A collaborative equipment checkout and management system written in Ruby on Rails
JavaScript Ruby
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Welcome to DANM Gear

DANM Gear is an equipment management system written for the Digital Arts and New Media Program at UCSC.
The system handles pieces of inventoried equipment that can be transferred to people and locations.


  1. Creativity can lead to good things.
  2. The more creativity that is done the more chance of good things.
  3. Equipment is helpful to creativity.
  4. Equipment locked away is not being used for creativity.
  5. Different people need things at different times.
  6. Creativity is sometimes spontaneous.


Traditional checkout systems work under the paradigm of a manager/owner and a user with this kind of
work flow:

  1. A user requests for equipment
  2. The manager loans the item out to that user for a limited time
  3. The user does the work with the equipment
  4. The user returns the item.
  5. The manager advertises that the item is available for other users.

In this form of equipment checkout here are some givens:

  1. While a person has the item it is not available to anyone else.
  2. To make items available to others they have to be returned to the manager.

The system is designed to only be functional if the items spend time with the manager.
But, while with the manager, the items are not being used for creativity.

Most systems solve this inherent problem of “items in the checkout room not being used”
by creating a strict reservation process. So that people need to bring things back at a specific time
and others can then check them back out at that time.

The problem with a strict reservation process is that it removes the ability to be spontaneously creative.

Rails App

This is a rails application, btw.


This install assumes you are running this on OS X.5 Server.

Get Rails 2.1 or later

sudo gem install rails

Update your gem system

sudo gem update --system

Update your existing Gems

sudo gem update

Get the Will Paginate Plugin

gem install will_paginate --version "=2.3.11"

Download and install Active LDAP

I downloaded activeldap-1.0.1.gem

curl -O http://rubyforge.org/frs/download.php/38339/activeldap-1.0.1.gem

and then installed it with:

sudo gem install activeldap-1.0.1.gem —local

You may also need ruby-net-ldap

sudo gem install ruby-net-ldap

You need Ruby LDAP

Download the tar.gz to your server. Untar it:

tar xvf ruby-ldap-0.9.7.tar.gz

then change into that dir

cd ruby-ldap-0.9.7

And run it:

ruby extconf.rb
make install

Install Fleximage

Follow these instructions: http://github.com/Squeegy/fleximage/wikis/gettingstarted

Catch the Stuff you missed

rake gems:install
That ran this for me:
gem install mislav-will_paginate --version "~> 2.3.2" --source http://gems.github.com

Import some fake data if you want:

rake db:fixtures:load FIXTURES=equipment RAILS_ENV=development

Passenger or mod_rails

I have wanted a better way to run rails applications for a while now, and it looks like Passenger might be the way to go.

sudo gem install passenger

My goodness mod_rails is so wonderful.