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Description Updated 2009-09-22
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The problem with virtual in-out boards is getting staff to use them. I've tried downloading and installing message boards and in-out boards for our staff, and found that people just forget to mark themselves out or in.
With In-Out, that problem is much less of an issue. It resides in the Windows clock tray, and is activated when your screensaver starts or after you've been idle for X minutes. On a Mac, it's a desktop widget that watches user activity like mouse movement. When it suspects you are away from your computer, it then automatically pings your own web server, letting this little Perl script know your status.
When you return, In-Out informs your web server that you're back.
Users can also leave personal notes and information in case they'll be away for some time, or just want to let people know about something. When they do, a note icon appears next to their name so users can see at a glance that there is new information to read, and optionally an email can be sent to one, or many people.
Users are able to manually mark themselves in or out as well, by right-clicking on the tray icon and selecting "Sign In" or "Sign Out." The widget also has this functionality.
For those who use Konfabulator widgets, you're in luck as well-- since In-Out contains two separate widgets: one to mark yourself away, and one to view all of the user's status in the office.
This is great for mobile users and desktop users. There is even a pocket browser version for phones and palm sized devices!
If you like RSS feeds (as much as I do), you're in luck with this script too! It contains a feed of the status of all staff.
A recent update also sends a single email to those who forget to mark themselves away after 8 hours in the office, giving them a link within the email which they can click to sign out. If they don't respond right away, it's not a problem-- their icon first appears with a ZZzz symbol, then after a full day, appears 'greyed-out' to represent the issue.
In-Out can also be easily configured for multiple users on a single machine.
This is so easy to set up... I love it. Basically, I just run the application on each staff person's computer, and set them up with the in-out URL and their own 'extension.' Then I go to the in-out URL and enter the user's full name. That's it. Easy.
Thanks for a great script.
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