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Last post Author Topic: IDEA: Simple PC Usage Timer  (Read 17819 times)

fealeit

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IDEA: Simple PC Usage Timer
« on: November 13, 2006, 07:55:37 AM »
Idea for a simple internet cafe user administation prog.

Starts from a full screen, always-on-top, non-resizeable, uncloseable (maybe with a password?) window (hides desktop & start menu) with a big button saying START. Maybe a configurable image displayed from a jpeg to show the company logo.

Clicking start resizes & moves the window to bottom right above the taskbar with Pause & Stop buttons (not always-on-top) and a timer counting up in minutes from when START is clicked.

Pause button re-maximises the window, pauses the timer and puts a CONTINUE button up.

Stop button re-maximises the window back to START again, and displays total session time.

Maybe with a view to integrating it with a SQL db on my network that will store computer names and session times.

fealeit

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Re: IDEA: Simple PC Usage Timer
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2006, 05:30:48 AM »
No takers?

mouser

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Re: IDEA: Simple PC Usage Timer
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2006, 03:38:49 AM »
actually this is surely useful for internet cafes and kids usage limiting, but there must be some tools to do this that exist somewhere.. anyone know any?

fealeit

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Re: IDEA: Simple PC Usage Timer
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2006, 07:34:35 AM »
Believe me, I've looked, but none are this simple. They all require server administration and include stuff like counter sales and customer management.

chedabob

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Re: IDEA: Simple PC Usage Timer
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2006, 01:35:48 PM »
I can't really code anything with a UI, but I reckon I could make something command line based. Ive only really started coding within the last 3 months, but I think I could manage it.

I'll have a go now.

mouser

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Re: IDEA: Simple PC Usage Timer
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2006, 02:03:35 PM »
chedabob  :up: :up: :up:
now that's a great way to make a first post!!


ps.
all people who have a new program on Jan 1, 2007 will also receive a special badge under their name and of course honorary membership on the site if not already a full member.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2006, 02:08:58 PM by mouser »

lanux128

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Re: IDEA: Simple PC Usage Timer
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2006, 10:02:39 PM »
i came across this website on hamradio's suggestion & noticed this app: Cyber Time Manager 1.5.
maybe it would be useful to you..

cupid-cyber-time-manager.gif

Quote
Cyber Time Manger is a software which is used in the cyber cafes. This software is response for keeping a track on how many customer are online and how many are offline. Assign your terminal's name in the box in the program to identify which terminal is free and which are busy. As soon a a customer is alloted a system, the terminal is shown busy with a red background color on the terminal name. This is a freeware version and supports only 15 computers, to support more then 15 computer please purchase our Professional Version. Please click the more information link below to learn more about this product.

fealeit

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Re: IDEA: Simple PC Usage Timer
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2006, 03:48:09 AM »
It would except that the info page has been taken over by a turkish hacker :huh:

As I've said, I've looked at tons of these programs and none do the job as simply as what I'm requesting.

I already have software for the counter sales and cash register. It's just the client machines I need this for.

Ruffnekk

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Re: IDEA: Simple PC Usage Timer
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2006, 04:30:34 AM »
I find it rather odd that it doesn’t exist already, but I guess the general idea is good enough to give it a try. I’ll start on it in the next couple of days to see if it’s feasible to keep it simple and secure. In the meantime, can you elaborate more on the purpose of the app? Is it to record the time the user has used the computer for billing purposes or restrict further use after a period of time (counting down) or simply to inform the user about what he may expect to have to pay afterwards?
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RuffNekk

Programming is an art form that fights back.

Ruffnekk

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Re: IDEA: Simple PC Usage Timer
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2006, 04:56:47 AM »
Another question: what OS is running on the workstation and do you already have software to prevent shortcuts from being pressed (CTRL+ALT+DEL, ALT+TAB, WIN+R, etc.)?
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RuffNekk

Programming is an art form that fights back.

fealeit

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Re: IDEA: Simple PC Usage Timer
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2006, 05:11:13 AM »
It's pretty much purely to let the user know how much time they've been on the machine, both during the session and a total time at the end.

Workstations are running win2k and I can lock them down pretty well. The app doesn't need any security other than to disallow access to the desktop/start menu.

Ruffnekk

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Re: IDEA: Simple PC Usage Timer
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2006, 05:17:07 AM »
Maybe it’s me but I still don’t understand if I should intercept these shortcuts or not...  :huh:
You say ‘disallow access to the desktop/start menu’, do you mean hiding them from view only? Or prevent shortcut keys as well?
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RuffNekk

Programming is an art form that fights back.

fealeit

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Re: IDEA: Simple PC Usage Timer
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2006, 05:24:05 AM »
Sorry, didn't make it clear from the original post. I mean hiding them. Make the inital screen cover the whole of both dekstop and startmenu/taskbar/systemtray

Ruffnekk

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Re: IDEA: Simple PC Usage Timer
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2006, 06:24:28 AM »
Okay could you try to install the attachment and see if this is basically what you want?

