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IDEA: Connected to Network Notification Window

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Hello! Let me describe my situation for this software request.

I have a fleet of vehicles with built-in computers.  They connect to our network/servers via wireless "hot spots" so as they move they are not always connected to the network.  These computers don't use wireless cards or anything.  They actually have a wireless bridge in the vehicle which connects via CAT5 to the computers Ethernet card.  Also, none of these computers get their IP via DHCP; they all have a Static IP's.  So, my question is, is there a small piece of software that can be made (if it does not already exist) that can visually (like an "idiot light") show the person that they are in the hotspot and have a connection back to the gateway or server or something?  These are people with little technical computer knowledge, so showing them how to ping or set up a continuous ping is out of the question (I realize I could setup a batch file for them to run or something, but I'd rather have as little human intervention in this as possible).  I'd just like to have a large icon of sorts like 1" x 1" in a window on the desktop that was red if not connected to the network and green if there is a network connection present.  I'd prefer this to having something in the taskbar or notification area where it would be more difficult to see.  Having the ability to set it so it was always on top of windows or not would be great too.

Again, keep in mind that the windows "show icon in the notification area when connected" doesn't work because the computer has a static IP and is always connected to the bridge so it thinks its always on the network. Also, trying to detect if the computer has all of a sudden received an IP via DHCP wont work because we don't use DHCP.

Hope this is something that would be easy to code and a good "snack", because it would be so helpful for me as a systems admin and the people that will use it.


Edit: BTW, in case it matters for coding purposes/ideas, these computers are in a "no internet access" group in our Cisco ASA.

Ralf Maximus:
Do you know if the "gateway or server or something" has ping services turned on?

Yes, if I ping the gateway or one of the servers I will get a response.  Also for what its worth, I can ping via IP or NetBIOS name.

With autohotkey, the only way to know if there is network connection available is to try to download a file and see if any error occuored.
If there is no internet connection, it's impossible to download something for google or something.
Thus, is there anything really small on the network that the vehicles could download?

(notice that this method would probably generate some traffic over the line. If you have some kind of limitation in the traffic from in/out of the vehicles, this is a bad idea)

No traffic limitations but with the potential of 20 - 30 vehicles at a time on the network downloading or pinging constantly, bandwidth issues are certainly of some concern.  Downloading a small .txt file or something off one of the servers is certainly possible though.


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