Coke Manual page




This manual page describes how to use the on-line Coke machine at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Operation is through a simple menu-driven interface that nonetheless allows sophisticated features to be implemented. The following sections start with the basics of getting an account and then move on to the more snazzy features on the machine. Most of this stuff can be quickly understood without the use of this page, but it seems useful to have it all written down somewhere.


To get an account you need to talk to one of the people whose names are given on the Coke machine itself. You need to tell them the login you wish to use on the coke machine, your electronic mail address for automated coke mailings, and the amount of money you want placed in your account. You will also have to give a password, similar to the ones used to log in and out of a UNIX machine. When your account is installed you will recieve electronic mail.

To use the account you go to the machine, and at the Coke Id: prompt, you enter the login you gave the administrator when you got the account and hit return. It's usually the same as your account login. Then you will be asked for a password in a blanked out area. Type it and hit return. Now you will be presented with a menu.


To buy a drink you choose menu choice 1 by typing the numeral 1 after the Enter Option: prompt and hit return. Now you press the flavor you want on the Coke machine, just as if you've put money in a standard Coke machine, and get your drink. Notice that choice 1 is Buy a beverage and exit , so it logs you out as well. If you want to buy one and stay logged on, choose 2, labelled Buy a beverage and stay logged on. If you do this be sure to logout when you're done by using choice 8, Exit.


To change your password, choose option 5, Change password. You'll be prompted for a password in a blanked out area. You'll enter the password twice, and if they are the same, the change will be recorded. If you forget your password, contact one of the people authorized to give out accounts, and they will change it to something known.

Just like your real accounts, you should change your password frequently and pick good ones. If you don't know what a good one is, you can ask one of the Coke account people, or read UNIX Operating System Security," by F.T. Gramp and R. H. Morris in AT&T Bell Labratories Technical Journal 63(8) pp 1649-1672 (October 1984), which has a good section on it.


This is a feature new to the current version of the software. What it allows you to do is to give some of your Coke account money to another user. This is handy if you want to loan a friend some of your balance, or pay someone back for buying you a beverage. To do it, just choose number 3, Transfer funds to another user and enter the user's coke login and the amount to give when you're prompted for it. No you can't give someone more money than you have. Nice try though.


Yet another new feature in the coke software is the ability of the machine to let you know when your balance goes below a given figure. To use this feature choose 6, Change mailing information and be sure that the address is your Email address. Then decide what you think a low balance is, and set the low water mark to that number. Now whenever your balance goes from being above that amount to being below it you will receive a brief mail message telling you that. By default everyone's low water mark is zero, so if you don't touch it, you'll never be bothered with the mail. Another way to eliminate automatic mailings is to change your mailing address to "none".


We've done our best to make the system secure and easy to use. If you find that there is a problem with the system that makes it either easy to break or hard to use please let Ted Faber know as soon as possible.

Try to exercise good sense with your Coke account. Don't give your password out unnessecarily, and change it often. Pay attention to your balance, and if you see something strange, let the Coke people know. We have been going for some time with this arrangement without any major hassles, and we hope it will continue.

And, as always, we thank you for your support.


Ted Faber wrote the software

Jeff Hollingsworth designed and built the hardware