Low-Cost Prototype OPAC System

Christian Pietsch chr.pietsch+web4lib at GOOGLEMAIL.COM
Tue Dec 18 15:01:34 EST 2012


this is so cool, especially considering that the costly Kiosk PCs my
home town's public library has just acquired do not offer more than
your extremely cheap solution: they run a web browser.

In contrast to your solution, this public library (like so many) has
wasted money ...
- on many licenses for Microsoft's Windows operating systems
- on licenses for proprietary software to keep Windows in check
- to buy the powerful computers required to run Windows
- and harmed the environment because of the hight energy consumption
  of these computers.

Congratulations for avoiding these pitfalls!

My own academic library offers Linux-based PCs as OPAC terminals which
by and large avoid these pitfalls as well, although I do hope they
will eventually be replaced with more energy-efficient hardware such
as the options you mentioned.


On Tue, Dec 18, 2012 at 01:49:25PM -0500, John Lolis wrote:
> Has anyone else been looking into a low cost alternative to the usual OPAC computers?
> Here at White Plains Public Library, we're testing the feasibility of an APC system board that retails for about $50.  I have it booting Raspbian Linux from a microSD card and running Chromium in kiosk mode to access our catalog.  So far after about a month in operation, it's looking good.
> See http://whiteplainslibrary.org/2012/11/our-new-low-cost-experimental-online-catalog-pc/ and http://whiteplainslibrary.org/?p=3780 for more information, the latter page having detailed information about its setup.
> Btw, I also looked into the less expensive Raspberry Pi; however, it only provides HDMI out, and no VGA.

  Christian Pietsch <http://purl.org/net/pietsch>
  LibTec (Library Technology and Knowledge Management),
  Bielefeld University Library, Bielefeld, Germany


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