save the rules to a file. When the rules are ready, you have to run the service that will actually connect to your phone (modem) and process messages. You can do it from the editor's menu.

The service is able to run in one of two modes:

The main editor's window contains a list of rules that you have defined. You may create a new rule either with Edit->Insert in the main menu or with a context menu that will appear when you click on the list with the right mouse button. You may start editing an existing rule by double-clicking on the list element.

When a message arrives, the rules are applied in sequence. Each rule can use some predefined variables as parameters, and some rule types can define new variables. There may be a condition for each rule, determining when this rule is applied and when it's skipped.

The following actions are supported so far:

When you begin to edit a rule, a dialog box appears where you can type in a rule's parameters. Some elements of this dialog box have context menu: when you click on such an element with the right mouse button, you can see the menu containing all the variables defined so far. The reference to the chosen variable (in the form of [%variable-name%]) is inserted into the field that you're editing. When this rule is used to process incoming message, all these references are replaced with current values of referenced variables. For each particular parameter, you can always know if variable references are allowed in it: if the appropriate dialog box element has a context menu, they are.

Common Elements of the Rule-Editing Dialogs

The layout of the rule editing dialog is specific for each rule type. However, some dialog elements are common for all types.

Description (entry)

Here you can specify the purpose of the rule in a few words. When you look at the main editor's window, you see the Description of each rule in the Information column (if the description is empty, this column is filled with action parameters).

This field doesn't affect message processing in any way, it's for your convenience only.

Condition (frame)

When a message arrives, the rule is applied to it only if the condition is true. There are two parts of a condition: a simple test (checking if the variable's value matches the pattern you give), and a complex test (checking if the logical expression, given in the C-like syntax, is true). The simple test's parameters are given in the upper part of the frame, and the compex test's expression is given in the lower one.

A few things to remember about Conditions:

The simple test compares the variable with the pattern you give, using one of the following methods:

The complex test evaluates the logical expression you give. The expression may contain the following elements:

Take no further actions after this one is taken (checkbox)

If you enable this option for a rule, then if the rule's condition is true and all variables that it uses are defined, all rules following this one are ignored.

Running the Service

When all the rules are ready, you'll want to start the service that will handle incoming messages. Selecting Run -> Install... in the menu will bring up an appropriate dialog window.

You can set the following parameters in this window:

Testing the Rules

When you defined some rules for message processing in the editor, you may want to test if the rules work properly. The good thing is that it can be done without sending any real SMS (and even without a cellular phone).

First you should start the message-processing service in the Desktop mode (see how to start the service). The program's icon appears in the system tray when the Desktop-mode service is started, and the icon's context menu may be used to control the service.

While the Desktop-mode service is running, you can use Run->Test message... menu entry to imitate message reception and see what is done. The service will handle this message exactly the way it would handle a real incoming message with the same sender and text that you entered in the dialog window.

There is also an option in the tray icon's context menu that can be useful if the program doesn't work properly with your cellular phone. When you select “Save debug log” in the menu, the text file is created. If you send the debug log file to mailto:support@sw4me.com in your error report, it may speed up the error-correction process significantly.

If you worry about the privacy issues, note that:

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