Work with indicators

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This chapter describes work with indicator in details. Each indicator shows the current state of corresponding client computer in cafe. Demo version of the program has 4 indicators only (and it is the only difference with full version of the program). Lets observe one in details:

 

ind-description

This indicator corresponds to the client computer 1. At the top left corner button with exclamation mark is located (it changes its icon to asterix when computer is in use by regular client). The purpose of this button is to show additional functions corresponding to this indicator (they will be reviewed later in this chapter).

 

Connection with client computer indicator is located at top right corner. Its color is green and it means that connection with client computer established, i.e. client computer is under control of server computer. It normally should have green color. There are only few cases when it is red:

 

Client program (Client2.exe) has not been started on the client computer or it was not correctly configured or disabled
Client computer is rebooting or was shut down

 

Connection with client computer indicator can be red with exclamation mark on it. It means that client computer is ON, but client program is OFF. It also can be seen in control via Internet (exclamation mark before computer name). Every 2 minutes the record is added to statistics report "computer is working, but client program is switched off (no connection)". It can be a sign of cheat by operator for cafe owner (explicitly disabled client program).

 

Operator should constantly check that connection with all client computers present and in case of disconnection to restore it.

 

 

Client computers are automatically locked after disconnection with server (when paid time is off).

 

Lets continue. Below you can see "Internet" label. It means current computer state. There are many states including "Free", "Games", "Internet", "Time out", "Timer games", "Timer internet". When client computer is in the "Free" or  in the "Time out" state it is locked. I.e. client computer is showing message "Computer locked. Please do not touch keyboard, mouse" and it is locked. It is impossible to use the computer before payment is done.

 

Below you can see a window for entering rent interval. You should enter number of minutes client likes to rent a computer. It is not obligatory to type number of minutes, you can choose from drop down list. It contains "20, 30, 40, 60, 120, Timer, Night, Half-night". You are allowed to enter payment using hour and minutes using colon character, for example entering "1:30" means to rent client computer for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Entering "Night" (or $$$) means payment using "night" tariff. It will be calculated the rent of computer prior to night (using regular tariff) plus night mode (using night mode cost). It is possible to pay for half-night (you can customize the cost but  the duration is exactly half of the previously customized night). After you entered the rent duration, you should select payment mode ("Games" or "Internet"), enter discount and press "Start" button. Client computer is unlocked for a given period of time and a record describing this event is added to report.

 

By selecting Timer (or by typing 't' or "T" character) and pressing "Start" button, you start timer mode (post-paid). In this mode, computer is unlocked and it is possible for client to work until operator presses "Stop" button. After pressing "Stop" button, operator can observe payment amount in the window for entering time interval. He takes corresponding payment from client. Pay attention that this amount will be calculated according to the cost that was current at the moment of timer start. I.e. before starting timer mode you should select between "Games" and "Internet", discount and double check current cost per hour.

 

You can select timer mode for computer that is already working in timer mode. Previous timer mode will be stopped, its payment will be saved to debt, new timer mode will be started. When client finishes its work, admin press "Stop" and see total payment in the window for entering time interval. It is convenient when user doesn't know how long he likes to play games and how long to work in Internet, but likes to switch between these modes and pay at the end. It is allowed to occupy client computer that works in timer mode for a given number of minutes. Timer will be stopped and corresponding number of minutes will start count down. Timer mode payment will be saved to debt and showed to operator after pressing "Stop". Client can pay the debt before the end of his paid time.

 

You can enter payment sum instead of rent duration. To differentiate from rent duration you should use dot or comma. For example, entering 30 means 30 minutes; 30. means $30; 30, means $30; 30.0 means $30; 30.5 means $30.5. By using discount when entering payment sum, the duration of work session is increased. I.e. discount of 50% will increase time duration by 1.5. Take a look at discount applying mode in security settings.

 

After entering amount of time and pressing "Start" button this button is changed to "Pause". It allow pausing client work without charging him (client computer is locked, he is unable to continue work). It is often used when clients wants a smoke break or receive a phone call. If you don't want to use this function, disable it in security settings.

