Why was DataFox created?
Using a broadband connection which has a usage cap is always tricky. When I first started using BSNL, around twice a day I would visit their site, fill in my credentials and check to see if I was "using too much INTERNETS". Time consuming and boring, I decided I needed to automate this process. Since I used Firefox to surf, an extension seemed perfect.
The first version simply connected to a BSNL site, fetched the details and displayed them at the bottom right of your browser. The add-on was rather well received by BSNL users (not yet released at this site) and soon the MTNL users wanted something similar as well. I complied and the next version supported both MTNL Bombay and Delhi websites. It was a right pain adding support because these sites were down quite often. Many users helped by trusting me with their access details, without which MTNL support would never arrive.
Getting the actual usage wasn't enough though. If I'm allowed 10GB a month, and I've consumed 5GB in the first five days of the month, I'm within my limit, but I would reach my cap way before the month end and I'd be screwed all the same. I would always find myself doing some mental arithmetic, calculating the allowed usage per day, multiplying that by the date and checking if my usage was within that. In the next version (version 1), I allowed users to enter their cap and DataFox would do all the heavy lifting for you. A progress bar displays your usage as a percentage of your cap. It would also tell you how much under or over your limit you are (for that particular day, assuming proportional usage). If overlimit, the progress bar would be in orange, cyan otherwise.
Subsequent releases have added support for additional BSNL and MTNL websites which were created to support new users, taking the number of custom usage websites supported by the tool to six. I have no idea why two ISPs need six different sites to show usage details (which are tied to specific groups of users), but there you have it.
What's next for DataFox
A few users have requested that DataFox store usage records over a period of time and provide some sort of statistical display of this data; I will be giving this some thought for future releases.
Feature requests and suggestions are always welcome.
About the Developer
|Occupation||MyEclipse Product Manager at Genuitec, LLC|
|User since||March 5, 2007|
|Number of add-ons developed||2 add-ons|
|Average rating of developer's add-ons||Rated 4 out of 5 stars|