Turn ON the Light – Geeks Corner

[Warning #1 – This post is for geeks only!]

A few days ago @lpopejoy posted something in the user forums that drew our attention.

He wrote:

On a side note, I also have a stoplight in my office – yellow light turns on when there’s new tickets in the inbox…

At first we thought that this must be a joke, so we wrote back:

@lpopejoy, Is this for real? If so, can you take a photo of this and email it to us?

It wasn’t too long before we received an email from @lpopejoy saying:

So here they are! Didn’t believe me did you?

Well, we have to admit, we did not, but if a picture is worth a thousand words… what can we say? We were wrong!

No New Tickets in the Queue:
Stoplight OFF - No New Tickets

New Tickets Alert!:
Stoplight OFF - New Tickets Alert!

Excited about this cool thing we asked @lpopejoy to tell us how it all works:

[Warning #2 – Try this at home at your own risk]

Just be warned it isn’t very elegant. I got a parallel port powered relay and wired the stoplight into that. From there, I setup some batch files that send special commands to the relay board that turn on the lights that I want.

What pulls it altogether is a script that I wrote that runs every 15 minutes that queries the [software] database via [the software API] ODBC to check for the existence of tickets that are both unread AND in the inbox. If they exist, then it send the “yellow” command to the parallel port and the light comes on! When it runs next time, it turns the light off, if the alert has been cleared.

Thank you @lpopejoy! You made everyone here smile!

Until next time,
Success Team

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