This is a very basic version without exception handling and complete functionality! Just to show you how I think you want it ;) It places a shortcut on your desktop after setup for your comfort but I can remove that in the final version if you want.

(You can exit by pressing ALT+F4)
Regards,
RuffNekk

Programming is an art form that fights back.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2006, 06:26:15 AM by Ruffnekk »

tinjaw

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Re: IDEA: Simple PC Usage Timer
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2006, 06:32:31 AM »
fealeit,

I know you mentioned most are too complicated, that you are looking for something simple, and that you have tried hundreds of them already..........

but that isn't going to stop me from searching my bookmarks for some I've spotted.  :P

ComputerTime


fealeit

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Re: IDEA: Simple PC Usage Timer
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2006, 07:34:37 AM »
Thanks tinjaw, but I don't want to limit the time people are on the system, I am trying to make money out of them, after all!
All I need is something to let the user know how much time they are using.

I'll try that ruffnekk, thanks

tinjaw

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Re: IDEA: Simple PC Usage Timer
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2006, 07:36:28 AM »
fealeit,

Ah! I misunderstood the purpose.  :-[ Gotcha now.

lanux128

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Re: IDEA: Simple PC Usage Timer
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2006, 07:18:33 PM »
It would except that the info page has been taken over by a turkish hacker :huh:

it works now, i just checked it. here's the url: http://cupidsystems....me-manager/index.php


fealeit

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Re: IDEA: Simple PC Usage Timer
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2006, 05:59:42 AM »
I actually have something like this already. It's a manual system and it works fine, but it's only usable by me, not by the users.

fealeit

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Re: IDEA: Simple PC Usage Timer
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2006, 06:37:00 AM »
Ruffnekk - Sorry it took me so long to get back to you.

I set up a test machine and installed your app. It's damn near perfect! That password prompt is an excellent idea.

Couple of changes and I'd be happy as larry:
- Hide the taskbar (Form1) entry - maybe in system tray?
- When I hit the keyboard start button on the START page, the start menu appears. Maybe someway to disable the start button til START is clicked
- Possible to display Last Session Time on START page once stop is clicked?
- Possible to configure either an image or text to display on the START page?

Ruffnekk

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Re: IDEA: Simple PC Usage Timer
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2006, 06:55:09 AM »
Ruffnekk–Sorry it took me so long to get back to you.

I set up a test machine and installed your app. It’s damn near perfect! That password prompt is an excellent idea.

Couple of changes and I’d be happy as larry:
- Hide the taskbar (Form1) entry–maybe in system tray?
- When I hit the keyboard start button on the START page, the start menu appears. Maybe someway to disable the start button til START is clicked
- Possible to display Last Session Time on START page once stop is clicked?
- Possible to configure either an image or text to display on the START page?

Okay, your last two ‘requirements’ are easy, those are things I haven’t implemented yet in this alpha version. If you want you can send me an image to act as the background image... or send me whatever text you want there.

I can hide the form from the taskbar too. I forgot earlier.

What exactly do you mean by ‘When I hit the keyboard start button on the START page, the start menu appears. Maybe someway to disable the start button til START is clicked’

Do you mean the ‘Windows’ key with the Widows logo on it? If so, I can probably intercept it or hide the start menu all together.

I’m glad you like it so far, I’ll work on this later on and let you know about any progress ;)
Regards,
RuffNekk

Programming is an art form that fights back.

fealeit

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Re: IDEA: Simple PC Usage Timer
« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2006, 06:59:20 AM »
Sorry, yes, windows key.

About the text display could you set it up to pull text from a text file? Be handy if I could change that myself rather than having it hardcoded. I'd mean I could use it for Usage instructions and rules, and also for stuff like latest promotions and network outages.

Ruffnekk

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Re: IDEA: Simple PC Usage Timer
« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2006, 07:01:01 AM »
No problem! I’ll just setup a frame for the text and let you know how to define the text for it later. Do you still want a background image?
Regards,
RuffNekk

Programming is an art form that fights back.

fealeit

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Re: IDEA: Simple PC Usage Timer
« Reply #23 on: November 24, 2006, 07:05:47 AM »
Not Necessarily. Text would be fine.

One more thing.
I just left it running for a while there and the second count seems carry on after the first minute? ie 60 at first minute, then 120, then 180 etc :huh:

Ruffnekk

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Re: IDEA: Simple PC Usage Timer
« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2006, 07:10:56 AM »
I’ll look into it.   :up:
Regards,
RuffNekk

Programming is an art form that fights back.