Usually at nights, on weekends, holidays and vacations I like to stay unplugged .. for the most part. Chances are that during those times I still have my phone with me, but don’t want to look at it each time it chimes or vibrates in my pocket. But there are a few things that are the exception to that rule, such as problems with a server or perhaps even IRC mentions/notifications.
I looked around at many different ways to do this, and Pushover seemed an ideal solution. The Pushover REST API supports many languages including Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby and node.js, which makes it pretty appealing. There’s also support for Pushover notifications via Growl which really opens up the list of possibilities.
Right now, I’m using Growl with Pushover for IRC notifications, which is very handy. Being able to step away, and still get alerts when someone needs me, or something goes south is really useful. There’s also a “quiet hours” option where you can mute alerts, like while you’re sleeping.
I’ve also got a handful of PHP scripts running on my webserver that kick out alerts when certain conditions are met, be it a reboot, temperature increase, unusual login attempts, etc. One of the nice features of the Pushover app on iOS is the ability to select a unique alert sound per message, making it easy to choose whether or not to pick up the phone and look or not.
The app (for iOS) runs $4.99, which in my opinion, was well worth it.