[hackerspaces] [Noisebridge-discuss] accounting software / websites

Marc Juul marcjc at gmail.com
Thu Oct 7 08:39:35 CEST 2010

Labitat has a payment/access system integrated into its member site
(written in ruby on rails).

It parses HTML from our online bank statement and calculates
expiration date of space access for each member.

This is all stored in a mysql database and is searchable and editable
(given correct level of access) via a web interface. This also allows
key members to accept cash payments and simply manually add them to
the database. We are using spreadsheets for the rest of our finances,
which is not a great solution for us (with 91 paying members as of
this writing). We really need to expand the current system to deal
with all expenses instead of just member payments.

This data is pulled by a python script on the computer in charge of
door access every 10 minutes (a tiny Bifferos computer running a linux
with about 1 watt of power consumption). The doorputer is hooked up to
an electronic lock and magnetic card reader + pin code entry pad
through an arduino.

The system allows new members to register a magnetic card + pincode of
their choice at the door, connect the resulting hash to their account
by claiming it (based on timestamp) on the website, and gain access to
the space nearly without human intervention (there is a manual
double-check procedure implemented in the code that parses the HTML
from the bank).

Though we have had problems with bugs that resulted in new members not
being able to register and even sometimes not able to unlock the door,
I think we've gotten most of these bugs ironed out.

The code for the rails site is available here:


The python code for the doorputer:


And the code for the door arduino:


I'm afraid it's very undocumented (except for a "getting started
guide" for the rails site, and some of it is likely specific to our
hardware, but hopefully that will change at some point.


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