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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Puppy Projects
Would Puppy be a good choice for a public library?
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vIQleS

Joined: 03 Mar 2010
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed 03 Mar 2010, 21:17    Post subject:  Would Puppy be a good choice for a public library?  

Does anybody think that Puppy Linux would be a good OS for a public access Learning Centre (in a library).

It works a bit like an Internet cafe but it's free...

There's a queue system and a print release station (you have to pay for printing).

Patrons are allowed a max of 2 hour a day ea. Computers are either 1 hours or a 30 min at a time.

Would PL be cheaper? Easier to maintain? Feasible?

Thoughts?
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puppyluvr


Joined: 06 Jan 2008
Posts: 3476
Location: Chickasha Oklahoma

PostPosted: Wed 03 Mar 2010, 21:53    Post subject:  

Very Happy Hello,
What are your requirements?? What kind of system are you running , hardware ect...How many terminals??
As for cheaper, Puppy is free, and runs on OLD hardware, and low upkeep once set up.. How much cheaper than that can you get??? Very Happy
Basically, it looks like all you need is a secure browser, an OS to run it, and a system for timed usage, right???

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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 12936
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Wed 03 Mar 2010, 22:10    Post subject:  

If it were me, I'd have identical machines, each with lots (2 GB or more) of RAM, a CD ROM and no hard disk drive. I'd remaster Puppy so that it does what you want, then burn lots of identical Puppy live CDs, one for each kiosk or workstation.

CD-R disks can be got for as little as 10 cents apiece, so if something needed to be changed, it wouldn't cost much to replace all the CDs.
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vIQleS

Joined: 03 Mar 2010
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed 03 Mar 2010, 22:34    Post subject:  

puppyluvr wrote:
Very Happy Hello,
What are your requirements?? What kind of system are you running , hardware ect...How many terminals??


I'm not really. It's all run by the council's IT dept.

The computers are all quite old, but they're (mostly) running fine with XP...

There's about 100, split up between 8 libraries.

puppyluvr wrote:
Basically, it looks like all you need is a secure browser, an OS to run it, and a system for timed usage, right???


I guess - and office etc.

The booking / print release was one of my main concerns. There's no way to do anything like that built in right? That'd be a cost to get something custom built / modified?

Flash wrote:
If it were me, I'd have identical machines, each with lots (2 GB or more) of RAM, a CD ROM and no hard disk drive. I'd remaster Puppy so that it does what you want, then burn lots of identical Puppy live CDs, one for each kiosk or workstation.

CD-R disks can be got for as little as 10 cents apiece, so if something needed to be changed, it wouldn't cost much to replace all the CDs.


Until someone needs to use a CD?

And I'm sure someone would eventually start nicking them... Very Happy

The idea that's been proposed (by a patron) is to give each of the 20k-odd patrons a free flash drive with PL on it... :-s
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vIQleS

Joined: 03 Mar 2010
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed 03 Mar 2010, 22:38    Post subject:  

vIQleS wrote:
The booking / print release was one of my main concerns. There's no way to do anything like that built in right? That'd be a cost to get something custom built / modified?


Also - what's to stop somone with a modicum of know-how modifying their own CD or flash-drive to bypass the booking / timing system?
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Flash
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Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 12936
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Thu 04 Mar 2010, 00:53    Post subject:  

vIQleS wrote:
Flash wrote:
If it were me, I'd have identical machines, each with lots (2 GB or more) of RAM, a CD ROM and no hard disk drive. I'd remaster Puppy so that it does what you want, then burn lots of identical Puppy live CDs, one for each kiosk or workstation...

Until someone needs to use a CD?

When booted from the live CD, Puppy loads entirely into RAM (if there's enough RAM; at least 256 MB). After the CD finishes booting, you can remove it from the CD drive and use the drive for other things.
Quote:
And I'm sure someone would eventually start nicking them...

No doubt. But the CDs are cheap, as I said, and if it's a real problem you could go around and collect them after the machines have booted, or check them out to each patron who wanted to use a computer.
Quote:
Also - what's to stop someone with a modicum of know-how modifying their own CD or flash-drive to bypass the booking / timing system?

The only way I can think of is to disable booting from CD and USB in the BIOS of all computers your patrons might use, then boot Puppy from a central server via Ethernet. If you allow your patrons to use a computer that can boot from CD or USB (or floppy, for that matter,) anything is possible. Sad The advantage of booting from a Puppy CD is that the operating system is completely reinstalled by rebooting.
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GreyShadow


Joined: 01 Oct 2008
Posts: 5
Location: Central New York

PostPosted: Thu 04 Mar 2010, 16:10    Post subject: Library Puppy
Subject description: would it work?
 

