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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Puppy Projects
[Request]Internet Metering Module for Cybercafes
Moderators: Flash, JohnMurga
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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Tue 21 Apr 2009, 12:17    Post subject:  [Request]Internet Metering Module for Cybercafes
Subject description: Commercial(ish) project, £200 "bounty" to BarryK on completion!
 

Im helping co-ordinate the setup/de-windose of two puppy linux cybercafe's at some local charities. I intend to use them, with the blessing of the management, to research puppy usability on the general public, as well as an advertisement for puppies powers worldwide.

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=39321
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=296670

We were intending to purchase some sort of "box" with a coin slot that would sit between the computers and print numbered tickets, and control the internet access (£1/50p an hour discretionary), however this would be quite expensive, and would also not produce anything to help anyone else.

They are currently using a proprietary paid for cybercafe management app with no current equivelent on GNU/Linux. The project will be released under the GPLv2 licience.

I did think of hiring a commercial programmer to do this, but then I thought...well....commercial software Rolling Eyes Also I understand BarryK has been having problems with his internet access again...not good for puppy as we have seen.

I have put the idea to the management of the Mission (who were footing the bill) and they have agreed this would be a better way of proceeding. They are willing to make a £200UKP donation to BarryK towards his expenses.

Their windoze support contract is expiring at the end of the month, so this needs completing fairly quickly

Specification

Nothing is set...I am open to all suggestions about how best to implement this.

Two cybercafes exist, one in Immingham (operates 9-5, mon-sat - manned), one in Hull (operates 24/7/365 days of the year when not viruzed, unmanned evenings/nighttimes).

Completion of "Phase 1 will "unlock the cash", but I include the specs phase 2 as if it can be borne in mind then designing phase one it will be easier. Cash will be available for phase 2 also.

Equipment used

The computers are all pretty standard compaq ex-office pc's with 2.8 processors/512mb of Ram. They are netbooted with puppy (4 series) from a smoothwall router. The plan is for them to eventually not have hard disks at all (too many moving parts!). All ocmputers are wired by ethernet (eth0)

Phase 1 - Immingham

The desk/kiosk (not located in the main room) will have a small laptop computer (1.1mhz/256) connected to the smoothwall. It is hoped they will have a small printer to print "tickets". The user will then take the numbered ticket to the cybercafe room where they will enter the number into a computer of their choice to give them internet access for an hour (or however long they have paid for). There will be a human to take the money, although they are not particularly IT literate (i.e. not BASH users!). A front end GUI will be required to automate the ticket printing/number generation function. It is possible that the laptop will be linked to the network...though preferably not as it would mean running a huge cable (wireless is not reliable at the location because of the radar from ships!).

The user must have some kind of visual display of their time remaining (pWidgets?).

Phase 2 - Hull

This will be a fully automated system with a coin slot to collect money and print tickets...as attendents are not there on a nighttime/evening. The coin collection mechanism/interface will be an AK5 from weavefuture (I have a model here for testing). The manual for this can be downloaded from

http://www.weavefuture.com/pdf/

My own (newb) idea
I understand that unix/linux has some sort of hardware clock represented in digits ("unix_date"?), due to run out of digits in 2040 or something like that. This number represents the exact date/time with seconds. Could that number be used with some sort of algorithm to generate a code? This would be produced by the kiosk computer and "decrypted" by the client cybercafe p.c., that would open the net connection for an hour/set amount of time. It ould be ok if the ticket expired after about an hour it was generated....but the user must still be given the full hour/hours on the pc...the clock starts ticking from when they enter the code.


Internet access via cybercafe is probably going to enjoy something of a renaissance with the economic crash...so this is definitely some software that the Linux world should have.

Many thanks in advance Smile

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ottod

Joined: 21 Sep 2006
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Tue 21 Apr 2009, 13:56    Post subject: http://ccl.sourceforge.net/  

Linux libs for cybercafe control (client and server). Tests apps for the client and server are there too, supporting english and spanish only. Greetings.
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ttuuxxx


Joined: 05 May 2007
Posts: 11245
Location: Ontario Canada,Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Tue 21 Apr 2009, 14:08    Post subject:  

I've been to a few hostels while traveling when I was younger and some had timed internet, basically it was a mechanical metered box with the monitor cord pluged into it, and when there was like 2mins left you would here a click in the box warning you your time is almost up and then simply the monitor turned off, If you wanted more time, you place some more money in the box, if not then you walked away. This could work for any os, since its just a monitor switch powered by a gaming coinbox set by a 60min timer board.

anyways what your probably looking for is software like
http://freshmeat.net/projects/zybacafe

http://freshmeat.net/projects/ppa

The links a there because I like Barry, but your going to have to dust off your own compiler.
ttuuxxx

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ttuuxxx


Joined: 05 May 2007
Posts: 11245
Location: Ontario Canada,Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Tue 21 Apr 2009, 14:09    Post subject:  

here's a fuller list
http://freshmeat.net/search/?q=Internet+cafe&section=projects&Go.x=0&Go.y=0
ttuuxxx

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Ray MK


Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 776
Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue 21 Apr 2009, 14:41    Post subject:  

Hi

Hope this is not considered too dim - we have Ptimer, Pschedule & stopwatch built in to Puppy - could they be used by the somebody in the office from a remote PC or laptop, (with some demon tweaking and additions by those on this forum that know how), to control internet access on the various PC's?

