Perl - Internet Cafe Software for Linux - open source

Discussion in 'Perl' started by J-miami, Mar 28, 2005.

  1. J-miami

    J-miami Guest

    I am just starting to learn Perl. I had an idea that there should be
    free open-source Internet Cafe management software for Linux. I
    searched around online but couldn't find anything. The program would
    be appealing to anyone wanting to offer Internet access to their
    customers, from Internet Cafes to hotels. Who wants to pay hundreds or
    thousands of dollars for Internet Cafe management software? If running
    Linux, one could put together a nice, secure Internet cafe with older
    computers. There wouldn't be the same problems with spyware and
    trojans that currently plague Internet cafes. Maybe a small
    distribution could be made that specifically contains only what one
    would need for an Internet cafe (like a re-mastered, installable
    Knoppix disc with the extras removed and the Internet cafe software
    added -- put the disk in, install it, and you are ready to go).

    I am wondering if an Internet cafe management program like this could
    be programmed in Perl and whether it is too difficult for a beginner.
    I have some basic knowlege of networks but not much of an idea of where
    to start. I can write simple programs in Perl but haven't done
    anything with a GUI. I originally started learning to program with
    VB.NET and ASP.NET but now am trying to go the open source route with
    everything (PHP, Perl, Linux).

    All the program has to do is:
    * lock and unlock computers over the network, keeping track of billing
    time. Or, alternatively, generate codes for pre-paid access (less
    desireable because customers don't like this system as much).
    * set all variables with an admin screen (price, billing period
    (minute, 10 minutes, hourly, etc.)).
    * be able to remotely reboot and shutdown the computers.
    * Log all transactions and give daily totals.
    * Allow the input of descrepencies (for example, if a customer runs out
    without paying, or isn't going to be charged becuase the computer
    crashed on him while he was writing an email).
    * Set all computers' Internet homepages to a specific site that cannot
    be modified by users or malicious software.

    Optional additions for the future:
    * the ability to send messages to the Cafe computers.
    * allowing only certain programs to run (Firefox, Kopete or Gaim, CD
    burning software for digital camera photos).

    I don't own an Internet cafe; I just happen to find myself working at
    places that offer Internet access to the public and this possible
    solution came to mind.

    Actually, one possible complication is that the admin computer would
    probably be a Windows computer in most places, although it would be
    better for an Internet cafe to run Linux because of spyware and to
    possibility of using slow, older computers.

    Would Perl be a good language to try this project in?
    Would this be something that is difficult to program?
    Can it be written in Perl and then be used on both Linux and Windows if
    I install Perl on the Windows machines?

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions people can offer.
    J-miami, Mar 28, 2005
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  2. J-miami

    J-miami Guest

    I originally wasn't able to find any software like what I mentioned
    above on Google or, but I just tried another site that
    I heard about,, and saw a few open source Internet
    cafe programs.

    I'm looking through those now.

    In any case, I'm still interested in finding out the answers to those
    questions above.

    J-miami, Mar 28, 2005
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