I work in a mixed discipline development office (electronics, software, mechanical & project). Now everyone knows that the world of development runs on a mixture of ideas, experience and lots and lots of tea and coffee.
Software types might favour the buzz of an Espresso, project management types might prefer an organic wheatgermskinnymochachinofrappe or whatever GQ reckons is cool this week, electronics types might go for a nice strong instant coffee of some kind (to clear the solder fumes) and grease monkeys will usually go for a mug of tea (stirred with a screw driver).
All of these refreshing beverages need to paid for. This could be done with a simple book or an honesty tin, but that relies on updating the book with the number of brews they have had (engineers generally hate paperwork so that’s unlikely) or having the right money on them to drop in the tin. But being developers we of course have a program with full tracking, statistical analysis and trend analysis instead. Because we can.
This has run on a venerable old Windows 98 machine since it was written (sometime in 1998, judging by the code). That machine is now dying, not surprisingly. Time has moved on in the last two decades and really it seems incredibly wasteful to have an entire PC running this application. Also, we have many new toys to play with now, so the idea was suggested that we replace the Coffee Club PC with either a server hosted application running on a tablet or a small single board computer solution.
Now a web app running on a server and accessed through the browser would probably be the most cost effective, quick to write and simple to manage solution. Where as a single board computer solution would require far more effort, time and cost, but would also give much bigger scope for playing with toys. Naturally we went with the second option. Because we can.
As for the name, well everyone loves cats, right?
Read the next part here.