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how can I get the cell phone timing?

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  • #21
    Might be one way, presuming they won't power off their pc before the exam...

    1) You connect student pc to your usb key to give him the exam.
    2) You connect a cheap old serial/usb GPS (I think most older ones emulate a serial port).
    3) You read the time from the GPS via some PowerBASIC serial port code.
    4) From this you got the delay before exam start, you do not need the PC clock at all.
    5) Use a TIMER in the PowerBASIC app to compute the start and the end of the exam.

    Some interesting stuff...
    Time synchronization with a Garmin GPS
    GPS Utility
    u-center ublox


    • #22
      Depending on the way it is implemented, you may also use the
      WM_TIMECHANGE message : A message that is sent whenever there is a change in the system time.
      So you will catch the bad guy. :-)


      • #23
        Thank you guys. With every idea I have to read and look for new information. Thank you really.
        a) For Rod's question, 60 dollars per student plus license is really expensive. I need something below 10 dollars per student. I shall look for your other idea, that is similar to what I can imagine, and it is true that some students may try to do something but time is limited and I am making a bet that this student will not have enough time to solve the riddle and answer the exam. I am not considering the companies that send people to the exams just to learn the questions to rewrite after the test for the companies. It is not my case, but even in that case those companies should send a lot of people to memorize the complete set of the items bank.
        b) For Paul's suggestion. Wow! I am going to see it. I've never tried that. I shall read and see if it can be cheaper, I've seen the price of the development kits are close to 60 to 120 dollars, but there are probably other options. Thanks for the idea.


        • #24
          Thank you Pierre, I shall try again the GPS option. It is true that if I have the GPS clock I do not need the one of the computer, except the TIMER to check the delay for the permission to answer the test, that part is already done. I can imagine that WM_TIMECHANGE works if the student does a modification during the exam, but it cannot work if he did it before my program is under operation?


          • #25
            My suggestion...
            Write a small app for an Android phone.
            The app needs to get a GPS fix and extract the GPS time and write that time to a file in a known location on the android phone.
            The file could be encrypted to stop users manipulating it.

            BASIC for Android is now free so the app could be written in that version of BASIC.

            When the phone is plugged into the laptop, your program on the laptop can check the known location on the phone for the file containing the GPS time.
            You would need to require that your users first run the app on their phone, enable the GPS and wait for the app to indicate it has acquired the GPS time.
            Then plug the phone into the laptop within a fixed time so the GPS time must be less than, for example, 10 minutes old when your program is run.
            If the recorded GPS time is out of range then the program refuses to run.


            • #26
              Thank you Paul, good proposal. Regards


              • #27
                Interesting, a less than $10 USB GPS, it detect baud rate... VK-172 USB GLONASS GPS
                Some stuff can be download from uBlox 7...


                • #28
                  Originally posted by Pierre Bellisle View Post
                  Interesting, a less than $10 USB GPS, it detect baud rate... VK-172 USB GLONASS GPS
                  Some stuff can be download from uBlox 7...
                  The last screen shot show "Com4" and "NMEA" in the status bar. Since it is putting out NMEA sentences on a serial port, it would be trivial to write a small PB application to monitor the port and read the NMEA sentences showing current UTC time.

                  Edit: Be careful about this, it's not just plug and play. It needs a driver installed. I looked at my OpenCPN (navigation software) installation guide


                  and it pointed to a discussion about the driver issues with u-Blox:



                  • #29
                    >driver issues with u-Blox
                    As I see it, it is more about the new Windows 10 behavior regarding driver installation than a issue.
                    Looks like if you respect the installation guide you will be able to do whatever you want.

                    >It needs a driver installed.
                    I will need some proof, since the doc say you can rollback to the standard windows drivers.
                    Not that installing a driver is a bad thing, still on my side I prefer generic MS driver if they do all what I want.

                    u-blox GNSS Sensor and VCP Device Driver User guide
                    Selection Guide for GNSS USB Driver for Windows


                    • #30
                      Perhaps I missed something. Sorry, I jumped in here without reading the previous posts. Please pardon me.
                      Using a GPS USB device on your computer:
                      Most GPS devices that I am familiar with need a clear (unobstructed) line of sight to 3 satellites for semi-accurate position location. Just wondering if your Users will be taking their computers outside when signing on your app?

                      If you are just getting satellite time I guess it doesn't matter as much since you only need 1 satellite for that.

                      1) The process should be inexpensive and foolproof.
                      2) You want to administer a timed test. (timing done by application)
                      3) Students will likely be working offline and not located together in a classroom.
                      4) You want all the students to start the test at or nearly at the same time. (notify them via text message at the moment you want them to start with a specific code for the test)

                      Problem and solution:
                      1) The student receives the text with the code and waits several hours before taking the test. (make the code specific to the hour of the day)
                      2) The student receives the text with the code and waits several days before taking the test. (make the code specific to the hour and the day)
                      3) The student receives the text with the code and waits several months before taking the test. (make the code specific to the hour, the day, and the month)
                      4) The student receives the text with the code and waits an undetermined time before taking the test and changes the time/day/month/year on the computer to match the original text time/day/month/year. (have your program generate a code of completion they must text back to you. If they do not send the correct code back to you [which includes the app serial number] within an hour of your text then they did not complete the task in the allocated time.)

                      The code you send to them must be entered into the app on their machine and the date and time on their machine must match the code you send within 1 half hour. They cannot start the test without the appropriate code:
                      2020-05-23-10-00-00 <=simplified to show the code unmasked

                      The code student 1 sends to you:
                      xxx1Axxx 2020-05-23-10-46-20 (351) <=code for pass/fail which can also change by the day

                      The code student 2 sends to you:
                      xxx2Axxx 2020-05-23-10-32-50 (222) <=code for pass/fail which can also change by the day

                      Student 3 did not send a code back in the allocated time.
                      Last edited by Jim Fritts; 24 May 2020, 12:11 AM.


                      • #31
                        Thank you everyone. I have a lot of things to try now. Best regards to all of you with your ideas.


                        • #32

                          I searched for USB ntp time server
                          you night also look at getting time from radio atomic time. I saw a don't yourself on a raspberry pi device but a networked time server might be a good way to go

                          now for the bad
                          our users are not allowed to set the computer time being they are not administrators and that will be a hell of a road to travel.

                          I learned a long time ago how important setting the correct time on machines is and I would not really expect a young person to fully grasp those reasons except on their phone or remote device.

                          it it where me I would figure out a way where only spent time is kept up with as far as a test and find some other way of having verification on timely done whatever
                          personally I see nothing wrong with a person looking up something because the smartest person basically only needs to know how to look up something and learn from that knowledge and I am not talking about cheating off another person.

                          p purvis


                          • #33
                            The problem here seems to be that no one knows what the actual requirement is.

                            As Paul said back in Post #20 "Agustin, You may like to write about your total environment in the section on hardware. "

                            All we know is that people are answering exam questions on a computer. We have not really been given any information about the environment this is in.

                            The scenario in Post#1 is totally different to what has been subsequently revealed. It specifically said "my computer" a couple of times.
                            We then went to "students offline"
                            We then get "So I can provide a PB application in a USB with the exam, so they can answer without Internet"

                            Are these personal/business computers located elsewhere or do people come to an exam centre to take the exam on supplied computers?
                            Whose cell phone were you considering using? Yours or your student's?

                            Why is there a specific timeframe requirement and what exactly is it?