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Tracer Eyes User Guide

This is an internal User Guide for staff supervising the Tracer Eyes software at the workstation set up in the entrance. Tracer Eyes is the general name for the front desk component of the overarching Tracer project.

Introduction

This user guide is for the Tracer Eyes project.  Tracer Eyes is a component of the distributed project code named 'Tracer'.  The overall purpose of project Tracer is keep track of ingress and egress of patrons and staff from the library to facilitate the generation of usage reports and if necessary contact tracing lists of everyone ho could have come in contact with individuals infected with the novel corona virus disease 19 (COVID-19).

 

Tracer Eyes is intended to help staff tasked with greeting/managing the flow of patrons.  Its primary role is to provide a quick and seamless system for such staff to log ingress/egress records for all patrons and other staff.  The following sections of this guide will be concerned with the Workstation (powering on, logging in, rebooting, etc.), the Application (how to start the Eyes app, basic functionality, how to restart if there are issues), and Failures (which provides further details about handling errors and information about contacting Guy Gastineau).

 

Vocabulary

  • Project Tracer: the overarching, distributed project retrieving, processing, and producing data for the library.
  • Tracer Eyes: a sub project of Tracer focused on wrangling ingress/egress data into the rest of the information system.
  • Workstation (hostname: tracer-eyes): the physical computer and any peripherals installed at the greeting station in the main library.
  • Eyes (app): the software that runs on the Workstation processing data entry and providing a graphical interface for staff supervising ingress/egress of patrons and other staff.
  • eyes: the literal user name that staff will use to log in while running and supervising the Eyes application.

Workstation

Welcome to the Workstation

Its real name is 'tracer-eyes', but it is not very particular about what you call it ;)

Most use will only require logging in as the user 'eyes' if the screen locks due to inactivity, but this guide also explains how to power the computer on, how to power it off, and also how to log in.

 

Access Services Staff

You probably only need the following information for logging back in when the screen locks from inactivity.  But you may need to turn it on in the morning or log back in if technical staff needs to reboot it remotely.

 

User             : eyes

Passphrase : tracer eyes

 

General Information about Workstation

The following provides an extended view into the basic functionality of Workstation

 

Power On

  • Press the power button on the front left of Workstation's case.
  • Some text will fill the console.  This is a normal part of the boot process.
  • The whole screen will go black.  This should only persist for a few moments.
  • If the screen has been black for longer than 5 seconds you may kindly ask tracer-eyes to present the log-in screen by pressing the 'Enter' key or wiggling the mouse.  Please refrain from excessive input (clicking and whatnot) if things don't seem to work.
  • Failure state: If a log-in screen doesn't appear within 10 seconds something is wrong; please contact Guy Gastineau at Guy.Gastineau@eku.edu or 1 (859) 314 6367.

 

Logging In

  • The Login Screen will present 3 possible users: guy, todd, and eyes.
  • If you are neither Todd nor Guy you should login as the user eyes.
  • User             : eyes
  • Passphrase : tracer eyes (yes, there is a space in the passphrase)

 

Screen Locking

Our robot friend tracer-eyes has the desktop environment KDE Plasma 5 installed.

It gives us a pretty environment and helps us manage graphical applications.

 

  • The Screen Dims slightly after ~10 minutes of inactivity.
  • The Screen will lock after 20 minutes.  If this happens, simply wake the prompt by jiggling the mouse, and then enter the passphrase in the prompt area to get back into the desktop.

 

 

Power Off / Reboot

The EKU Libraries Department of Technology automatically syncs with the workstation after 11:00 PM every night.  After syncing tracer-eyes is rebooted.  You should never need to turn the workstation off (or on for that matter) during normal circumstances.

 

  • You shouldn't need to power off the Workstation!
  • If somehow you must power off / reboot the Workstation, then there are controls under the name leave in a system menu accessible through a button in the lower left of the desktop screen.  This is very similar to the start menu functionality found in Windows 10.

Application

Access Services Staff

Once access services staff have logged into the Workstation they can begin using the Eyes application.

 

Getting Started

  • Single click the Icon in the top left of the desktop to start the Eyes application.  This will also restart all services it uses.
  • If something goes wrong you should try restarting the application.  Simply make a note of what you think went wrong, so technical staff can investigate later.

