In recent years the concept of network devices on the Internet has been used in a wide variety of applications, to suit many different purposes. One purpose that is very suited to the use of an Internet device is the monitoring of vending machines. By interfacing the machine to the Internet the owner/operators of vending machines stands to gain substantially. This is because this technology would take all of the 'guess work' out of the vending industry. Where once many people would be needed to make on-site visits in order to check the current status of vending machines, one person, in a central location could now do this for an entire network of vending machines simply by viewing a web site. Another advantage of this idea is that it can run on any computer platform that supports a web browser application.
This thesis, entitled "Coke.Net: A Vending Machine on the Internet", goes about designing a system which could be used to monitor the status of any type of vending machine, with only minor adjustments to certain parameters, via the internet. In order to achieve this goal, a web server was implemented using a 486 PC running the Red Hat Linux 6.0 operating system. A program that reads sensor values via a parallel port interface is used then to interpret the status of the vending machine.
Since this thesis aims to provide for an entire industry, specific pains have been gone to keep the design independent of particular vending machines. This design has been built and tested and meets the aims of the thesis.