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NeilT

DIY Kiosk - PartII

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well, some good news  :) a year after getting in touch with the chap that did the kiosk software, well, he has now been in touch.

A brand new version is being worked on, though release will not be for a while. The new version will not be running .php and apache, but will be  a stand alone version, which should make things a lot simpler, for those not to good with PC's etc.

He has been in touch to see what feature we would like, and I have sent over some ideas, but not to complicated.. If you have any thoughts on this, or if you did get the original version running, and know how it works, and what can be done to make it better, please post up here, and I will pass on the ideas..

This should be something to look forward to, and it would be great if we can as a group contribute to the project.

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This is good news, kiosks at the moment are so over priced at the moment, some open source software should make manufacturers sit up and think.

THe most important feature I can think of is that it creates a DPOF order. This means that quantities for prints will be automatically entered. DPOF is supported by all minilab manufacturers I think. The thought of going through 100+ pictures and referring back to a list for quantities is frightening. DPOF is simply a directory structure and a text file, so should be simple.

http://panasonic.jp/dc/dpof_110/white_e.htm

I will try and log on to Sourceforge later and see whats happening.

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There is no news on the update at sourceforge. The way some other kiosk people are doing the multiple print probelm, is to write the file as many times as is needed. So, say you want 3 prints from 0001.jpg it writes this image 3 times into the hot folder, quick and nasty solution, but it does work ;)

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oh goody!

Never did get that early version to work.

I would like the new system to be able to network with my current system rather than connect directly with the minilab- other than that I'm a bit of a kiosk virgin so I'll go with any other wishes.

Just as an aside I would be keen to have a swipe card reader integrated with it so we could sell 'units' up front so the customer could pay in advance and debit their account as they go.

Tony

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Just as an aside I would be keen to have a swipe card reader integrated with it so we could sell 'units' up front so the customer could pay in advance and debit their account as they go.

I think thats penciled in for version 8 ;)

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the new version, will have "hot folders" so you can network it no problem. Doubt if it will have a swipe card function though, as this would be rather complicated to set up for "world" use, with all of the diffrent cards etc :)

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Just a quick update on this project.. I have a demo of the new software :) and it is so easy to install, no messing around, just a straight .exe file. The version I have is not complete, and is just beta, but it is basic in what it does, but it work like a charm.. well so far.

This can be run on any PC and is really aimed at just prints from media card with a selection of regular sizes etc, I will have better play over the next couple of days, but for a freebie open source bit of s/w then its pretty good and does the job.

This will enable lab owners to have no frill multi kiosk's for peanuts  ;D just the price of a PC and a touch screen monitor if you want one. I will get some screen grabs, over the next day or so, and post them up :)

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Nope, this is a alpha release, and is not in the public domain... fingers crossed a final release may be out in a few weeks.

The whole look can be customised with "Flash" .fla files :)

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I agree, looks very good. Will it be possible to use with a mouse rather than  a touch screen ? (I have a spare pc just waiting for this  ;))- If not can someone point me in the right direction to obtain a touch screen, or does anyone have a spare they want to sell?

Tony

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This all sounds very exciting! At the moment we use a standard p.c. at the front counter where we display the thumbnails and 'select' the images that the customer requires by 'saving' them into a new folder in the 'shared documents' section. When we are ready we access this folder , through 'network neighbourhood' on our Noritsu 2701 and print as normal.

The big disadvantage is when multiple copies are required of the same image and when different print sizes are required. To copy an image 10 times looks a bit un-professional so we end up jotting down the file number but this gets very laborious on a big order!

Another request that some customers have asked for is an index print which also quoted the image names/nos under each thumbnail. I can see a great potential if we could master this whereby we could offer the less technically-able (or just lazy) customer a superior "gold service".

