The registration system, which was originally invented for Califur and Howloween was created to make the process of registering for conventions exponentially faster. This will hopefully upgrade and become widespread and popular. I think it's at this time that I have decided to make this registration system free for furry and sci-fi conventions. I would like input and assistance in making this so if your wanting to, your welcome to contact me.
How the system is suppose to work
The system is suppose to be designed to reduce the time that people wait in line at registration, and to decrease the amount of errors that the system has. To start off with, each person comes up to a registration kiosk. This kiosk is designed to collect all the information that is needed. When that is done, it prints out the convention rules on a page with their own personal information. On the rules or AUP page there is also a barcode, which indicates their unique identifier in the database. Next they proceed to a cashieer, the cashieer then scans the barcode, and the system loads the membership into the computer, and simultaniously prints their badge. The Cashieer then assembles the badge, takes the person's money, and provides them with their badge and bag.
I think this is good in many respects. We never have to worry about somone confusing the name because we're limiting the number of hand written things. And i think people are much faster at typing their information into the computer than they are telling others what their information is. However this does leave there to be many issues. Like for instance the first year I ran the system, it was suseptible to SQL % wildcard searches. That was bad, and has been corrected.
Well this sytem requires a few bits of equipment.
- The Kiosk Terminals The kiosk terminals are small wyse terminals that i found for 25$ each. They connect to a standard monitor and have internet exploerer "KIOSK MODE" installed in them. This means that we can set the machine up to be a kiosk, and they can't enter other web addresses into it. Even if they were to find a way around that, they still couldn't download any viruses or such because they are wyse terminals and have no drives in them. In addition to that they are very small .. about the size of a box of 4 pizza pops. Maybe even smaller.
- The kiosk AUP Printer This printer prints the AUP for ever person who goes through a kiosk. Because of this, this printer needs to be network capable, and high enough volume to handle printing as many pages as you have guests at the event.
- The Label Printers Currently we're working with KROY-K225 label printers. This will be their first year in use, so we'll see how they work. We chose them because again we could get them for cheap. The printing system actually sends the prints jobs to a server resident on the cash register computers, so that means we can actually use any label printer.
- The Reciept printer This is the printer that sits between your cashieers, just in case they need to print anything, like reciepts for those customers who want them, all we need here is a network laser printer. Doesn't even have to be huge duty cycle. I use a print server to achieve the network functionality.
- The Cashieer computers These machines for now are laptops donated by the registration staff. The requirment is that it's a machine that has a web browser on it. And that it has a serial port. So we can use the label printer with it.
- REG KIOSK [Kiosk Mode]
- Add badge style selection
- We'll add FNO,FNOB,FNOT
- And if they have a hard plastic badge we'll make that the fourth option. (Which will save HPB , The HPB will have the code that says, "this fur has a hard plastic badge"
- Add AUP PRinting support
- Add badge style selection
- CASH REGISTER
- Add the Label Printing
- Check badge style, if badge style == HPB then print both FNOT and HPB
- BAG STUFFING SCRIPT
- Make a script like the AUP script that will print the stuff needed to go into a bag
- Make a script that will print all bage stuffing script pages at once.
Database Changes / Ideas
- Changes to the way the database deals with dealers Currenly the database deals with dealers and children as being their own membership. This doesn't work out well if a dealer is both a dealer and a sponsor. Or the guest of honor or such. So ... For future , Dealers, Dealers assistants, and child memberships will be ADD ON's .. dealers, children and such will be attendee members (unless they purchase sponsors or supersponsors or such) and then dealers and dealer assitants, or even staff can be a ADD ON to a badge. So that they can be both without trouble. -- Changing the pricing scheme for this may be a issue.
- Database Schema I'd like to see some database sheme put here. so that the collaborative work can be done.
- Database Relations
These things MUST be done before this coming califur. Otherwise we're screwed
- Plastic Badge Image Upload --- Done!
Suggestions from others
I request that others suggestions be placed here