 

The Screen

Once Eyes is running you will see a white screen with text and sections drawn on it.  The sections' format will change as data is written to the screen.  Do not be alarmed when the areas resize themselves and affect the layout.  The following section outlines the layout.

 

 

Layout

In summary incoming and outgoing transactions are logged to the top sections of the application.  They will expand as they fill with information.  If they grow too much you will need the scroll bar to access the 901# entries in the bottom of the app.  To avoid cluttering the screen you should use the clear buttons in the lower left quadrant of the application frequently.

 

Incoming Transactions (top left)

  • This area logs card swipes and 901 # entries for patrons during Ingress.
  • Transactions will say they wrote either a keycode or a banner id to file, and it will provide the time of the transaction in a format similar to a digital clock's output.  This area will expand vertically as needed pushing the second row down in the window as it grows.

 

Outgoing Transactions (top right)

  • This box acts identically to the Incoming Transactions box, but it logs swipes and 901 # entries for patrons during egress.

 

Clear Buttons (bottom left)

  • In the bottom (looks like middle) left of the screen you can find the buttons "Clear Incoming!" and "Clear Outgoing!".
  • These buttons clear all data buffered in their respective section from the top row of the window.
  • Even though we can scroll, it is probably better to clear those sections when they get really crowded, because that makes it easier to see that people's swipes are getting registered in the system.

 

Patrons by Banner ID (bottom right)

  • This section holds two boxes used for entering a patron's Banner Identification number.
  • Commonly referred to as a nine-o-one number (901#) at EKU.
  • Like the sections in the top row of the window, these boxes correspond to ingress/egress as one would expect.
  • As a convenience, 910 is already entered into the text fields.
  • If a user has an older 900#, then simply replace the "1" with a "0" in the text field.
  • Numbers beginning with "900" and "901" are accepted and logged into the top row of the application.
  • The message "Success!" is displayed below the text field when a 9 digit number starting with "900" or "901" is entered followed by the enter key.
  • If a malformed banner id is entered, an error message (Bad 901#. Pleas try again!) is displayed below the text field, the value in the text field is reset to "901", and nothing is logged to the transaction boxes.

 

Scrolling (right side)

After the accumulation of many transaction logs in the first row of the window, the scrollbar on the right is likely to become useful.  If you find the application in this state, please be nice and clear the transaction boxes with the clear buttons.  It will be easier for you and the Workstation to work together in harmony.  Currently, there is no functionality to scroll with the center mouse wheel.  Guy gives you his deepest apologies for this.  It is unlikely to be possible with the current software, but a click-and-drag scrolling feature is on the way.

 

Exiting

  • Generally you shouldn't need to exit, but the 'x' button in the window border controls will exit the application.
  • In rare cases this might not work!
  • If the application won't close gracefully, you may click the Eyes icon again, and close the application after it restarts.
  • For persistent problems contact Guy Gastineau at Guy.Gastineau@eku.edu or at 1 (859) 314 6367

 

Screenshots

Here are some more screenshots of the Eyes application in use in my development environment.  Expect some more detailed and annotated screenshots in the future.

 


Failures

The components of Tracer Eyes are intended to be a collection of inter-working parts that provide a robust system to help staff log all the ingress/egress of the main library.  Sometimes these parts will cease to function as expected.  In such cases we can follow some general protocols.

 

  • The graphical window is up, but it is not writing transactions in the first row boxes from either swipes, banner ids, or both:  In this case first try to close the program with the 'x' button in the window border controls.  If that doesn't work, then simply single click the Eyes icon in the upper left hand of the Desktop to restart the program (it will kill all related processes before restarting).
  • The graphical window is stuck in an unusable state (scrolling wont work, can't enter banner ids, the transaction logs are not clearing with the buttons):  In this case, try exiting normally.  If that doesn't work simply restart as described above to get things working again.
  • If the app does not work from restarting it, or if there are continuous problems with the application over a short period of time, then you are encouraged to contact Guy Gastineau at Guy.Gastineau@eku.edu or at 1 (869) 314 6367.  As soon as possible, Guy will attempt to resolve the issue remotely, so that you can carry on your work without interference.

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