[K12OSN] Linux Bell system
jim at winonacotter.org
Wed Nov 9 20:16:53 UTC 2005
I saw the post last week about using linux for a school bell system. My main
school uses 14 different bell schedules which has always been a nightmare.
The bell system in place only handles 4 so on the other schedules there have
been no bells and teachers/students just have to be mindful of the clock.
Also the bell system needs to be set every day manually (this sucks).
So this prompted some thought on my part. I now have a bell system from a
linux box that I can program for months ahead of time and automatically
switches my schedules daily. I can also do unlimited bell tones. For example
the first tone of the day can announce the schedule for that day, or I can
swap tones for holidays and such. This is awesome. If anyone would like
examples of the scripts for this let me know. Basically I did a minimal
install of FC4 on a desktop machine with a sound card. I hooked the sound
card to the current receiver that played the old bell system. The set up a
series of cron files for the root user, one for each bell schedule. Then I
set up a series of scripts that will cycle out the current cron script for
root with one for the current bell schedule. I program the cron cycle scripts
ahead of time with webmins task scheduler. So under /var/spool/cron/ I have a
series of files named root.schedulename. Each of these files have a listing
of the times for every bell chime. Then under /root I have a series of files
named with "schedulename". These files are executable scripts that simply
move /var/spool/cron/root.schedulename to /var/spool/cron/root. Under /root I
have bell.wav. I can swap bell.wav with any wav file for the bell sound. I
call on bell.wav at the specific times with the command "play /root/bell.wav".
This is cool. Thanks for the ideas everyone!
I now have the next 2 months of bells scheduled, and I can fully control them
from home if I need to with webmin!
Cotter Tech Department
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