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Er what would be the best solution to this problem?

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Well, we were recently contracted by a small local company to make a 'sign-in' system whereby customers would walk up to the booth, find there name, and 'sign-in' basically. What software/language would allow us to do this the easiest? Should the software be webbbased?

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Which OS is the booth using?
What are the specification of the booths?
Where is the data for the customers? Local or on a networked server?
How do they 'sign in'? Pass cards? Finger prints? Passwords? Keycodes? Clicking a button?

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They sign-in by basically clicking on their name or picture. All of the other questions you posed are really what im looking for answers for, in addition to what language platform I should use.

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Opt for an embedded system (take a look at nano-itx motherboards booting from flash cards), running a lightweight Linux flavour with a minimal X server. I'd personally write in C++, directly for the X11 environment, through wxWidgets (or Qt if the finance allows for it).

Touchscreen would be pretty simple to pull off.

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Perhaps the most important questions for us to know:

What is your approximate budget? Are they offering a few thousand dollars for a tiny one-week app, or a fortune for major development with nontrivial hardware?

What is your approximate time frame? Is it two weeks for a quick-and-dirty app, or several months to kickstart a major commercial project?

What is your required quality? Are they just looking to make a simple list of when people come and go, or will this need to be audited by somebody in the future? If it must be auditable, by whom and within what requirements? Must this pass any certifications, such as ISO usability standards to avoid lawsuits?

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Quote:
Original post by deadstar
Opt for an embedded system (take a look at nano-itx motherboards booting from flash cards), running a lightweight Linux flavour with a minimal X server. I'd personally write in C++, directly for the X11 environment, through wxWidgets (or Qt if the finance allows for it).
I can tell I've been working for an enterprisey corporation too long, as my suggestion would have been the complete opposite - a WAMP server and IE running in kiosk mode.

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Quote:
Original post by Hodgman
Quote:
Original post by deadstar
Opt for an embedded system (take a look at nano-itx motherboards booting from flash cards), running a lightweight Linux flavour with a minimal X server. I'd personally write in C++, directly for the X11 environment, through wxWidgets (or Qt if the finance allows for it).
I can tell I've been working for an enterprisey corporation too long, as my suggestion would have been the complete opposite - a WAMP server and IE running in kiosk mode.


I think this sort of solution would be more appropriate. It doesn't sound like this guy has alot of experience in the business, so I doubt he's looking for an embedded solution. He probably just wants a simple PC solution, possibly even a simple windows app.

With that said, I'm an embedded guy, and I don't do much windows programming, so I cannot help him much in that respect.

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Yes, to be completly honest, just a windows app running on a windows PC would be more than suitable. They'd like us to have the app done in a month or so, but its nothing critical, and they actually wouldn't be out anything if we didn't deliever at all.

Our approximate budget is really however much it takes to write the app.

I just need something simple, really. People walk up to a computer, touch screen or otherwise, find their name in a list, and type in how many people are with them.

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Why not just bung a copy of XP Professional OEM on a PC, and use the cut-down IIS inbuilt to run a dynamic (i.e. ASP) web site that does what you need? Then just run using Internet Explorer's kiosk mode (iexplore -k) - gives you full screen and removes all toolbars and so on.

Lock down the account it's running on pretty tightly, maybe provide a keyboard that's missing, say, the Windows key and the function keys (to avoid people accidentally closing or minimizing the window, or so on).

I'd imagine SQL Server Express and the built-in IIS would be alright for a problem of this kind of scale, although I have absolutely no experience at all. Touch screens are, I believe, fairly natively supported by Windows.

Just a suggestion.

(As an aside, I've often seen such kiosks sitting at a BSOD or XP desktop, so I'm pretty sure this kind of approach isn't unusual)

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