The client pays his money, Ptimer/Pschedule is started and stopwatch shows client time ountdown on screen. (or via pwidgets?)

Hope that stimulates some brain-buds (or maybe give's someone a good laugh)


As always - best regards - Ray
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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Tue 21 Apr 2009, 15:03    Post subject:  

Yes, I will let zigbert know about this thread Cool
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Aitch


Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 6815
Location: Chatham, Kent, UK

PostPosted: Tue 21 Apr 2009, 15:30    Post subject:  

Monitor switching...

A few relays , a few of these,

http://www.maplin.co.uk/free_uk_delivery/4_Channel_Computer_Controlled_Switch_37769/4_Channel_Computer_Controlled_Switch_37769.htm

and a timer circuit, or two, plus a bit of software in basic......

seems cheap enough?

However, I'd have thought you'd need to have remote reboot -ability, for the people who leave in disgust?

What happens on that other OS?

Never used an internet cafe.....

Aitch Smile
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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Mon 27 Apr 2009, 12:34    Post subject:  

Quote:
What happens on that other OS?


It crashes....a lot.

Going going....I dont want to have to offer this to the Smoothwall crowd.....

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ttuuxxx


Joined: 05 May 2007
Posts: 11245
Location: Ontario Canada,Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Mon 27 Apr 2009, 12:47    Post subject:  

ecomoney wrote:
Quote:
What happens on that other OS?


It crashes....a lot.

Going going....I dont want to have to offer this to the Smoothwall crowd.....


Well I gave you links to tons of software, and well??? any ideas or are you just being to lazy to report your findings again? I can't read your mind, neither can anybody else, do your homework and get back to us on what you think about what software, and try to stay away from python.
ttuuxxx

Ps if I help you I want 1/2 towards Barry and 1/2 towards Eric/puppy linux.ca for all his server cost.

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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Mon 27 Apr 2009, 13:26    Post subject:  

Its done already.

None of the software on those lists have been worked on in years Ttuxxx, and it all relies on a persistant installation on the client machines. The cybercafe netboots. Did you read the spec and look into how the packages function before posting the links? I need a developer who understands real world requirements as well as/if not better than code. Ive sent some PM's to various people who fit the bill.

This is going to be a custom Job unless a more suitable package can be found. I would like it to benefit all puppy users. The recession is going to mean that a lot of people will have to get their information/internet access from cybercafes, running on old kit. A perfect role for puppy to play.

I do agree though Ttuxxx, Erics contribution is very valuable to our community too, along with BarryK's no-nonsense approach and years of wisdom. I will bear Caneri's work in mind to benefit from future projects. I will be getting the support contract at the cybercafe once it is installed so there will be cash to go towards things like that.

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raffy

Joined: 25 May 2005
Posts: 4843
Location: Manila

PostPosted: Tue 28 Apr 2009, 18:12    Post subject: atitude  

ecomoney wrote:
I need a developer who understands real world requirements as well as/if not better than code.


This puppy has an attitude. Rolling Eyes

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MU


Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 13647
Location: Karlsruhe, Germany

PostPosted: Wed 29 Apr 2009, 00:55    Post subject:  

I have written a prototype from scratch using Genie, and sent a first test version to Rob.
It includes no source code yet, it is just to check, if it vaguely meets his needs.

If that is the case, I would update it, and send him an updated version with full source to be released under the GPL.

It took several hours to get it working, and required updates certainly will need more time.
So if Rob decides to use this program, I would charge 150 Euro for the development.

Any more money, that Rob can get from the mission for the project, would go to Barry to support him, too.
E.g. if it stays with the announced amount of 200 Pounds:
200 Pounds = 220 Euro -150 Euro development = 70 Euro donation.
If a higher amount could be aquired, like 250 Pounds, this would mean:
250 Pounds = 280 Euro -150 Euro development = 130 Euro donation.

Mark

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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Wed 29 Apr 2009, 01:08    Post subject:  

I am very happy youve decided to take the job Mark. The anoubt you request is more than reasonable.

I will contact the mission today with the good news, and get a financial payment as close to the true value of your contribution as I can. I fear the current economic system is unable to represent fully that with just a single number, however high Very Happy

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cthisbear

Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Posts: 4473
Location: Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Wed 29 Apr 2009, 01:30    Post subject:  

No big drumrolls.

MU just does it.
A quiet achiever.

Nothing more to be said really.

Chris.
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MU


Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 13647
Location: Karlsruhe, Germany

PostPosted: Wed 29 Apr 2009, 01:30    Post subject:  

well first check out please, if it meets your needs Wink
I'll add changes, if required.
As long, as they would not get too complicated/time consuming.

So if you think, it is far away from matching your needs, no payment is required - this is why I announced it as prototype.

If you think, it can be enhanced with a reasonable amount of time, we continue to finish it, and can go to the financial steps.

Now off for school, see you later at afternoon.

Mark

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