At my job I have a cart that houses and charges 40 Dell laptops running Windows XP that are periodically loaned out during the course of the day. While the laptops are not in use they are in the cart, powered up and charging.
What I would like to accomplish is to build a console that would reside on a dedicated desktop for the employee of this laptop lending facility. This console would show the percentage of charge that each laptop has (and sort in descending order) so that when a user comes by to borrow a laptop they can be given one with the highest relative charge. I can install an agent on each laptop that would read and "transmit" this data, if necessary. I'm thinking that it probably wouldn't require anything beyond some intermediate VBScripting.
The reason why I'm looking for this is that on busy days (which most are) the turnover rate is too high to ensure that any given laptop has been returned for long enough to recharge all the way. Furthermore, some users will borrow a laptop for 3 hours, sometimes they'll have it back in 20 minutes; this inconsistency combined with the high turnover rate prevents a simple "lend them out in sequential order" approach from ensuring maximum battery life for the user.
Has anybody heard of an existing utility like this?