 

ind-pause

 

To pause client computer you should have the empty field for entering amount of time. When it is not empty, button changes to "Start". To continue work (unpause) press "Start" button.

 

Any time before the end of paid time or after it, client is able to pay extra (prolong rent time). Paying extra similar to regular payment. Payment interval is entered to indicator and "Start" button is pressed. Additional time is added to the end previous time interval.

 

It is possible to rent a client computer for fixed amount of time, but pay at the end of the work. It is useful, for example, when customer wants to pay extra for one more hour, but unable to leave computer. In this case, operator adds exclamation mark before payment interval. After pressing "Stop", operator observes clients debt. Client is able to pay the debt before end of his work too. For example, if you would like to unlock computer for client for one hour with payment at the end, you enter !60:

 

ind-exl-pay-60

 

Indicator is highlighted in blue:

 

ind-exl-pay-60-blue

 

At the end of the work, after pressing "Stop" operator observes payment sum:

 

ind-exl-pay-60-sum

 

You can customize the drop list with amount of time. By-default it is: 20, 30, 40, 60, 120, Timer, Night, Half-night:

 

ind-dropbox

 

You can edit this list in security settings, interface tab. Previously you had to manually create file combotime.cfg with lines corresponding to values in drop list. Now this file is  created automatically and edited using settings.

 

You can allocate free time amount (without payment) on the client computer. It doesn't mean without control. Free time is accounted in report separately. To do that, you should keep pressing "SHIFT" keyboard button before pressing "Start" or type * (asterix) before amount of time. You have to select or enter the reason for free work:

 

ind_free_reason

 

You can change the default list of reasons by creating text file freestings.cfg in the server part install folder. Each line of it is possible free reason. For example:

 

cafe owner

VIP person Bob Smith

VIP person John Doe

computer setup by operator

 

Indicator of client computer working without payment is highlighted in red:

 

ind-free

 

 

Initiating free of charge work should be done using keeping SHIFT button or adding asterix before time amount. You should NOT use 100% discount.

 

It is sometimes practiced to add few free minutes "for computer setup".  To configure this feature, press "Settings", "Free time to customize PC". Enter required amount of time  (assume 3) and press "OK". After that free 3 minutes for computer setup will be added to paid time. If you will keep pressing CTRL when press "Start", time for setup will NOT  be added.

 

Just below the field where you enter time amount, the "Start" and "Stop" buttons are located. "Start" button is pressed when your customer comes and you want to unlock his computer for paid amount of time or want to prolong his work. You can press ENTER instead of "Start". You can press TAB to move to the next indicator, ESC to cleanup indicator.

"Stop" is pressed when customers paid time is out, he don't want to prolong it or when he leaves earlier (the rest of payment is not returned). For example, night of games was rented, customer decides to leave one hour earlier - you press "Stop" to finish his work and lock the PC. You are also pressing "Stop" to finish timer (post-paid) work.

 

Below you can see two radio buttos for selecting tariff: Games or Internet. You should choose it before pressing "Start".

 

Below you can see discount entering field. Discount can be positive and negative. Negative discount was implemented to increase payment for two customers using single PC. You can use discount -100% to double charge.

 

Below you can see the number of minutes left (timer mode shows spent minutes). When paid time is out, client computer is locked and you see the "Time out" status. Minutes

will run to negative that gives possibility to know how long the time was out. In case customer decides to pay extra, the additional time will be added to the end of previous payment interval. In case you want to add new time interval starting current time, you should press "Stop", then enter amount of time and press "Start".

 

 

Below you can see when customer will finish his work. In case client computer is free, you see the "dash" here. When in timer mode, it shows start time when you initiated timer.

 

The bottomless button is "Statistics". Pressing it will open program for "Reviewing/analyzing/printing reports" (LOG3View.exe or Start->Programs->Internet Cafe->Report View), where you can observe reports by given client computer, for the current work shift. You will read more about reports later.

