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cronjobs and top not getting along

I have a basic script running on my server that check for cpu utilization.
If the number is over 70%, then it issues a page to let me know.

The line in the script I use to gather the number for the cpu utilization
is as follows:

top | head -3 | tail -1 | cut -d " " -f 7 | cut -d % -f 1 > filename

To test the script, I had the server page me with the current processor

set usage = `cat filename`
echo "The server is running at $usage percent" | page charles 123-4567 -

From the command line, everything works well, and I get a page
saying the server is running at 2 percent. However, when this is ran as a
cronjob, i receive the page and the variable is not included. Sure enough,
when I cat filename, its empty. The server issues an email letting me know
the error it encounters. I receive:

top: ioctl() failed: Not a typewriter

Is there a way around this. Frankly I am not certain what this error
means, but I am sure that it has something to do with the fact that top
refreshes itself. Top doesnt have a flag to disable the refresh, but there
is one that allows the interval to be set. I am going to try to set the
interval to a somewhat long length and see what happens.

Any suggestions?


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