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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Puppy Projects
How to set up a Puppy Linux Cybercafe
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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Mon 06 Apr 2009, 10:25    Post subject:  

Panic over....I hawked a few themes over from ecopup, installed skype and gyatchi from .pets and showed him the frugal install....

Im installing the first cybercafe at the end of the week Smile

if I can fix the netbooting...I will double check over everything first.

Mental note to self....nights are for sleeping, days are for working Smile

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cthisbear

Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Posts: 3414
Location: Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Mon 06 Apr 2009, 19:17    Post subject:  

Hope it finally goes to plan.

Oops moments. wtf!

Don't you just love em.
Been there...kludged that.

Chris.
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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Mon 06 Apr 2009, 21:56    Post subject:  

HeHe Thanks Chris, yes I think Jonathan must have been there too because he was very understanding...he had read on here that it had been got working, so Im sure he knows it can be again. Im sure I missed something basic my head just doesnt work when Ive been up all night. The meeting/presentation went really well, and I just demonstrated from a standard pup_save/hard disk install in the end.

Ive managed to port the firefox over from ecopup (which started life in a cybercafe and is very suited to it). Ive "added" it to the pup_420.sfs file, along with the latest flash 9 and Java 1.6.12. This way its just a matter of putting the pup_420.sfs file inside the netboot initrd.gz and away we go again. Ive also been testing aMSN 0.98 beta (from [url;=http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=281855]sfs here[url] and it seems very stable for just messaging. I havnt got the webcam function going yet which I will need to. I also installed the skype 2.0 ang gyachi packages which (seem to) work fine also.

After that I just added a windozish icewm theme I use as the default in ecopup, made the desktop icons (including the dreaded evil blue "E") and now I have the beginnings of an "alpha".

Ive attached a screenshot. I know that many people think that theming linux to look like windows is the ultimate in heresy, but in a cybercafe environment its essential...I do have experience in some things Wink Simply put, people who have never used open source get on so much better with linux if they dont know theyre using it Wink That way, all they can see is that theyre using a really fast computer that doesnt seem to break much. When they find out its linux then they have to admit to themselves that maybe its ok, otherwise your are battling with their preconceptions from the start (anything that isnt Micro$oft and is free must not be as good). Thats just unfortunetely how people think (microsoft have spent a lot of money to make them think that too!). If all it takes to get them to realise is to make linux look like teletubby land so be it. Wink

The cybercafe's support contract for their XP computers runs out at the end of April, and with their current mortality rate I would expect them to start dropping like flies. An alternative puppy powered solution needs to be in place by then. Ive emailed them today to arrange an appointment for later this week to go and install the Smoothwall/Puppy netbooter....I so hope it works again by then!

Ive also received an email from the Cybercafe describing the hardware that they use....

Quote:
The IP address for Hull is xxxxxxxxx. the one for Immingham is xxxxxxxx

We have no static IP address assignments for printers etc

Our web cams are Logitech quickcams 57500

Our computers have HP Pentium 4 wit 2 x P/N 355949 - 888 ram memory cards

I hope you realise I haven't got a clue what this means but it sounds pretty damn knowledgeable


Ive blanked the i.p. addresses for obvious reasons, but they do use a static I.P. Im sure this will be handy when logging in to the smoothwall. Ive also looked up the serial numbers of the RAM, and it seems like they must have 2x256mb = 512mb of RAM. What with all of the apps the netboot initrd will need to be about 200/250mb big which leaves them plenty to use as working storage....remember there wont be any SWAP. This would make the boot time I estimate a respectable 1minute 40 or thereabouts.

So...the things left to do over the next few days....

-Hack the xorgwizard so it always starts in 1280x1024, doesnt ask to confirm the mouse and always uses XORG. I may leave the keyboard layout selector in as different people from different countries will be used to different layouts...but the graphical keyboard layout selector a boot would be a better option.

-Hack the shutdown scripts not to try and save files on the NTFS xp machines.

-Edit the icewm menus and shutdown scripts to take out everything not needed for the cybercafe. Maybe leave a "secret" way into jwm for admin.

-Package everything in the alpha pup_save.2fs into a new initrd.gz

-Find out if puppy supports those webcams and see if they autodetect. Make at least one of my own 2 webcams (a spacecam 120 and something unknown) work so I can test msn/skype.

-Get the Smoothwall system booting again!!!

-Catch up on sleep

Thanks for reading all....the fun is about to begin.[/quote]
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cthisbear

Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Posts: 3414
Location: Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Tue 07 Apr 2009, 02:06    Post subject:  

cyber-preview.jpg

Looks good.
Nothing wrong with your approach.
I'm all for heresy.
Get people comfortable first.

Maybe you could come to an arrangement.
Copy different Puppy ISOs onto a DVD.

Gold coin donation if they so wish to burn a Puppy.

Many of these Seafarers don't earn much...so an option.

Educate people slowly to get a faster understanding.