Gold Service:

                    receive card,

                    print one copy of all images

                    print annotated index prints with file nos

                    copy images to cd

                    affix cd in wallet to back of index card and punch for ring binder filing

                    wipe the camera card ready for re-use

This would give the customer a safe and easily accessible storage of their images that would not be susceptible to the vaguaries of computers. We have been doing this with all 35mm processing for several years (sticking sleeved negs to back of ready punched 9"x6" index prints) and have noticed quite an increase in our reprint business because the customer has no headache in locating the negative (they bring the whole lot back and point to the thumbnails with their requirements). Luckily THEY DON'T have to touch the negs - or spill coffee on them!!

For some obscure reason the index print selection on the digital side of the 2701 will only print up to 7x5 and doesn't quote the file nos . It seems as though we will need some other software to do this. I don't really understand all the ins and outs of DPOF. Would it be possible to load that software on our front counter computer?

I must add, Neil, that I really appreciate all your efforts with this site and although I haven't posted very much I frequently browse through and learn a bit more every time! So Thanks.

Cheers for now

Bryan

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Looking excellent so far.

Looking at the screenshots, it seems the order is created as an HTML file. Would it be possible to creat the order using the DPOF system as an option? The DPOF system is just a simple text file so I would have thought it we be easier to create than an HTML file. Also, DPOF is 'industry standard' so it is supported by all minilabs and means you don't have to worry about copying quantities from a list or loading the same file more than once. The Noritsu CT2 uses DPOF for example. I think this would make the software very attractive.

Also, suggestions for further down the road-

Support for Kodak dye sub printers to offer instant prints.

Support for a receipt type of printer.

Looking forward to testing it out...

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Bryan... this software will be perfect for you and it will do just what you want :)

Yes JP, at the moment the order is written as a html file, but I have made the suggestion that this is improved, and it is being looked at. I doubt that it will create a DPOF, but who knows?

I think that there will be a work around to be able to send the images to an external printer, if the PC running the software has the right drivers on it... Yup the reciept type ticket is also being looked at, though this will run on an external printer.. You could say have the printer next to the mini lab, so that thee operator got an instant reciept so he/she knows an order is ready for printing.

I have made a post in the contributer forum, that may be of use to you ;)

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Right I have another development on this :) The xKiosk 2 project now has its on section on sourceforge.net.

As mentioned this is all in alpha stage, and there are some bugs running, also not all of the source code is available *yet* but you can get much of the information

Work in progress that I know off, is a new way to print the order sheet, with smaller thumbs, the s/w is to display the file names. Huge files can crash the s/w No language packs are in this release.

OK if you want to download the trial version and discover more then here is the link for you.

http://xkiosk2.sourceforge.net/

Shal the developer is reading this thread, so please do post up any bugs or other info/ideas that you may have.

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Hi Shal,

I have downloaded the trial version of the kiosk on my home pc (where I have more time!) and I am impressed !

Some thoughts (in no particular order)

Would it be possible to display the image nos under the images?

Would it be possible to print an index print complete with image nos?

I cant seem to exit the program pressing "Esc" doesn't work for me!

I get an error message "Kernell 32 has caused an error and will now close"

Is it possible to have a hold function throughout the order for say 2 of everything?

How will it work regarding different print sizes within the same order. Will it batch them in different folders for printing separately after you have changed the paper mags?

Will the image nos be stamped on the back of the prints by the back marker ribbon?

Keep up the good work we really DO appreciate your efforts!!

cheers

Bryan

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Would it be possible to display the image nos under the images?

This is being worked on :)

Would it be possible to print an index print complete with image nos?

This can be done by pulling the files from the "hot folder"

I cant seem to exit the program pressing "Esc" doesn't work for me!

I get an error message "Kernell 32 has caused an error and will now close"

What OS are you running??? all works fine on a XP OS

How will it work regarding different print sizes within the same order. Will it batch them in different folders for printing separately after you have changed the paper mags?

Have a go at different print sizes etc... it then writes this info to the actual file in the hot folder :)

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