Linux on a cash register
Specs Page

No pictures on this page. After the install I stated poking around the machine to find out what kind of hardware it hads a so forth. I saved some of that info so you could poke around as well:

I finally got a hold of the manuals for the pole display:

One of them is for the one with the serial pass-through (so you can hook up the display and another serial device to the a machine with one serial port). I don't know which one is which yet.

I got a copy of the thermal printer's manual: sp200fum.pdf. It's big, like 1.3MB. It's informative, however. I never knew that it had a hex dump mode (where all the signals sent to the printer will get printed as raw hex codes). I've been trying to find a way to get the thing to print our in 80 columns, but have been unsuccessful so far. Now I might be able to find out how to do it.

I finally got around to taking a look at the disk which was in the cash register when I go it. It wasn't very interesting, just a plain DOS volume loaded with DR-DOS and some other junk. If you want to see what files were on it, I saved a directory listing.

Various links and whatnot I've received as a result of the Slashdot article:

  • LCDproc - I looked into using this for the LED-on-a-stick but it isn't quite what I want. I may actually wind up writing a driver for it, which would mean anyone with a Linux point-of-sale could use it (anyone with a stick handy could use it too, although I strongly suspect that the number of hobbyist users of LEDs-on-a-stick is very small and might, in fact, be very close to 1).
  • Mercator - a Java Point of Sale system. I installed this, but never got much past that. It looked very full-featured. Since my cash register will no longer be functioning as a cash register I won't be able to try it out.
  • Serial HOW-TO - Various bits of info about serial ports and how to use them. It came in very handy.
  • Birthisel Engineering - They write the very easy to use Device::SerialPort Perl module (as well as the Win32 ones on which the Linux one is based). This is what I wound up using to write to the VFD and it saved a lot of time and effort. I don't want to re-invent the serial port progamming wheel again if I can help it.
  • How to Neuter a :Cat - More info about the Cue:Cat than you ever wanted to know.

I'd also like to thank Thomas Watts for the RAM. He had some older SIMMs laying around and mailed them to me. Very cool indeed as the register is sporting 48MB of RAM. Thanks again, Tom!

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