Chris.
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raffy

Joined: 25 May 2005
Posts: 4765
Location: Manila

PostPosted: Tue 07 Apr 2009, 03:58    Post subject: publish  

You could probably publish your theme as "heresy" pet or simple tar.gz.

Wish you well for this endeavor. Smile

If the XP license expires, then why keep the NTFS-formatted disks and NOT use HD swap? It might as well be good to disconnect the HD and remove a potential source of confusion.

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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Tue 07 Apr 2009, 06:00    Post subject:  

Golden rule of putting in new systems....leave access to the old one while they get used to the new. I believe that puppy will make a swap file automatically? I just wouldnt want it autpmatically creating a pup save when shutdown, as this would retain peoples data/history/downloads on shared computers.

Some clients are regular visitors, and i met some of them on my first visit. These are people that live nearby, or work on the docks themselves. There is no reason I think why they cant have a memory stick with a pup_save.2fs on it? This way they can get hold of their bookmarks and things simply by putting their usb sticks in.

I have a friend who is an IT tech in Grimsby, he tells me that there is a roaring trade around IT repair for travelers from the docks. Their laptops are often their lifelines back home, and when windoze gets virused on them it leaves them seriously stuck.

When i visit next, i will talk to them offering the option to do a laptop patch repair service, with puppy booted from the network and installed on the broken xp laptop, without formatting. This would just be a matter of netbooting from the bios, copying a pup_save.2fs from somewhere onto it, and leaving them a disk to get past the xp bootloader lockout...possible grub4dos or something could be used to start puppy in an xp partition.

Right Im caught up, so I going to get "hacking". Good to see you guys are still watching Smile

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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Thu 16 Apr 2009, 20:47    Post subject:  

Just thought I would post a quick update. Ive reinstalled the server but I cant get it to work..the computer being "booted" just hangs at the "tftp..." prompt! I think it may have something to do with port 69 being bloacked, and I suspect that if I reinstall the origional tftpMod from smoothwall and then reconfigure (as in the first experiment) it might cure it.

Im going to see Phil at the Immingham cybercafe (the first to be puppied) tommorows, so I will be able to gather a bit more info about the setup there. He mentioned something about a wireless system, but the ships that go into the entrance of the port just outside the window Jam the signals with their Radar!

Once I have got the tftpbooting/smoothwall method down, I will write it up as a tutorial and start a new thread for this project

"Customizing puppy linux for a cybercafe".

With peoples incomes dropping and them not being able to afford their own personal connections at home, I can see there being a big return to cybercafe based internet access.

Thanks for reading Very Happy

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aarf

Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Posts: 3620
Location: around the bend

PostPosted: Sat 23 May 2009, 00:42    Post subject:  

without reading the whole thread. these little money boxes securely attached and connected to the power supply to time-out for the monitor are perhaps the most effective form of charging I have encountered.
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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
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Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Sat 23 May 2009, 18:12    Post subject:  

Aarf, thanks for your suggestion.

A box for each computer would need to be used in this case, which would produce a lot more initial setup expense for budding cybercafe entrepeneurs...there is also the problem that some users might leave their accounts logged in (with the monitor off) when their time expires, which would give the next customer access to their things.

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aarf

Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Posts: 3620
Location: around the bend

PostPosted: Sat 23 May 2009, 22:04    Post subject:  

ecomoney wrote:

A box for each computer would need to be used in this case, which would produce a lot more initial setup expense for budding cybercafe entrepeneurs...there is also the problem that some users might leave their accounts logged in (with the monitor off) when their time expires, which would give the next customer access to their things.

yes there needs to be a box for each computer but what i have noticed is that those cafes that have these boxes are always cheaper and thus more frequented than nearby manual operations so the initial costs are dissipated by the automatic monitoring and automatic cash collection. not to mention the total elimination of aggravation over time and payment issues. perhaps plan to have them as a later addition.
some also have automatic full computer shut down after a set number of minutes of idle monitor time which would erase a non-pupsaves stored personal info. in windows they have a software restore to original state on start. however person are capable and willing to take responsibility for their own actions or inactions. will you be sued for this?

dont know the cost of the coin boxes but those pictured are operating at translated exchange of approximately $0.30 USD cents per 43 minutes. so the coin boxes themselves cant be a major expense but translated into your inflated currency, wage structure, location and tax structure they may be expensive.

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ttuuxxx


Joined: 05 May 2007
Posts: 10753
Location: Ontario Canada,Sydney Australia

PostPosted: Tue 02 Jun 2009, 11:41    Post subject:  

hey ecomoney, package up your Icewm theme and I'll fix it for you, I'll make the clock and button have a more unified look to it, If you ever need help with those sort of icewm issues, just ask.
ttuuxxx

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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Tue 02 Jun 2009, 12:55    Post subject:  

You really dont want to see the first 4.2.1 IceWM theme Ive just done for the cafe....Im wanting to start them where they know already, and introduce more radical ideas as we go along.

Did I hear you mention on Barrys blog that you had backported netbooting to 2.14?

http://puppylinux.com/blog/?viewDetailed=00779

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