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General Chat Thread, Equipment borrowing - logging usage in General; As I have an interest in web design and development including PHP, MySQL etc, I am always looking for new ...
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    Equipment borrowing - logging usage

    As I have an interest in web design and development including PHP, MySQL etc, I am always looking for new "projects" to experiment and further my knowledge.

    At the school in which I work, we lend out various resources to pupils and teachers throughout the day, over night and even over holidays - things such as laptops, digital cameras and video cameras.

    I was thinking of bar coding each item, and when someone borrows it they scan the bar code, and enter brief details such as their name, time from / to etc.

    I could link the scanning system in with a booking system, which will alert borrowers if their time is clashing with an existing booking.

    what do you all think?

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    Re: Equipment borrowing - logging usage

    I like the idea. I guess it wouldn't be much different from how a library system works, except that instead of books you have equipment. Would you put a timer on the list so you were informed if someone had kept a piece of equipment for a long period of time (again, like a library)?

    At my school we don't lend equipment out (I say, having just borrowed the school digicam) but we do shift computers around the building a lot. I've often thought how useful it would be if there was a way of automatically updating the school inventory by using bar codes on the equipment and bar codes on the room (and obviously a portable scanner).

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    Re: Equipment borrowing - logging usage

    Thanks,

    The plan is to use the project to further my knowledge of PHP and MySQL, so I could look into features like reminders of overdue equipment, and also a facility where a large number of laptops can be borrowed at once using a single class ID (save time when handing out laptops).

    I was thinking of using it to manage printer cartridges / toners, where I can produce statistics of how often a printer requires toner (for re-ordering purposes) and where problem areas are for wastage etc.

    Thanks for your suggestion.

    Steven

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    Re: Equipment borrowing - logging usage

    I've often thought about setting up an electronic booking scheme for our laptops - but since our teachers can barely cope with the pen and paper approach we have, I've left that idea on the back-burner.

    I've also thought that, since it's possible for me to look at the ink level of each printer seperately on the server, it must be possible to write a piece of software that can collate the information and inform me of which printers are running out of ink. However, writing such a program is beyond me - so I shall wait for someone to have the same idea.

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    Re: Equipment borrowing - logging usage

    It's just been decided that we're having all our equipment tagged and stuck on a, very, very poor database. I love the idea of using a system like this to manage equipment loans particularly as I have to maintain a record of the student teacher laptops over here...

    Keep us updated

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    Re: Equipment borrowing - logging usage

    Quote Originally Posted by sqdge
    I've also thought that, since it's possible for me to look at the ink level of each printer seperately on the server, it must be possible to write a piece of software that can collate the information and inform me of which printers are running out of ink. However, writing such a program is beyond me - so I shall wait for someone to have the same idea.
    There's various ways you can collect that data. I think that WMI can get the information from the server but the server's collecting that data from the printer so I've done something which queries the printers. You can either use SNMP to query the printer (assuming it supports it) but that's hard work or you can use the web interface (which many network printers have) to find out what's going on.

    The basic idea of this is that if you as a person can go an look at particular web page then so can a program. We have a set of photocopiers and we have to give the page counts to the supplier at regular intervals; rather than having someone go round to each one to read the meters I've written a web page which queries each in turn and shows the serial number and the meter readings.

    The page here - http://techinfo.cnwl.ac.uk/Windows%2...r%20Status.htm - shows what I've done; it wouldn't be hard to use the basic idea to find stuff like toner level, paper level etc.

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    Re: Equipment borrowing - logging usage

    You can track equipment requests and such using a room booking system. Rather than make a new room define a piece of equipment... Simple

    As far as SNMP goes I use it to query our HP and Xerox printers. This is done from nagios which gives me a nice interface telling me whats online/offline low ink etc. This also monitors servers, switches etc etc. There are plugins for most stuff and other stuff you can write a plugin in Perl. I learnt enough Perl to do a script to query our Xerox printers as the standard plugin didnt work. Seems though my plugin will query alsorts of printers though if they are using the standard SNMP mib ranges.

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    Re: Equipment borrowing - logging usage

    GLPI has a reservation part of it and gives you a calendar of hardware on loan.

    I use NG OCS to collect all my pc details via it's agent and then use GLPI to manage everything else with an import from OCS.

    Ben

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