 

Lets observe the indicator menu that you can open by pressing button with exclamation mark. When you work with regular client, this button is showing asterix:

 

 

ind-exl

ind-asterix

 

Pressing this button opens the following menu:

 

indmenu

 

In case client computer is not connected to server, that menu look like:

 

indmenu-vista

 

Lets review each function of that menu.

 

"Change seat/transfer time to another computer" button

 

Allows moving customer to another free computer (assume, his original computer doesn't have the required game installed), allows swapping customers, give the rest or part of time to another customer.

 

Assume we would like to move the customer from computer 7 to another free computer (assume computer 7 has broken headphones. Press "!" on indicator 7, press "Change seat/transfer time to another computer". The following window appear:

 

indmenu-chseat

 

Busy computers are yellow, free - green. Press green button, for example, 9:

 

move-7-to-9

 

 

If you would like to move all the time, press "Change seat to computer 9", if you would like transfer part of time, press bottom button.

 

You can swap customer on computer 7 with customer on computer 4. Press "!", then "Change seat/transfer time to another computer", then press button "4":

 

 

indmenu-chseat-2choise

 

Select "Swap seats with computer 4".

 

In case customer on computer 7 decides to finish and give the rest of his paid time to his friend, assume sitting on computer number 4, operator does the same sequence as he did for swapping, but in the last dialog choose "Transfer remaining time to computer 4":

 

"Make a note in report" button

 

Allows operator to make any notes in report. For example, operator can make a note that given computer has broken headphones (to replace them later):

 

indmenu-zametka

 

You can find a note in "Statistics" report:

 

indmenu-zametka-stat

 

"Rename indicator" button

 

Allows renaming indicator numbers to strings. For example, assume you want indicators 14, 15, 16 to be called VIP-1, VIP-2, VIP-3. Press "Rename indicator" button and enter new indicator name:

 

indmenu-altname

 

Now you main screen will look:

 

indmenu-alt-vip

 

"Additional services (POS)" button

 

Allows accounting any additional services (POS, Point of Sale), like printing, scanning, burning CD's, selling coffee or sandwiches. Program doesn't phisically calculate actually scanned sheets or burnt CD's, but just adds the spent amount to main report.

 

After you press "Additional services (POS)" button":

 

indmenu-services

 

Just after you installed server program, the additional services list is empty and you should fill it. Press "Service editor":

 

indmenu-services-empty

 

Press "Add" button and enter item (service) name, price for 1 item:

 

indmenu-addedit-service

 

It is useful to enter some letter or number at the beginning of service item name (in this case it is "1."), it can be used for quick service item search.

 

You should enter price for one service item (like 1 burnt CD, 1 sandwich, 1 cup of coffee).

 

Below is the sample of filled additional services list:

 

indmenu-services-full

 

Assume, customer sitting on computer number 10 would like to print 15 black/white sheets. On the 10th indicator menu select "Additional services (POS)", service item "Black/white printing" and number of items 15:

 

indmenu-services-print15

 

Field "To pay" shows the sum that customer should pay: $7.50.

 

Service item names and price for 1 item are stored in text file named addserv.cfg in the server program installation directory. You can edit it with text editor in case it is not prohibited in security settings. If operator will edit it after it was prohibited in settings by administrator (cafe owner), corresponding record will be added to report.

 

Please also read the advice for quick additional services selection.

 

"Regular client" button

 

Allows accounting of regular clients (customers who have personal account in your cafe). More details in the chapter "Work with regular clients".

 

"Return the rest of the payment" button

 

Assume customer rented computer for 1 hour of work in Internet. He paid for 60 minutes of work, but after about 30 minutes he received a phone call and he had to leave earlier. How to return him the cost of remaining time? Use "Return the rest of the payment" button. Pressing it pops up the window showing the amount of cash that should be returned to customer:

 

indmenu-ost

 

Returning the rest of payment in pricing block mode tries to find the closest pricing block (to apply maximum discount for the client). If not found, uses cost per hour tariff.

 

You can set the minimal sum for return the rest of payment, you can also deny transferring part of time when pricing block mode.

 

Window that proposes to return the rest of payment automatically closes in 20 seconds if operator was idle.

