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In our office, next to the coffee machine, we have a classical paper tally sheet where people fill in when they had coffee, and someone at the end of the month will count all the marks on the sheet and tell the people what they have to pay.

Problems are: the sheets never show the actual debt the people have, and it's always tedious work to count the marks.

But since we already have some (non-touch) info-monitor hanging in this room that is driven by a Raspberry Pi 2 running Ubuntu, I'm searching for a more interactive solution for coffee billing. What I had in mind is something that can be shown within an internet browser like Firefox, an where people just have to press a button next to their name to add a coffee to their bill, and all "debt levels" shown are always up-to-date.

Also, if possible, there should be something like a maintenance back-end where only certain people can free coffee-drinkers from their debts as soon as they pay them.

I would not want to use some kind of spreadsheet, since it's probably error prone, and not really save top manipulation and wrong use. For the users, it should be as simple as possible, if possible.

Does anyone of you know some program or project that might can be used for such an application? Any hints are highly appreciated! Thank you!

  • What is the total amount spent of coffee per month? Would it be a better use of corporate resources if the company simply paid for the coffee instead of having the employees dedicate all this time and energy deciding who owes a couple dollars? – RockPaperLizard Sep 15 '15 at 18:42
  • @RockPaperLizard Thank your for your comment! Unfortunately, this is for several reasons not an option at this point, though it's probably the best solution :-) – mindm49907 Sep 16 '15 at 8:50
  • You're welcome. It seems so common that businesses will not implement the best solutions for a variety of reasons. The same seems true for governments. At least in your situation, it may be a bit fun to come up with a "less than really desirable" solution for your coffee payment system. One simple solution is a pre-pay system where people buy coffee tokens in advance, and put one into an office piggy bank when they get a cup of coffee. It's low-tech, but simple and effective. – RockPaperLizard Sep 16 '15 at 9:00
  • @RockPaperLizard Again a good idea, thanks! But I don't think that I can get the people to carry around coffee tokens, though it would be effective as you said. They all tend to like high-tech-and-nice-to-show-others solutions :-) – mindm49907 Sep 16 '15 at 11:20
  • How many coffee drinkers are we talking about? – Basil Bourque Sep 20 '15 at 3:45

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