I am doing independent research for a professor of mine, but I'm not sure where to start. I plan to write this application in c++.

1) The application will run on a server and the main computer will be able to monitor the computers in the lab, for example the main computer should be able to see which computers are logged on in the lab, and how much time is left in each lab section.
2) The application will also display a message to the computers in the lab telling them that they have 15,10,5 min left in the lab.
3) When the time for the lab is over the application will logoff the computer.
4) I would also like to give the main computer sort of an master logoff option.
5) I would also like to make a nice graphical interface for the user.

To give you a little background on myself I have worked with c++ before, I'm familliar with the syntax, I know about opject oriented programing (I'm a little iffy with inheritance and polymorphism tho)
I'm not exactly a beginner but I don't know if im an intermediate.

I thought a good place to start would be to figure out how to capture the time a computer logs on. Can someone just let me know which sources would be helpful to me, which books would be good.