 

"Pay off debt" button

 

Sometimes customer would like to pay at the end of work session, sometime customer prolongs time, but unable to pay immediately and tells "30 minutes more, I will pay later".

That sum is accounted as debt. At the end of work, when operator presses "Stop", the debt is added to indicator:

 

ind-exl-pay-60-sum

 

Customer allowed to pay off debt before the end of work. Operator should press "Pay off debt" button of indicator menu. The following window will appear:

 

indmenu-dolg

 

Operator observes the debt, accepts payment from customer and press "OK".

 

"Change last operation" button

 

Allows operator to change last erroneously entered operation or invalidate it. For example, you have a customer who would like to have 1 hour of games. Operator, erroneously selected Internet instead of Games and pressed "Start":

 

indmenu-chop-ig-i

 

Operator needs to change to Games. It is easy. Enter indicator menu and press "Change last operation" button. The following window appear:

 

indmenu-chop-ig-i-dlg

 

Left part of the window shows operation that you are editing, right - what you are able to change. In this case you can change original number of minutes, work mode (Games or Internet), discount and free computer customization time. As we did a mistake in work mode, switch Internet to Games:

 

indmenu-chop-ig-g-dlg

 

Press "OK":

 

indmenu-chop-ig-g

 

Computer switches to "Games" mode. Pay attention that Games\Internet radio button is still in "Internet" mode. Its position affects only future operations.

 

Change last operation window automatically closes in case of 30 seconds of idle operator.

 

 

Change last operation window also allows invalidate operation. For example, operator accidentally  pressed "Start" and unlocked computer. It is not possible for operator to cheat using invalidate function as all the time that passed from operation start will be accounted as free of charge time in main report. You can invalidate operation in the same window as changing last operation, but instead of pressing "OK", operator should press "Invalidate":

 

indmenu-annulate

 

"Fine" button

 

Sometimes operator had to find customer for unworthy behavior, swearing. When paying for fixed amount of time, customer will work less minutes (operator selects this amount). Timer (post-paid) mode will force customer to pay more (like he worked more minutes). It is easy to fine customer. Just press "Find" button in indicator menu and enter reason:

 

indmenu-fine

 

Press "OK" button and customer will be fined. In case it was a timer mode, indicator will show a number of already worked minutes plus fine minutes:

 

indmenu-fine-timer

 

"Remote computer functions" button

 

Allows different operations with remote computer of client: reboot, shutdown, view working processes, kill processes, send text message, sound volume control, observe client desktop etc.

 

This button changes to "Switch computer on" when there is no connection to client computer.

 

"Switch computer on" button

 

Allows power on client computer using special command via local network. In order for client computer to react on this command when it is powered off and power on, it should support Wake On Lan functionality. It is supported by most of modern computers, but you have to enable it. Unfortunately each computer vendor implements its differently, but we will provide a recommendation.

 

Some computers require enabling Wake-On-Lan in BIOS. Each BIOS implements it differently, it can look like:

 

Wake On Lan - enable

 

or:

 

bios_wol

 

In this case it is assumed that network card is inserted in PCI slot. When computer is powered off, its motherboard actually receives some power and is waiting for "magic packet" of data that forces computer to "power on".

 

If you have any settings related to Wake-On-Lan, choose "Wake on magic packet".

 

Some computers require adjusting network card settings in device manager:

 

For example:

 

indmenu-network-properties-wol

 

 

Your client computers should have something similar.

 

After pressing "Switch computer on" the following window will appear:

 

indmenu-wol-reminder

 

In case the MAC address you see don't correspond to client computer network card:

 

Double check that server program was connected to client at least once

 

In case the client computer is not powered on, the following are possible causes:

 

BIOS is not configured for WOL (Wake On Lan)
Network card properties in device manager are not configured
WOL packet that server computer sends was captured / filtered out by firewall or antivirus software
Client computer should we powered of using normal WIndows button (or server program command). If you will switch off client computer using power off button on case, it will not wake up.

 

Proceed to "Remote computer functions", to learn more about it.


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