Public Information Terminal Network





Table of contents




1.     General description. 2

2.     Realisation. 2

3.     Client applications. 3

3.1       Browser client 3

3.2       Presentation client 3

4.     Central Servers. 4

4.1       Authentication server 4

4.2       Supervisory server 4

4.3       Presentation server 4

5.     Supervisory application (to supervisory server control) 5

5.1       Command control application. 5

5.2       Web cam picture control application. 5

6.         Appendix. 6

6.1       Browser client and presentation client in one inside Terminal 6

6.2       Two Browser clients in one outside Terminal 6

6.3       Remote control and presentation-editor client. 7

6.4       Central server centre. 7

1.         General description


The Public Information Terminal Network system control Internet terminals via public network. The terminals have interactive graphical user interfaces and multimedia functionality.

The terminals adapted for browsing, for using information databases, sending emails with attached voice and image, showing static information and advertisements. They are able to do working without network connection (in this case possible only static data retrieval), or show remote-updated advertisements, and applications received from server centre.


In case of remote-control, the working of clients traceable through administration applications, and additionally they can be controlled and updated. The presentation server controls the appearing applications and presentations, the authentication server control the login procedures.


The terminals are doing continuous self-checking for the sake of the continuous working. They are sending information for the centre about the incurred possible hardware errors. When Failures, like network problems, and hardware problems (for example web camera brake down) detected, the clients try to work out with limited functionality. With some opportunities they are staying operable and sending only warning messages to the centre about the failure. Cause of serious problems the terminals can be remote controlled, or can be automatically stopped pending repairman arrival, depends on failure's kind.




2.         Realisation


The client and server applications based on Linux platform, what takes advantages of KDE graphical interface. Realisation happened in C, C++, PHP and Java languages, based on SQL databases. The database administration interface is a web-format PHP application, can be used through an Internet browser.


The client administration, remote control and presentation editing happens through Intranet. The client-server communication happens through public Internet network, (encrypted data flow), or case of network failures through optional alternative channels (like SMS messages).


In case of several servers the system is prepared to that through continuous database synchronising the alternative standby server can take functions from fell out servers.


The presentations can be static pictures, or animations, or unique applications too. The application can be a simple Windows-based application (run on emulated Windows operating system) or a Linux based application. Execution of the animations like flash or movies happens through installed helper applications, the still images handled by the main application.

3.         Client applications


Minimal hardware and software requirements:



3.1         Browser client


Client guarantees browser area's functionality, it is connected to control centre, authentication server, presentation server and hardware components. It sends several status messages to the control server, and control switch on and -off of the apparatus, and make self-checking. With commands, received from control server, it can be controlled, and remote updated. If a GSM unit is connected to the client, it can send and receive commands when there is no network connection. (Commands are going through accessory hardware.). One of the most important functionality is browsing:


In so far as NetPanel consist card reader, then user can login with chip-card, otherwise login possible with forward given code number, or Terminal does only information service. Categorized website collections helps browsing, built-in e-mail client helps sending photos (case of given web camera) and voices as an attachment of the message. Making the photo happens with web camera, the voice recording happens with the built-in microphone.



3.2         Presentation client


Client application is able to separate working. The function is advertisements and information servicing. It has continuous connection both central control server and presentation server. It‘s working is controlled by the browser client. It has a Network connection through browser machine, advertisements and application updates received through this line. It can be controlled by control centre without reference to browser machine. Sounds, pictures and animations can appear on client machine, but it has chance for running unique applications.

4.         Central Servers


Minimal hardware and software requirements:



From server centre happens controlling and tracing of client machines, through public Internet network and SMS messages all day long. The server applications can run on the same hardware, but if there are more clients it is better to share the works between servers.


4.1         Authentication server

Authentication server's object is treating login procedures (with several codes like chip-card, forward given code number), monitoring balance, do statistic for clerk. Communication is through encrypted channels. Steps of communication is written to log files and into log databases. Every communication request is stored in this log databases for example the TCP/IP address of the connected client, the unique identifier of the client, and the received request’s type. The server can make statistics about using of terminals. Forasmuch same time relative little client connect to centre, therefore able to handle more client.


4.2         Supervisory server

The software receives continuous status messages and web camera pictures (case of web camera is given) from clients. On the photos it is showed, from which server come in. If the operator detects suspicious event about any client, he can ask for increased attention about the client. From time to time the server needs some activity from o perator, to check, he keeps tabs what happens on screen. The server receives status messages from remote clients, and sends commands to clients through public network, or in SMS. Server servicing can handle only limited clients because of continuous communication, first of all because of getting pictures necessary bandwidth.


4.3         Presentation server

The software controls advertisement uploading, and distributing to clients. The application has a data input section, when the operator can upload presentations, adjust the parameters of presentation, and date of coming out. The interface works through web browser. Several formats, like still pictures, movies, applications can be shown on advertisement area.


The presentation server communicates through control server with presentation clients. Copying the presentations to clients happens with continuous synchronising. It happens using only certain per cent from bandwidth, typical locked to time, when browser area less used. The exact coming out is written to log files, so it can be traceable from the control centre.




5.         Supervisory application (to supervisory server control)


Minimal hardware and software requirements:



Supervisory server can be accessed through a multi-piece control client application. The supervisory program contains two main applications, and an input and statistic section. Both supervisory applications can be accessed through a browser.


5.1         Command control application

Application can send commands to clients (case of optional given GSM modem in SMS), can start several processes (like program updating, client restarting) and receive status messages. Here we can monitor the working of clients, and can see the received answers about commands. We can see a list of active and inactive clients. When the server receives a warning message, the operator gets a message box with the exact location and failure description, and after this he can handle the failure. (Forwarding failure message, calling service professional men, or sending command to client).


5.2         Web cam picture control application

The Application shows the control pictures received from the clients. Terminals can be seen in a 4*4 picture matrix in order of selected mode. We can ask alternate picture visualising, increased picture viewing, event-controlled picture viewing, or these combinations. Case of event-controlled viewing showed only web cam pictures of movement and failure marked machines.

6.         Appendix




6.1         Browser client and presentation client in one inside Terminal

6.2         Two Browser clients in one outside Terminal

6.3         Remote control and presentation-editor client.

6.4         Central server centre