How much time are you willing to give your library patrons to teach how to use Puppy?
I work at a public library so I have some experience with a few issues you will face going in the Win vs Linux for public access computing. You may want to look at Userful...(Canada)
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sunburnt


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 5087
Location: Arizona, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Sat 06 Mar 2010, 00:27    Post subject:  

Most libraries I`ve been to use a web browser for the interface.
I don`t see anyone having trouble with Firefox, Mozilla, or Opera.

Client PCs can PXE boot Puppy from a server running Puppy.
NO mechanical H.D.s or CDs/DVDs needed on the client PCs..!!!
This makes the client PCs real reliable, IC chips work forever ( almost...).

Hardware is pretty reliable, the software on the H.D. isn`t.
Data on the H.D is what gets viruses or scrambled and needs fixing.
If the server is the only PC with a H.D., then way less IT work..!
If the system`s setup properly it`s far less hackable, even more reliable.
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puppyluvr


Joined: 06 Jan 2008
Posts: 3476
Location: Chickasha Oklahoma

PostPosted: Sat 06 Mar 2010, 02:00    Post subject:  

Very Happy Hello,
sunburnt,
I agree completely...A basic, lightweight Puppy system has everything needed, plus, with "cloud computing" nearly everything can be done online..
Maybe just a browser and a link to the "Puppy Web Desktop"... Very Happy

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Colonel Panic


Joined: 16 Sep 2006
Posts: 1999

PostPosted: Mon 08 Mar 2010, 05:34    Post subject:  

Thanks for this thread and the mention of Userful, which I'm looking at seriously. Don't forget though that our own ecomoney has produced a Puppy derivative which has proven its worth in group computing systems; EcoPup (there are a number of threads about it here).
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raffy

Joined: 25 May 2005
Posts: 4839
Location: Manila

PostPosted: Mon 08 Mar 2010, 10:26    Post subject: puppylib  

Try to download puppylib.iso from here:
http://puppylib.open-lib.net/

EDIT: Nope, the links don't work for me, so I uploaded the ISO here: minipc.org/downloads/puppylib.iso (262 MB)

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Last edited by raffy on Tue 09 Mar 2010, 17:24; edited 2 times in total
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Colonel Panic


Joined: 16 Sep 2006
Posts: 1999

PostPosted: Mon 08 Mar 2010, 15:40    Post subject:  

Thanks for the link, I'll check it out. I have to admit I hadn't heard of Puppylib before though (do its devs post here?).
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sunburnt


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 5087
Location: Arizona, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Mon 08 Mar 2010, 20:35    Post subject:  

I always thought there should be a concerted effort by the Puppy community to make
" Special Purpose Puppies " that are built to be small and do a specific task very well.
A list of obvious possibilities for " embedded Puppy " usage follows:
1) Stand alone music player
2) Stand alone media player ( movies and music )
3) Stand alone web browser and plugins
4) Stand alone rescue OS ( boot from: CD-DVD, USB )
5) Various types of servers ( PXE, LAAMP, SMB, NFS, Web, media, etc. )

The above OSs and the ones below all could be PXE booted so the client PCs have no drives.
4) Kiosk info desks
5) Library setup
6) Internet Cafe
7) Call center / Support desks / Sales desks
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ken geometrics

Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 76
Location: California

PostPosted: Sun 14 Mar 2010, 10:58    Post subject:  

[... snip ...]
Quote:
And I'm sure someone would eventually start nicking them...


I just had a thought:

If these are desk top PCs and not lap tops this may work. On such PCs the USB connections on the back panel are usually on a short cable up from the mother board. You could undo the mounting hardware and pull this connection inside the box. This would let you plug a memory stick into it and close the box to keep it hidden.

Using "gparted" shrink the partition down so that there is no room left after the install is done. This will prevent people from storing a personal file onto the hidden stick.

Another thought:

This one would require making some circuit boards but I will fling it out there for folks to consider.

The BIOS of a PC has a thing that was intended for a game cartridge like device. The hard disk drive on the PC-XT used this to install the needed code during boot up. The PC only had floppies, no hard drive. The XT had some code in a prom on the disk controller card that added the "C" drive. It would not be hard to take advantage of this to make a card that caused Puppy from a Flash chip to be the only thing that the PC could boot up. The PC wouldn't even have a hard drive. There would be no way to make it boot from CD or USB or floppy because that part of the BIOS would be bypassed.
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sunburnt


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 5087
Location: Arizona, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Sun 14 Mar 2010, 13:03    Post subject:  

Too much effort! Just PXE boot from a Puppy server and have no storage on the client PCs.
For a stand alone PC, use a flash card in a drive emulator board attached to the HD controller.
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